Katharine Towers

Lessons from the School of Night StAnza (part 2)

Reading Elizabeth Bishop is like having a drink of water. It’s very settling and sort of cleansing.
— Katharine Towers

Suzannah V. Evans talked with Katharine Towers after her StAnza reading at the Undercroft in St Andrews. They touched upon Katharine’s interest in French writers and her love of Elizabeth Bishop, as well as discussing Katharine’s most recent collection The Remedies (Picador, 2016). Katharine also read four of her poems: ‘Field Oak’ (13m54s); ‘Grass’ (14m45s); ‘Bluebells’ (15m35s); and ‘Daisies’ (16m38s).

Note: We are currently moving our files from Soundcloud to another system. Please bear with us – the ‘Lessons from the School of Night’ will be back soon!

Interview by Suzannah V. Evans

Katharine Towers was born in London and read Modern Languages at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. She completed an MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle University in 2007. Her first collection The Floating Man was published by Picador in 2010 and won the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize. It was also shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award and the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. Her second collection The Remedies was published in 2016 and has been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Katharine’s poems have appeared in various anthologies and in publications including The Guardian, Poetry Review, and Poetry London. She lives in the Peak District with her husband and two daughters.

Suzannah V. Evans was born in London and studied at the universities of St Andrews and York. She has worked in publishing and recently as a sound technician, translator, and interpreter for StAnza poetry festival in St Andrews. Her poetry and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Eborakon, The North, New Welsh Review, Tears in the Fence, and RAUM.

Lessons from the School of Night are an irregular series of video or audio interviews and tips from poets and writers who visit St Andrews. 

The School of Night – inspired by the group which included Christopher Marlowe and Sir Walter Raleigh – is Topping & Company Booksellers’ Year-Round Poetry Festival in St Andrews. Curated with the help of Don Paterson and playing host to poets as varied as Paul Muldoon and Lorraine Mariner, Simon Armitage and Annie Freud, it is anchored to a regular fixture on the last Tuesday of the month. The School of Night offers the chance to explore and discuss the work of some of the best poets on the contemporary scene. For more details on these and other events, please visit the Topping & Company website.

StAnza, Scotland’s international poetry festival, takes place in St Andrews each spring, in 2017 between the 1st and 5th of March.


Listen to the rest of the Lessons from StAnza 2017: Part 1 (Vahni Capildeo)Part 3 (Paul Stephenson), and Part 4 (Robert Crawford).