Join writer, filmmaker, and archivist Jay Bernard as they read from their Ted Hughes Award-winning debut collection, Surge.
Exploring the devastating New Cross fire of 1981, in which thirteen young black people were killed, Surge (Chatto and Windus) traces a line from New Cross to the ‘towers of blood’ of the 2017 Grenfell fire.
This collection speaks in and of the voices of the past, brought back by the incantation of dancehall rhythms and the music of Jamaican patois, to form a living presence in the absence of justice. A ground-breaking work of excavation, memory and activism, Surge shines a much needed light on an unacknowledged chapter in British history.
‘The collection’s major achievement is its unfailing attentiveness to the framing of history through the stories of individuals and collectives that the poet holds, urgently, ethically and so skilfully, in their hands’ – Sandeep Parmar Guardian
Jay will read from their work, followed by audience Q&A and book signing.
Jay Bernard is a writer and poet from London. Their work is interdisciplinary, critical, queer and rooted in the archive. They have written several pamphlets, and won the 2018 Ted Hughes Award for their debut full collection Surge: Side A. In 2019 they were selected as one of Britain’s ten best BAME writers for the British Council and National Centre for Writing’s International Literature Showcase. Jay’s short film Something Said has screened in the UK and internationally, including Aesthetica and Leeds International Film Festivals, Sheffield DocFest and CinemAfrica. Jay is a programmer at BFI Flare, an archivist at Mayday Rooms and resident artist at Raven Row.