S1 Episode 16: Real | Surreal – with Helen Ivory

All the time when I was writing about these women… when I was going backwards and forwards to the records office… I just felt the women calling me as I was walking towards it. It was really strange. You see the photographs so you know what they look like. I just put myself in their position and who I would be, born to a class that I am; working class, council estate, who would have gone into some kind of domestic service… I wouldn’t be the person who writes poems.

Hello poppets! Join us as we peer into the dreamlike cabinet of curiosities that is Helen Ivory’s The Anatomical Venus  where women are labelled  witches and hysterics, pathologised by medical science and surreally transformed into demure models with visible innards. Meanwhile, Robin enjoys the primal force of Nobel-winning poet Thomas Tranströmer in The Half-Finished Heaven and Peter feels improved after experiencing the warmth and humanity of Robert Hamberger’s Blue Wallpaper. Plus your podcast pals hear about a poetry rejection received a mere two-and-a-half years after submission.