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Margaret Atwood in conversation with Peter Kemp, RSL

February 19, 2014 @ 7:00 pm

Margaret Atwood began writing poetry in high school, and the most thrilling moment of her writing career was the publication of her first poem: ‘I mean, all the other things that have happened since then were a thrill, but that was the biggest.’ She has gone on to publish 19 collections of poetry, as well as 14 novels – including The Handmaid’s TaleThe Blind Assassin and MaddAddam, published last summer. Organised and methodical in writing fiction, she writes poetry ‘in a state of free float’, very often in hotel rooms or on planes. Her poems tend to begin with a cluster of words, around which they form – she has compared the process to ‘dipping a thread into a supersaturated solution to induce crystal formation’ – and sometimes they result in novels. In a conversation with Peter Kemp, Chief Fiction Reviewer of the Sunday Times, Atwood talks about how she believes that poetry and fiction use different parts of the brain, explains how poems can open doors into rooms which novels then enter and explore, and reads from her work.

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February 19, 2014 7:00 pm
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Royal Society of Literature
020 7845 4678


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Trafalgar Square London , SW1Y 5BJ United Kingdom
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