In The Cancer Journals Audre Lorde wrote, ‘I do not wish my anger and pain and fear about cancer to fossilise into yet another silence … to rob me of whatever strength can lie at the core of this experience, openly acknowledged and examined.’ Founded on this same principle, The Following Scan Will Last Five Minutes (Pavilion, 2019) was written in the months following Dutch writer Lieke Marsman’s cancer diagnosis. Marsman is the author of two previous poetry collections and a novel. The Following Scan is her first book to be translated into English.
Marsman’s translator Sophie Collins grew up in Bergen, North Holland. small white monkeys, a text on self-expression, self-help and shame, was published by Book Works in 2017 and her first collection of poems, Who Is Mary Sue?, by Faber & Faber in 2018.
Emily Berry is the author of Dear Boy (Faber, 2013) and Stranger, Baby (Faber, 2017). Asked, in an interview, about the autobiographical content of the latter, Berry responded, ‘Generally, I reject [the term ‘autobiography’] in relation to poetry … I’m interested in how Sharon Olds has spoken about her work as being “apparently personal”’.
Marsman, Berry and Collins will read from their writing and discuss, among other things, the question of self-expression in poetry.