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Published:May 5th, 2011 12:06 EST
Judyth Piazza chats with Pascale Petit, Author of "What the Water Gave Me"

Judyth Piazza chats with Pascale Petit, Author of "What the Water Gave Me"

By Judyth Piazza CEO (Editor)


Pascale Petit was born in Paris, grew up in France and Wales and lives in London. She has published five poetry collections. Her latest, What the Water Gave Me: Poems after Frida Kahlo, published by Seren in 2010 (UK) and Black Lawrence Press in 2011 (US), was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and was a Book of the Year in the Observer. Two of her previous books, The Zoo Father (Seren, 2001) and The Huntress (Seren, 2005), were also shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize and were Books of the Year in the Times Literary Supplement and Independent. In 2004 the Poetry Book Society selected her as one of the Next Generation Poets.

She has received three major awards from Arts Council England. The Zoo Father was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. It won an Arts Council of England Writers` Award, a New London Writers` Award and a poem from the book, `The Strait-Jackets`, was shortlisted for a Forward Prize. A Spanish/English edition is published in Mexico and Spain. A prizewinning pamphlet The Wounded Deer: Fourteen poems after Frida Kahlo (Smith Doorstop) appeared in 2005. Her debut collection, Heart of a Deer, was published by Enitharmon in 1998. In 2004 she was selected as one of the ten best new women poets of the decade by Mslexia magazine.

Pascale was Poetry Editor of Poetry London from 1989 to 2005 (now a Trustee), and is a co-founding tutor of The Poetry School.  She has co-edited Tying the Song (Enitharmon, 2000) the first anthology from The Poetry School. Her poems have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4, and published widely in journals around the world, as well as in the UK, the US, and Australia, including Poetry Review, American Poetry Review and Quadrant. They have been translated into eighteen languages. She currently teaches poetry courses in the galleries at Tate Modern, tutors for the Arvon Foundation, Taliesin Trust, The Poetry School and is the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Pascale has translated poems by Yang Lian, Zhai Yongming, Wang Xiaoni, Xi Chuan, Zhou Zan and Amir Or. She is widely travelled in the Venezuelan Amazon, China, Kazakhstan, Nepal, and Mexico. She has given readings nationally and internationally, including at Tampico International Literature Festival in Mexico, Yellow Mountain Festival in China, Sha`ar Poetry Festival in Israel, Estonia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Kathmandu, the US, and at numerous UK venues including Tate Modern, Royal Festival Hall, the British Museum, Ways With Words, Aldeburgh, Ledbury, StAnza and Hay festivals. In 2007 she won an Arts Council Award to travel to Nepal and in 2008 she took part in the British Council`s New Silk Road project in Almaty. She spent the first part of her life as a sculptor and trained at the Royal College of Art. As an artist she held numerous exhibitions, including on London Underground, in the Natural History Museum London, Arnolfini Bristol, Ferenz Gallery Hull, and participated in the groundbreaking touring exhibition Pandora`s Box in 1984-5.

"What the Water Gave Me" Poems after Frida Kahlo