Kate Miller: ‘Distance and Definition’

“So much depends, she thought, upon distance: whether people are near us or far from us …”

To the Lighthouse Virginia Woolf

Kate Miller
Kate Miller

Saturday 28 May
St Hilda’s College, Oxford

Probably modelled on Virginia Woolf’s artist sister Vanessa Bell, the painter Lily Briscoe finds her work in progress interrupted by vivid instants of recall, establishing lines and patches of colour that skew the composition. It’s a problem Elizabeth Bishop often resolves in poems where place itself is loaded with sentiment or just too much “untidy activity”.

 We’ll explore the perennial dilemma of the observer whose memory also feeds in information about a place or an event: how closely to focus on foreground, what space feels like, how changes in atmosphere and the fall of light heighten the experience of entering and occupying the world presented on the page.

 If you have one, bring an example of an over stuffed poem or notebook in need of a good walk!

Kate Miller, who grew up in Hampshire, studied Art History at Cambridge and Fine Art in London, only gradually became a writer. She won the Edwin Morgan Prize for a single poem in 2008. Her debut The Observances was shortlisted for the 2015 Costa Book Award.

How to get there: St. Hilda’s College, Cowley Place, Oxford OX4 1DY. There are limited parking spaces. The station is a short bus or taxi ride from the college. For the more energetic it can be reached on foot in approximately 25 minutes.

Timings and arrangements: Arrive at the Lady Brodie Room, St. Hilda’s College from 10.00am onwards. The Day School starts promptly at 10.30am and finishes at 4.00pm. Please bring a packed lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided.

To book: Please email jennyklewis@gmail.com. Cancellations up to seven days before the event will be fully refunded. Up to 24 hours before the event will be half refunded.