GV Art & Mind Symposium 23: Ruth Padel

Ruth Padel new15 July 2014

Seven Words and an Earthquake

Ruth Padel will read “Seven Words and an Earthquake” a sequence of poems, on the Seven Last Words of Christ, at the heart of her new collection LEARNING TO MAKE AN OUD IN NAZARETH. 

Ruth will introduce the poems by tracing the emotional arc of these Words, which were excerpted from the Gospels. She will talk about Haydn’s String Quartet meditating on them, his commission to write music for these Sayings in Cadiz Cathedral in 1785, and the overwhelming desire of many doctors since the eighteenth century to prove exactly what Christ died of: suffocation, blood loss, or cardiovascular collapse.

Ruth is a British poet, novelist, conservatist, critic and author, first Writer in Residence at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. She teaches Poetry at Kings College London and has published nine poetry collections, a novel, and eight books of non-fiction including three on reading poetry. Her recent book The Mara Crossing/ ON MIGRATION  is a mixed-genre meditation on migration in prose and poetry. Her awards include First Prize in the UK National Poetry Competition, a Cholmondeley Award from The Society of Authors, an Arts Council of England Writers’ Award and a British Council Darwin Now Research Award for her novel Where the Serpent Lives. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Member of the Bombay Natural History Society, Ambassador for New Networks for Nature, Patron of 21st-Century Tiger and Council Member of the Zoological Society of London.

Her new book is available from: