Virginia In Conversation at Rough Trade East.

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Virginia will be appearing at Rough Trade East in London this August to discuss and read from her new book The English River.

Virginia will be in conversation with poet Will Burns, who is also Poet-In-Residence at Caught By The River.

The event takes place on Tuesday 7th August 2018 at Rough Trade East, Old Truman Brewery 91, Brick Ln, London E1 6QL. Doors from 6:00pm.

Details of all Virginia’s forthcoming appearances are available on our Events Calendar.

Virginia Astley to guest on BBC6 Gideon Coe Show

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Virginia will be appearing as Gideon Coe’s guest on BBC6 Music on 12th July.

She’ll be discussing new book The English River, her writing and her extensive songwriting career. Virginia will also be choosing some of the music that will be played during the show.

The show starts at 9pm on Thursday 12th July and will also feature Sonic Youth in concert. Sessions from The Move, Magazine and The Eighteenth Day Of May.

The programme will also be available for 30 days after broadcast.

Literature Works Interview

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Literature Works is a regional literature development agency which focusses on south west England. As part of the ongoing promotional work for The English River, Virginia recently spoke to them about the inspirations behind the book, the influence of Thomas Hardy and how her long musical history connects with her approach to writing.

Discussing the connections between her music and her poetry, Virginia commented on the links that draw these talents together.

I think there’s a deep connection between song-writing and poetry. They feel like hybrid forms of the same thing. Many songs and poems filter from personal experiences and for me there’s a sense of working things out by writing them out. Problems are solved walking too, again this link back to being outdoors. I started writing prose first, and then gradually poetry took over. But I miss writing music and lately have been writing music to go with the river poems.

The Literature Works review of The English River summed up the work as: “A stunning debut which showcases Astley’s grasp of multi artform working to have created a collection which musical, complex, moving and beautifully well realised”.

The English River: Caught By The River Review

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Writer Richard King has penned a glowing review for The English River on the Caught By The River website. Author of How Soon Is Now? and the forthcoming Original Rockers. The Lark Ascending, Richard offers an intriguing combination of review and insight.

Four years prior, Richard had met Virginia on the banks of the Thames for an afternoon discussing not just the appeal of the river, but also about her classic 1983 album From Gardens Where We Feel Secure.

For anyone who has spent hours immersed in the almost eerie, daydream state of From Gardens Where We Feel Secure there will be a moment of familiarity during ‘Moulsford To Cleeve’ in which Astley revisits the moment of shared family drama that inspired the record’s ‘The Fields Are On Fire’

those fields beyond,
how they blazed that time
the wind bellowed the stubble fire
and hearing a siren score the night air
we opened the door to watch
flames taking hold
                        blow-torching the hill.

Stubble burning has been banned in the United Kingdom since 1993. This incident from childhood remains lodged in the memory, but has now been amplified and distorted by the intervening years since it inspired Astley’s piece of music. What had once belonged to the more immediate past is now part of life’s archives.

The review reveals a lot about the foundations for Virginia’s work on the book, but also offers a glimpse into how her earlier work dovetails into her writing output.

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