Wordsworth House and Garden in Cockermouth is preparing to welcome a winner of the prestigious Costa Short Story Award to speak in its atmospheric dining room.
Zoe Gilbert, namesake of the house’s visitor experience manager, will talk about her work and read from her acclaimed first novel Folk on Thursday 19 September.
Folk is set in a richly imagined world inspired by the Isle of Man, where people and their surroundings are bound together by myth and tradition.
Author Zoe said: “I really wanted to explore exactly that relationship, between landscape and people, which can be spiritual without being romantic, but also necessarily practical. The landscape of folk tales is unforgiving but also surprising, and I think this reflects real relationships with it.”
She will also be talking about her latest project, which is rooted in similarly evocative territory.
Zoe explained: “I’m currently writing a new fiction book about the woodland that used to cover much of South London (where I used to live), exploring people’s relationship with it as a working wood, and then as a shrinking, mostly imaginary wood hidden in the built environment.”
Wordsworth House’s own Zoe Gilbert said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be hosting such a topical and accomplished novelist and short story writer at poet William’s childhood home.
“The themes of her work tie in perfectly not only with William’s interest in the natural world, but also with our 2019 exhibitions, ‘This Land is Our Land’, which runs until 8 September, and ‘Under Northern Skies’, which we’re hosting from 16 September. Both focus on our relationship with the fragile and changing environment around us.”
Tickets to meet the more famous Zoe Gilbert cost £10 including a glass of wine. The doors open at 7.30pm and her talk starts at 8pm, with time afterwards for questions and signings. To book, visit Wordsworth House shop or email [email protected].