Hilary Menos is one of the most celebrated emerging voices in British poetry. Her poems have been praised by Carol Ann Duffy for their “…formal skill [and] extraordinary, vibrant language.”
Menos’s most recent collection, Red Devon, based on her experience as a livestock farmer, presents a view of modern rural life that jars uncomfortably with the heritage of pastoral verse. In taut, highly self-conscious and witty language Red Devon obliges its readers to confront the uncomfortable realities and ethical dilemmas of farming. Readers and listeners who demand of poetry that it challenge received wisdom while delighting the senses will be astonished by what Menos achieves.
Hilary Menos was born in Luton in 1964 and educated at Wadham College, Oxford and the London College of Printing.
In 2004, together with her partner Andy Brodie, she set up Beenleigh Manor Organics, a 100 acre mixed organic farm, selling breeding stock and finished beef and lamb. At its peak the farm ran a herd of 40 pedigree Red Ruby Devon cattle and 150 organic Wiltshire Horn sheep. In 2011 the decision was made to scale down the farm; the farmhouse, most of the farm buildings and some of the land was sold.
Menos won the Envoi Poetry Competition in 2002. Her first pamphlet, Extra Maths(Smith/Doorstop, 2004), was one of four first stage winners of The Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition 2004. Her first full collection, Berg (Seren, 2009), won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2010. Her second pamphlet, Wheelbarrow Farm(Templar, 2010), was one of four winners of the Templar Poetry Pamphlet and Collection Competition 2010. Her second full collection, Red Devon, was published by Seren in June.
Photo credit Andy Brodie
DATE: Friday 14th November
VENUE: Link Room 2,
Department of English,
University of Bristol
3-5 Woodland Road