Lavinia Greenlaw

Lavinia Greenlaw


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Personal profile

Personal profile

I am a writer in a broad range of forms with research interests in the visual arts, vision, landscape, scientific process and imperative, medicine and the body, music, soundwork, image making and interrupted perception. I am currently writing a book of exploded essays about seeing and not seeing further.

I've published six collections of poetry with Faber & Faber including Minsk (2003), which was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot, Forward and Whitbread Poetry Prizes. A Double Sorrow: Troilus and Criseyde  (2014) was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award. My most recent collection, The Built Moment, was published in February 2019.

My first novel, Mary George of Allnorthover, was published in 2001 and won the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger. My third novel, In the City of Love’s Sleep (Faber) appeared in September 2018. 

I'm interested in experimental non-fiction and have published two works of this kind: The Importance of Music to Girls (Faber 2007) and Questions of Travel: William Morris in Iceland (Notting Hill Editions 2011). I've published and broadcast short stories, including We Are Watching Something Terrible Happening and The Darkest Place in England, both of which were shortlisted for the National Short Story Award. 

My immersive sound work, Audio Obscura, was commissioned in 2011 from Artangel and Manchester International Festival, and won the 2011 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. It is now available to experience on Soundcloud.  In 2016, I wrote and directed my first film, The Sea is an Edge and an Ending, which is a study of dementia and what it means to live in the present tense. 

I  was  the first artist-in-residence at the Science Museum and, in 2013, one of the first two artists to receive a Wellcome Engagement Fellowship. I have an MA in seventeenth-century art from the Courtauld Institute, and was awarded a three-year NESTA fellowship in 2001.  I taught at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and was Professor of Poetry at UEA from 2007  to 2013. I've also been a visiting professor at King’s College London (2015-16) and the Freie Universität Berlin (2017). 

I also write about music, perception and art. Commissions I've undertaken include pieces on Elizabeth Price for Frieze, on a total solar eclipse for The New Yorker, Titian for the National Gallery, and Eva Hesse for The Guardian, as well as a poem to mark the centenary of the Theory of Relativity for the Science Museum.

My work for music includes the libretto for Peter Pan (Staatsoper Stuttgart/Komische Oper Berlin/Welsh National Opera and Royal Opera House 2015-16), composer: Richard Ayres. I've written and adapted several dramas for radio, including Virginia Woolf’s Night and Day, Hermann Hesse’s The Glass Bead Game, and a series on malaria called Five Fever Tales. I've also made radio documentaries about Emily Dickinson and Elizabeth Bishop and several programmes about light, including trips to the Arctic midsummer and midwinter, the Baltic, the darkest place in England, light in London, and the solstices and equinoxes.



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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