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‘It’s light and dark’ - poet celebrates release of film-inspired debut book

PUBLISHED: 17:18 06 November 2018

Sue Burge has published her debut poetry collection with Live Canon. Photo: Sue Burge

Sue Burge has published her debut poetry collection with Live Canon. Photo: Sue Burge

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A north Norfolk poet and creative writing tutor is celebrating after publishing her first collection on themes of film, light, and dark.

Sue Burge in the Paris flat where she wrote Lumière. Photo: Sue BurgeSue Burge in the Paris flat where she wrote Lumière. Photo: Sue Burge

Sue Burge, from East Runton, entered Live Canon Poetry Press’ debut collection competition and, alongside the other shortlisted entries, won the chance to have her collection published.

Her debut collection, In the Kingdom of Shadows, (ITKOS) inspired by the Russian writer Maxim Gorky’s description of his first encounter with cinema, was published on November 2.

And in the same month the former University of East Anglia (UEA) lecturer and now freelance writing and film studies teacher also released her debut pamphlet Lumière, published by the Hedgehog Poetry Press.

Mrs Burge, 57, said: “I can’t believe there’s a whole collection of my poems in one book after being in magazines for all these years, and I can’t believe I’ve got two books out in the same month.

Sue Burge in the Poet's Chair at City Lights bookshop in San Francisco. Photo: Sue BurgeSue Burge in the Poet's Chair at City Lights bookshop in San Francisco. Photo: Sue Burge

“Everything happened at once - it’s really exciting.”

She described ITKOS as “a collection of over 50 poems”, and added: “I’ve been putting it together for about five years.

“It’s based on a quote by Max Gorky, who said the first time he saw a film he felt as though he had entered the kingdom of shadows.”

Mrs Burge came to Norwich to study linguistics at the UEA, after growing up in Kinston-upon-Thames, and went on to lecture at the university for twenty years, before going freelance in 2007.

Of her work, she said: “A lot of the poetry I write is influenced by film. My poems are quite visual.

“There are shadowy and noir things going on.

“I’m already working on my second collection,” she added.

Mrs Burge produced the poems for Lumière while living in Paris, funded by the Arts Council.

She said: “I was in Paris for six weeks and the pamphlet is dedicated to the city of light, and to the Lumière brothers, who were the first people to create film as we understand it today.

“That’s what film is - it’s light and dark.”

She added: “I love reading novels but somehow I don’t feel I could sustain that narrative.

“Poetry came about because my degree was in linguistics and I love how you can really shape and manipulate language and you’re constantly editing - it’s magical.”

Both books will be launched in Norwich on November 27, at 7.30pm, in Fishergate Room, Anteros, Fye Bridge Street.

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