Catch up with Maureen Duffy and Liz Mathews in conversation

Maureen Duffy and Liz Mathews, with host Katie Webb.
Maureen Duffy and Liz Mathews, with host Katie Webb.

On 25th November 2020, we held an online event to celebrate the launch of Strandlines‘s special collection on Maureen Duffy. We heard from Maureen about her latest work; the forthcoming publication of her first children’s book Sadie and the Seadogs, illustrated by Anita Joice, and her 20th novel, After Eve. Maureen also read two poems from her latest collection, published in February by Pottery Press, Wanderer.

Maureen read the title poem, ‘Wanderer’ and ‘Mosaics’, which both bring with them the historical trajectories of ancient art and literature to deal with enduring hardships humanity faces; in these poems’ cases, exile and femicide. You can read about another of the poems in Wanderer, ‘Mother Tongue’, on the ‘Duffy, London, Babylon’ feature page, which recalls the ‘lost language of London’ and its once many-coloured dialect, and how it connects with London community initiatives at Shepherd’s Bush Families Project and Babylon Beyond Borders at the Bush theatre.

Liz Mathews also kindly joined the evening. Liz is a lettering artist whose collaboration with Maureen started with an artist’s book she set to a collection of Maureen’s love poems, Paper Wings, which was the subject of an event at King’s in 2015. Liz has set lines from ‘Wanderer’ to handmade paper, in an artist’s book which she presented at the event, and writes about on her blog.

The evening was sponsored by La Federazione Unitaria Italiana Scrittori, and was organised by Robyn Shooter at the Centre for Life Writing Research at King’s. In case you missed it, or were there and would like to relive this warm and inspirational event, the recording is available to view on the Strandlines YouTube channel.

Katie Webb

Katie Webb

Katie has worked extensively with the writer and activist Maureen Duffy, whose archive is held at King’s. Between 2011 and 2016, Katie ran the International Authors Forum (IAF), a world-wide network of 60 unions of writers and artists set up to protect authors’ interests in copyright. Katie is International Co-director of the Writers’ Union of Italy, FUIS, which she represents on the Steering Committee of IAF. She currently resides in Italy, working with the cultural association Alberi di Maggio.


  1. Christoph Bode on 29 December 2020 at 5:30 pm

    Maureen, you’re absolutely unique!
    Love from Germany,

  2. […] Yesterday I was lucky to take a lockdown walk in my own studio, alongside Maureen Duffy, in a live online special event hosted by King’s College London’s Centre for Life-Writing, and sponsored by FUIS (La Federazione Unitaria Italiana Scrittori). We were celebrating Maureen’s work, and also marking the launch of STRANDlines digital collection, which brings together material related to Maureen’s life, work, activism and research, among other exciting features. Here’s a link to a film of the event: A conversation with Maureen Duffy & Liz Mathews. […]

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