Renewal, the first theme to be taken up for In the Round, was chosen in response to our contemporary position and the dramatic, historically unparalleled, interruption to normality we have experienced in society. There is the sense that we are living in an irrevocably changed world, but one that is open to revision, regeneration and improvement. The idea of renewal captures the generative spirit of this moment after the storm, a ray of light after a catastrophic event, hope in the wake of tragedy, or simply the potential to reflect and start anew. For the first volume of In the Round, we invite three writers to respond to this most evocative of themes, selecting one artist each that they wish to collaborate with. 

Act One.  Lucy Mercer with Jamie Shovlin
Lucy Mercer’s poems have been widely published in magazines such as Poetry London, Poetry Review and The White Review amongst others, as well as in anthologies like Spells: 21st Occult Poetry (Ignota, 2019). She was awarded the inaugural White Review Poet’s Prize.
        Jamie Shovlin is interested in exploring the tension between truth and fiction. His painstakingly researched and executed works frequently challenge the viewer to question or re-think their understanding of reality, merging inherently flawed systems, pseudo-scientific exactitude and doubtful philosophical propositions with the seemingly objective experience of the archive.

Act Two. Sam Buchan-Watts with Tom Rees
Sam Buchan-Watts is the author of Faber New Poets 15 and co-editor of Try To Be Better (Prototype, 2019). He is the recipient of an Eric Gregory Award and a Northern Writers’ Award for Poetry. His debut poetry collection, Path Through Wood, is published by Prototype in 2021.
        Tom Rees, born 1988, is a British artist currently living and working in New York City. He obtained his BFA in 2010 from Goldsmiths, University of London. Working primarily in oils Rees’s alternative world distorts any boundary between the symbolic and the real bringing us images that are familiar yet estranged. Rees’s use of line confronts us with works that are simultaneously awkward and direct.

Act Three. Daisy Lafarge with Brigid Elva
Daisy Lafarge’s poetry collection Life Without Air was published by Granta and shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2020. Her debut novel, Paul, is forthcoming from Granta Books in August 2021.
        Brigid Elva is an artist and illustrator living and working in the UK. Their work has appeared in several comics anthologies & books, as well as various zine-based projects, including ‘The Chapess’ and others. Their clients include Prada, Dazed, and The New York Times.