This is a guest post on behalf of Bristol Festival of Ideas
Wed 26 April, 19:00-20:00
The childhood of poet Patricia Lockwood was unusual in many respects. There was the location: an impoverished, nuclear waste-riddled area of the American Midwest. There was her mother, a woman who speaks almost entirely in strange koans and warnings of impending danger. Above all, there was her gun-toting, guitar-riffing, frequently semi-naked father, who underwent a religious conversion on a submarine and discovered a loophole which saw him approved for the Catholic priesthood by the man who would later become Pope Benedict – despite already having a wife and children.
When the expense of a medical procedure forced the 30-year-old Patricia to move back in with her parents, husband in tow, she had to learn to live again with her family’s simmering madness, and to reckon with the dark side of a childhood spent in the bosom of the Catholic Church.
Patricia Lockwood’s poems have appeared widely, including in The New Yorker, the London Review of Books, Tin House and Poetry. In 2013, her poem ‘Rape Joke’ was published on The Awl and went viral. She is the author of two poetry collections, Balloon Pop Outlaw Black and Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals, a New York Times Notable Book. Follow her on Twitter @TriciaLockwood