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A Wild and Precious Life: On Recovery and Community

Virtual Event Virtual Event

August 24 @ 19:30 20:30 BST


Join us as we welcome editors and contributors of the new anthology, A WILD AND PRECIOUS LIFE, for a discussion of recovery and community. The event will be streaming via Instagram Live.

We’ll all experience recovery at some point in our lives, whether from addiction, physical illness, mental health issues or loss. Many of us heal, and we may discover ways to live with our changed selves, to reclaim a life. We may find a new voice, or unearth a voice that has been submerged.

Vitally, recovery can mean community. This anthology represents a community of writers new, unheard voices alongside emerging and established authors. Theirs are stories from the dark back alleys, the deep crevices of the mind, and from the wild, ecstatic heights of life before, during and after recovery. These are voices that urgently need to be heard, in all their variety.

Zoe Gilbert is the author of two novels: Folk (Bloomsbury 2018), which was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize and named an Observer Book of the Year, and Mischief Acts (Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2022). She is the winner of the Costa Short Story Award 2014, and her work has appeared in anthologies and journals in the UK and internationally. With Lily Dunn she is the co-founder of London Lit Lab, where she teaches and mentors writers.

Rob True was born in 1971. Unable to read or write very well, he left school with no qualifications. His wife taught him how to use paragraphs and punctuation aged forty, and he began writing stories. He’s had stories published in various magazines, including Open Pen and Litro Magazine. His first book, Gospel of Aberration was published by Burning House Press. His second book, In the Shadow of the Phosphorous Dawn, was published by Influx Press

Michele Kirsch is a contributor to A WILD AND PRECIOUS LIFE and is also the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Clean, which won the Royal Society of Literature 2020 Christopher Bland Prize. She has also worked as a journalist for most of the broadsheets and is currently working on a novel about the backdrop to the Son of Sam murders in 70s New York, where she grew up.

Gary Bryan is a queer ex-heroin addict turned horticulturalist, musician and Buddhist. He is working towards a career in horticulture or music therapy with a focus on working with LGBTQ+ young people. 

Alex Ali is a WILD AND PRECIOUS LIFE contributor, integrative therapist, father, husband, Devon dweller, and recovery advocate.

Lily Dunn is author of Shadowing the Sun (Portobello Books) and Sins of My Father: A Daughter, A Cult, A Wild Unravelling (W&N, March 2022). She has personal essays in Granta, Litro, Hinterland, MIRonline and The Real Story, and is a regular writer for Aeon magazine. She is co-editor of A WILD AND PRECIOUS LIFE, a collection of stories and poetry from writers in recovery, with Zoe Gilbert (Unbound, May 2021). She teaches creative writing at Bath Spa University and co-runs London Lit Lab.