Lights Bearing West: Book Launch, with Tony Wailey

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Tony Wailey’s latest book, Lights Bearing West, is about memory, place and distance, messages sent, delivered, picked up, put down, kept or discarded. Going away, having adventures and coming home, whether these adventures are first hand or tenth hand, is part of everyone’s trilogy in Liverpool – even for those who have never left the river.  

Trace elements of ancestral blood, Guiness, and the salt of seas and rivers saturate these pages, a document of vast oceans, heartbreak, demented docklands and night visions of Valparaiso… Tony Wailey has a maritime soul and the romantic heart of a poet, and his beauty of a book is a waterfront archive of restless memory and unforgotten ghosts.” – Jeff Young, author of Ghost Town: A Liverpool Shadowplay. 

Lights Bearing West pulsates with the experience, trauma and joy of lives spent at sea. Through vivid personal stories of seafaring work, of connections forged between different places and of union struggles, Tony Wailey brings to life past maritime worlds in ways that speak to crucial contemporary  political questions and concerns.” – David Featherstone, Professor of Political Geography, University of Glasgow 

Tony will be signing copies of Lights Bearing West. 

Tony Wailey was born in Liverpool in 1947. He is the author of eight books, including pocket sized novels and three collections of poetry. Originally a seaman, his work concerns the cosmopolitan nature of the maritime city. He wrote Edgy Cities with Steve Higginson, which had at its central theme the historic flows of people and ideas to and from Liverpool. His latest work concerns the context of place in the narratives of family history. In this second volume of the Diary of the Smyth Waileys, he still finds it amazing that his great uncle, John Brown Wailey, sailed on deck as a fully-fledged, able-bodied seaman aboard a 400-ton sailing ship from San Francisco to Sydney in 1885. He was just nineteen. A hundred years later, Wailey was awarded a Doctorate for his work on Liverpool’s Sea Going Communities and its Seaman’s Union. He realises now how little he knew. 

Smithdown Social Arts Club, 455 Smithdown Rd, Liverpool L15 3JL 

Wednesday 22nd May, 7pm (for 7:30pm start) 

£3 

*These are difficult times. We know some people may struggle to afford full price tickets. If you would like to attend this event but can’t afford to, please contact info@writingonthewall.org.uk. All queries will be treated in confidence.   

If you would like to purchase a gifted ticket for someone who can’t afford it, please buy directly from the event page and we will offer your ticket out.    

Event Details

Date: May 22, 2024
Time: 7:00 pm

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