Lavinia Greenlaw: Honour the Small Words

What is it that gives us the urge to say something, to write or to sing? At the beginning of 2021, when we were congratulating her on her successful appearance on Celebrity University Challenge, Lavinia Greenlaw mentioned to us that she had a new book in preparation. ‘It’s a short little thing about voice, presence, art, speechlessness that began in me trying to understand why I wrote a book about music without mentioning having been in a band, made a record, etc. I don’t really know what it is.’ In this event, filmed live at the 2021 Edinburgh International Book Festival, we were delighted to help Greenlaw search for understanding with the launch of her book Some Answers Without Questions. Somewhere between a memoir and a manifesto, it is an exploration of how we find the means to speak and to create even when we are not invited to do so. Greenlaw is renowned for her poetry, novels and plays, as well as her non-fiction works about music, perception and art. Greenlaw joined us on stage in Edinburgh to discuss what is perhaps her bravest, most speculative work to date.

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