As the year comes to a close, three wintry poems for the longest nights.

Read for TOAST by poet and novelist Lavinia Greenlaw, acclaimed British poet and winner of the Ted Hughes award.

Reading Akhmatova in Midwinter and Night Photograph by Lavinia Greenlaw. The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy.

"I've written more about winter than any other time of year, travelling to places such as the Arctic, Iceland and Orkney in December. Reading Akhmatova in Midwinter is about an ice-storm I experienced in the US, which left every tree, every blade and bud, precisely glazed. Anna Akhmatova was a Russian poet who lived through hardship and revolution, and never lost her clarity. Night Photograph was written when crossing the Channel. I wanted to describe darkness at sea but, like all winter light, it turned out to be full of unexpected illumination. As is Thomas Hardy's The Darkling Thrush, which being about small but persistent hope in a dark world is very much of our time". Lavinia Greenlaw.

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An introduction to chosen poems by Lavinia Greenlaw

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A Reading - Reading Akhmatova in Midwinter by Lavinia Greenlaw

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A Reading - Night Photograph by Lavinia Greenlaw

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A Reading - The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy

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New editions of Lavinia Greenlaw's collections Night Photograph and A World Where News Travelled Slowly are published on 18 February 2016.

These poetry readings were recorded for TOAST at the Faber & Faber office in Bloomsbury, London. Sign up to Faber Members here to receive exclusive offers, events news and more from Faber & Faber

Thank you for being a part of TOAST. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and peaceful New Year.

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