Care and Waiting: Marion Coutts in Conversation with Laura Salisbury – 29 June 2021


Online, Tuesday 29 June 2021, 7-8.30pm (BST)

 Watch Here

Marion Coutts’ award-winning memoir The Iceberg was written in response to the diagnosis, illness and death of her husband, the art critic, Tom Lubbock, who died of a brain tumour in January 2011. The tumour was located in the area controlling speech and language and would eventually rob him of the ability to speak. In short bursts of beautifully textured prose, fury, selfishness, grief, indignity and impotence are brought to light. Yet out of this comes a rare story about belonging and a celebration of the ‘adventure of being and dying’.

During this event, Marion Coutts was joined in conversation by Professor Laura Salisbury to reflect on healthcare, waiting times, and contemporary art, writing and thinking.

This event was part of the 2021 Critical Poetics Summer School, organised by the Critical Poetics Research Group at Nottingham Trent University in partnership with Nottingham Contemporary and Curated & Created at NTU, with broadcast technical support by Metronome.

To find out more about the Critical Poetics Summer School click here.


Photo credit: Alice Rosenbaum

Marion Coutts is an artist and writer. Her work has been exhibited widely nationally and internationally, including solo shows at Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, Chisenhale Gallery, London, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Foksal Gallery, Warsaw. She has held fellowships at Tate Liverpool and Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge and was a Rome Scholar at the British School at Rome. Her first book, The Iceberg won the Wellcome Book Prize in 2015. It was shortlisted for the Costa Book Award, the Samuel Johnson Prize and was a finalist in the US National Book Critics Circle Awards, 2017. In 2018 she was the recipient of The Islands Arts Writing Residency, Fogo Island, Canada. A new publication, Pluton, will come out with Art Metropole, Toronto in 2021. She is a Reader in Art at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Laura Salisbury is Professor of Modern Literature and Medical Humanities at the University of Exeter, where she works in the Department of English and Film and in the Wellcome Centre for the Cultures and Environments of Health. Laura is currently co-PI with Lisa Baraitser from Birkbeck on a 5-year Wellcome-funded project called Waiting Times. This multi and interdisciplinary project examines what it means to wait in and for healthcare. She is President of the Samuel Beckett Society.