Alternative histories reaching back to the Miners' Stike and beyond, and across global cultures, as written onto the body and told through the craft of body art. Writing history their own way, telling it how it is, prize-winning poet Joelle Taylor's debut novel The Night Alphabet is a deeply personal, gripping tale that crosses time and history to reveal how our stories are written into – and on to – our bodies. She reads from her debut novel and talks to Matt Lodder, whose Painted People tells a broader story of what body art reveals about humanity across time, cultures and continents.
Joelle Taylor is the author of four collections of poetry. Her most recent, C+NTO & Othered Poems won the 2021 TS Eliot Prize, the 2022 Polari Book Prize for LGBT authors, and is currently being adapted for theatre.
Dr Matt Lodder, one of the world’s foremost experts on tattooing, is lecturer in Art History and Theory at the University of Essex.