Part 2: The Built Moment (Spring to Summer)

Lavinia Greenlaw

A series of texts drawing on Lavinia Greenlaw's experiences of the immediate, everyday world as it unfolds through the present moment.


I keep deleting these cities.
Over-constructed, they rattle with detail.
Let there be ground and places where ground gives shape
to where it’s missing. Think of crossing a room
and finding at its centre a small but infinite ravine.


Three kinds of bird song at four a.m.

My father rises whenever. He runs a bath at four a.m. and wanders into his neighbours’ rooms. Nothing tells him not to open doors or that it is dark. Is it never dark for him now? The last time he could tell me what he did all day he said  ‘I run things in my head.’ I lie awake at four a.m. and think about his head. The bombed streets and brute structures. Uncoupled engines shunting themselves up and down brief tracks.


Here we present extracts from the wider body of work. 


Lavinia Greenlaw’s most recent book of poems, The Built Moment, incorporates work that evolved out of 'Stay Where You Are' in a sequence about her father’s dementia. Her other work includes The Importance of Music to Girls, a short film called The Sea is an Edge and an Ending, and Audio Obscura, an immersive experience of interrupted and heightened perception that was commissioned by Artangel and which won the 2011 Ted Hughes Award. She has also received NESTA and Wellcome Fellowships to support her work in perception, landscape, and making and reading the image. She was the first artist-in-residence at the Science Museum and is currently Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London.

This piece was commissioned as part of the 'Stay Where You Are' project, alongside works by Jem Finer, Jay Griffiths and Ben Rivers. 'Stay Where You Are' was curated and produced by Steven Bode of Film and Video Umbrella and Gareth Evans. Supported by Jerwood Arts. Film and Video Umbrella is supported by Arts Council England.

We use cookies to give you the best experience when using our site. Continue your visit by dismissing this message or find out more here.