Zones of Avoidance

~ a multimedia live literature production written and performed by poet Maggie Sawkins & directed by Mark C. Hewitt

Leave a comment

Zones of Avoidance at Winchester Uni


Zones of Avoidance returns to Hampshire in October for a performance at the University of Winchester’s Performing Arts Studios.

Date/time: Saturday 29 October, 7.30pm
Venue: Performing Arts Studio 2, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road SO22 4NR
Tickets: £9.00 / free for students (available on door only)
For advance reservations: contact / 01962 827267 or Barbara Large on 01962 712307  (

*ZOA-46-LowResProduction photo by Nivine F. Keating


1 Comment

Zones of Avoidance in Eastbourne


The next scheduled performance for Zones of Avoidance is 28 June at The Birley Centre, Eastbourne,  linked to a showing of Melanie Manchot’s video installation, Twelve, at The Towner gallery.  Both Twelve and Zones of Avoidance are explorations of addiction and both involve the voices of individuals in recovery. Melanie Manchot will also contribute to the aftershow Q&A at The Birley Centre, which is situated immediately opposite the gallery.

Date/time: Tuesday 28 June, 7.30pm
Venue: The Birley Centre, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 4EF
Tickets: £9.00 (Towner members £8)
Box Office: 01323 452255

 Maggie Sawkins and Melanie Manchot on Brighton’s radio Reverb

Diving into the Wreck

Maggie Sawkins and Mark C. Hewitt have also been developing a parallel production with members of the recovery community in Portsmouth, in which they get to tell their own stories in their own words. Written and performed by former addicts, Diving into the Wreck evokes the secret world of serious addiction; its craziness, nastiness, predictable routines and dark humour. A first performance – to great audience acclaim – was given at The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth, on Sunday 15 May as part of Hampshire Festival of the Mind. Like Zones of Avoidance, the production uses video sequences, recorded voices and live material. There’s a second opportunity to see the performance at the same venue on Friday 17 June as part of Portsmouth Festivities.

Read the online review by Will Sutton: here »K&D 4

1 Comment

Zones of Avoidance at HMP Lewes

On the afternoon of Tuesday 10 November, Zones of Avoidance will be presented as part of Penned Up, a unique literature festival being staged within the walls of Lewes Prison. The work will be presented for prisoners using as much of the stagecraft as possible, such as video and audio, but without the stage lighting, (there being none). This will be followed by a Q&A / discussion. Penned Up, which, so far as we know, is the first literature festival in a prison, has been developed by LLL Productions and runs from 2nd – 12th November.

During the evening, there will be an event with Maggie Sawkins and poet David Swann, upstairs at The Elephant and Castle pub in Lewes, where the two writers will give short readings and talk about their work with marginalised individuals as well as their experience of working in Lewes prison earlier in the day. The event begins at 7pm. Details here »

Read a review by Greg Freeman of one of the recent performances at The Cockpit in London (30 Sept). Click here »

1 Comment

London premiere of Zones of Avoidance

The first London performances of Zones of Avoidance will take place at The Cockpit in Marylebone from 29th September to 1st October. We’d love it if you could help us get the word out!

Three evening performances: 7.45pm (Tues 29 Sept / Weds 30 Sept / Thurs 1 Oct)

Two matinees: Weds 30 Sept at 2pm – followed by Q&A / Thurs 1 Oct at 4pm

Venue: The Cockpit, Gateforth Street, Marylebone NW8 8EH
Tickets: £10
Box Office: 020 7258 2925
Buy them online by clicking here »


Leave a comment

Review of the book Zones of Avoidance

“This year’s winner of The Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry was the former poet laureate, Andrew Motion, for his work based on interviews with soldiers returning from Afghanistan. The previous year’s winner, Maggie Sawkins, wrote about another kind of war in Zones of Avoidance – a daughter’s drug addiction, seen through a mother’s eyes – which has now been published, with other poems, as a collection.

‘Zones of Avoidance’ is a long narrative poem, that with other poems on the same subject, makes up more than half of the book. The often harrowing poetry is built on a tough, unwavering rhythm and music in its lines that is unobtrusive, like a compere unwilling to spend too much time in the spotlight …

Thus the title poem begins: “I’m reading The Confessions of an English Opium Eater – / I want to understand what drove my daughter out in the snow. … ”

Read the full review by Greg Freeman on the Write Out Loud website by clicking here »



Book launch in Chichester

The publication by Cinnamon Press of  Zones of Avoidance was celebrated at a book launch in Portsmouth on Sat 28 March.

Read Greg Freeman’s online review of the event »

A second book launch and poetry reading by Maggie Sawkins will be held at the University of Chichester on Weds 29 April, (5.15 – 6.15 pm).

Venue: Room H144, University of Chichester, Bishop Otter Campus, College Lane, Chichester, PO19 6PE