First review of my new book

Posted on 23 April 2020

A thorough and thought-provoking review of my new book 'Return by Minor Road', out now with Bloodaxe, has been posted by poet Christopher James

James is a compelling writer - a previous winner of the National Poetry Competition and with several books under his belt. It's so heartening to see how he's read the book and what comes over: 

"This is a book of remembrance, of trauma and grief, but also one of hope, healing and consolation...  'Return by Minor Road' feels like a major achievement. Brilliantly constructed, each poem feels complete in itself, while contributing to a greater whole." 

"Heidi was part of the community in Dunblane at the time of the shooting in the primary school in March, 1996. [The book] is not an attempt to understand the tragedy, but in the words of one of key poems, to ‘reckon’ with it...  Throughout, nature is a companion, a sounding board and at times, almost a commentator on feelings and events.

Some poems tackle its appalling subject head-on, but for the most part, these fine, carefully weighted and minutely observed poems arrive at oblique angles."

"...the lyrical flights are sensational; among the finest nature poetry being written this year...  [the book] is woven together with the grasses and branches, shadowed by rain clouds.

A work of vivid phrase-making and lyrical empathy, it is by turns, a celebration of our spirit, a forensic examination of the soul, and a warning of the darkness that lives at the edges of our lives."

You can read the full review here.