It’s a real honour to be included in this list. My book is in incredible company, alongside some of my poetic heroes and heroines.
‘I’d like to mention one book which moved me to tears, Return by Minor Road, by Heidi Williamson (Bloodaxe): a stunning and heart-breaking look at the Dunblane massacre, the way grief can infuse a place, and what the aftermath (in the literal sense of the beginnings of a new growth) of such an event feels like in such a close-knit community.’
I’m so pleased to be reading at a virtual event for Poetry in Aldeburgh on Sunday 15th November at 12 noon. The Aldeburgh poetry festival is a firm fixture in my poetic year, and though I’m sad not to be heading to the coast to enjoy the company of poets from all over while listening to amazing work, I’m so glad the Festival will go ahead with an online celebration and enjoyment of contemporary poetry.
I’m grateful for the attention reviewers draw to collections, whatever they make of them. So often I find a book I want to read because someone has made me aware of it and interested in what the writer has to say.
During lockdown reviews have been scarcer as many arts and literature establishments abandon their offices and everyone works from home. It’s harder to get books physically to people, and many reviewers are on furlough, and/or overwhelmed with adapting to our changing circumstances.
The Poetry Archive‘s tagline is ‘connecting with the voice of poets’ and I’ve enjoyed listening to so many wonderful poems on their site over many years.
Their 2020 project ‘The Poetry Archive Now!‘ hosts current poems from all over the world for viewers to browse and enjoy on YouTube. It’s a pleasure to be part of a project without boundaries sharing poems.
It was fascinating to read and mull on all the poems. Here’s an extract from my Judge’s report:
Poems are so often visual – reading nearly 400 poems where sound, or lack of sound, was the focus was fascinating. There were many birds, conversations, tinnitus, the unsaid or misheard, onomatopoeic poems, poems aware of their own music, and poems interrogating the rarely heard sounds or enforced silences of lockdown. It was absorbing to enter each and every world submitted.