Carole Bromley

Carole Bromley lives in York where she has taught in schools and for York University. Twice a winner in the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition, she has also won many prizes, including the Bridport, Brontë Society, Torbay, Yorkshire Open and the 2019 Hamish Canham Award.

 Carole has two pamphlets and three collections with Smith/Doorstop. A fourth, The Peregrine Falcons of York Minster, will be published by Valley Press in 2020. She is the York Stanza rep and runs poetry surgeries in York.

 Many of the poems in this pamphlet were written in Hull Royal Infirmary where Carole had pituitary surgery in 2018.

If poetry’s work is to speak to the universal through the particular, then Sodium 136 is a triumph. With the profound insight of personal experience, Carole Bromley captures the complex experience of serious illness, affording equal worth to the mundane and terrible with a beautiful and uncompromising directness. This is not just a record of physical suffering – it is a powerful and profoundly intelligent exploration of grief, gratitude, fear, love, and joy. Poetry at its best.

                                                                                                                                                        Clare Shaw

In a sequence of beautifully observed, deceptively simple poems, Carole Bromley reminds us that life in hospital is made of longeurs, black comedy, tedium, discomfort, pain, fear and boredom, punctuated by small triumphs and fleeting pleasure. With understated technical craft and economy, she takes us through torment andsurgery to relief and release.

                                                                                                                                                          John Foggin

These are remarkable, extraordinary poems.                                                         Peter Sansom

Benign Cyst Pressing on Optic Nerve

The old lady opposite doesn’t know                                                                                                                what day it is. I tell her Sunday                                                                                                                       though I’m losing track myself.

All night she laboured back and                                                                                                                         forth to the toilet                                                                                                                                                          and didn’t close the door,

it took four of them to get her                                                                                                                               into bed. Liz has lost                                                                                                                                                   the use of both of her legs.

Sharon says the doctor told her                                                                                                                            she was going nutty.                                                                                                                                               She’s missing her dogs

and has photos of them                                                                                                                                             on a pillow under her head.                                                                                                                                    She thinks she will lose her kids.

Jean lay for thirty hours on her floor.                                                                                                                  She tells me with pride: I managed                                                                                                                                to only wet myself three times.

Today I’m not crying. I’m resigned                                                                                                                          to the drip and the long wait                                                                                                                                     to be transferred to Hull

where I will meet                                                                                                                                                          the man who will drill                                                                                                                                           inside my skull.