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.
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.
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.