‘Lure’ – poems by Alison Lock

Another new publication from Calder Valley Poetry.

Here, a woman writes for her life. The resulting book is transformative, a liminal journey into the bones of a seemingly familiar landscape with the power to kill or save. Lure is unafraid, the work of a remarkable poet.
                                                                                                      Cathy Galvin

Out of physical trauma, Alison Lock creates a gorgeous lyric evocation of a unique part of Yorkshire, and therefore the world.
                                                                                                      Robert Minhinnick

To order, follow the link – https://caldervalleypoetry.com/book-shop/. If this doesn’t work, go in to www,caldervalleypoetry.com and click on ‘Bookshop’. Scroll down until you reach ‘Lure’.

‘A Gowpen’ – poems by John Duffy

New publication from Calder Valley Poetry.

‘Deeply felt, meticulously crafted and always musical … full of human warmth and compassion.’                                                                                                                                                    Jo Haslam  

‘John Duffy asks us to attend to detail, to attune ourselves with precision to the small, deep moments in life … rich with intensity.’                                                       Zetta Bear

YouTube ‘launch’ video out soon. Details to follow.

To order, follow the link – https://caldervalleypoetry.com/book-shop/. If this doesn’t work, go in to www,caldervalleypoetry.com and click on ‘Bookshop’. Scroll down until you reach ‘A Gowpen’.

What’s a gowpen, you’re wondering? A mere £8.70, inc p&p, will supply the answer. And provide you with much, much more.

 

Sodium 136 – Carole Bromley

Kate Clanchy’s response to Carole Bromley’s pamphlet, Sodium 136, recently published by Calder Valley Poetry, and available through the following link – https://caldervalleypoetry.com/book-shop/

‘Most of us, now, experience a passage of time in hospital, either as patient or carer, and the extreme, debilitating, animal emotions that go with such closeness to mortality. We tend, though, when we return to our lives, to say little about what we have seen, perhaps because is too dark to bear. Sodium 136 opens up one of these purgatorial journeys with honesty, unsparing clarity, and scalpel like precision. This book sheds light on our dark places. I will remember it for a long time.’

Launch of Sodium 136

Clare Shaw says of Carole Bromley’s Sodium 136, a sequence of poems written almost two years ago during a long spell in hospital for brain surgery, ‘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.’

Last evening, in the Marriott Room at York Central Library,  Carole read to a sell-out audience. The fear and anxiety of serious illness are there in the poems, but so is courage, humility and humour. All these qualities were brought out in a sensitive reading.

Carole was supported by poets Stuart Pickford, with shrewd observations about running obsession, and Emma Storr, who read from her best-selling 2019 collection, Heart Murmur.

Sodium 136 and Heart Murmur are both available from http://www.caldervalleypoetry.com.

Mick Jenkinson Launch: ‘When the Waters Rise’.

Don’t miss the launch of Mick Jenkinson’s debut collection.

This Thursday, at The Leopard, 2, West Street, Doncaster, DN1 3AA, 7.30 pm. 

‘Jenkinson’s deft and musical use of form and rhyme … gives these poems a timeless quality.’ Stephanie Bowgett

‘… accessible, engaging and precise … an excellent collection’. Ian Parks

Carole Bromley reviews ‘Heart Murmur’ by Emma Storr

In this outstanding debut pamphlet, Emma Storr, medic and poet, gives us a masterclass in how to write about medicine.
Equally at home writing about the personal or the professional, she shows us the experience of the patient as well as the doctor. I loved ‘Delivery’ with its calm account of the experience of an emergency section from the mother’s point of view. In this twin delivery

‘Midnight slipped between their births,
the witching hour split in two.’

Elsewhere, we see the GP’s human side when a patient ‘took off half her face’ and placed it on the desk. She admits to ‘my own repulsion/ veiled with fascination’.
‘Six-week Check’ is one of two poems placed in the Hippocrates Prize and deservedly so. We feel we are examining the infant with the poet who notes ‘your baked cub-like scent’ and seems moved anew by this new life in her hands, though ending on a humorous note ‘We won’t need to meet again.’
Humour, too, in the beautifully controlled anger behind the poem ‘Clinical Trials’ in which she forensically examines a relationship in technical language which breaks down at the end of each stanza with the words ‘you bastard’. The poem ends

‘You did not have ethics approval.
Your control group was out of control.
Your random sampling was not so bloody random.
You bastard’

The revenge is sweet and this one goes down particularly well at readings!
I loved the title poem, ‘Heart Murmur’ for its intelligent and effective mix of the clinical and the emotional in delicately controlled couplets.

‘My heart doesn’t have to think.
It works on impulse: squeeze, relax.
It speeds up when I climb hills,
slow dances during sleep
until it’s hijacked, slewed by lust,
the chemicals of longing’

There is emotion in the job, too. Doctors make mistakes and there is real sadness and empathy in ‘Missed’

‘I prescribed you medicine.
I didn’t think when you told me.
The scan shocked us both.
I am a bad doctor. I failed you.’

There is a generosity about the sharing of such experiences as well as those poems in which the poet turns her observant eye onto herself, as in ‘Your Skin’ which is a beautiful and honest look at a woman’s life through the changes which take place in her skin;
‘History is seared
in its layers
the half-moon burn
the white tracks of
your babies’ escape
that burst appendix’

Honesty, too, in rueful reflections on the limitations of what a GP can do for her patients
‘Every ten minutes
a patient leaves
gripping a script
for plasters,
pills, placebos –
I didn’t want to sign.’
There is a wide variety of form in this collection too and a sureness of touch which promises great things when Emma Storr brings out a full collection. I can’t wait to read it. In the meantime I really recommend sampling her work in this excellent pamphlet. Read it. You will be in safe hands.

Carole Bromley lives in York. Winner of 2019 Hamish Canham Award, she has a new collection due out from Valley Press in 2020 and a pamphlet, Sodium 136, will be published by Calder Valley Poetry in November. http://www.carolebromleypoetry.co.uk Twitter @CaroleBromley1
Order your copy of Heart Murmur by Emma Storr (Calder Valley Poetry) here: https://caldervalleypoetry.com/authors/emma-storr/

Todmorden Book Festival

Todmorden Book Festival, 8 November, 11am. Readings by Tom Cleary, Charlotte Wetton and Peter Riley, all published by Calder Valley Poetry. A lovely session with the three poets at their most eloquent in front of an appreciative and full audience at Todmorden Library. Thanks to June and Roberta for the invitation.

Photo shows, from the left, an anxious looking publisher, Bob Horne, and three smiling poets, Tom Cleary, Charlotte Wetton and Peter Riley.