Follow this link to Julie Mellor’s poetry blog for her thoughts on the When All This Is Over anthology – https://juliemellorpoetsite.wordpress.com
Jack Faricy’s debut collection, Traces, now available from Calder Valley Poetry.
In his first collection, Traces, Jack Faricy gives us a wonderfully diverse set of poems, united by a keen eye for unexpected detail and technical skill. He is particularly good at the short, tightly-packed poem where every word and line-break is made to count.
Traces is a collection that satisfies on many levels – the language, the ideas, the use of form, the emotional tone.
I think this is an outstanding collection: dispassionate and clear-eyed observation, presented in a variety of well-mastered verse forms … a gift for long complex sentences which turn out to be perfectly understandable and nicely balanced … admirable assurance.
A Gowpen is John Duffy’s fifth publication, and the second with Calder Valley Poetry, following Glamourie in 2016. The poems start with nature, but travel into an uncertain future by way of the gardens of Versailles, Glasgow’s Gallowgate, Walthamstow in London, and a couple of fantasy encounters.
Clearly, the usual launch is not possible, so John’s son, David, has put together a short video in which John reads a few of the poems, chats with his publisher and shares some of his thoughts on poetry and writing.
Follow this link to John Duffy and A Gowpen:
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.
Out of physical trauma, Alison Lock creates a gorgeous lyric evocation of a unique part of Yorkshire, and therefore the world.
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’.
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.
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.’
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.
Don’t miss the launch of Mick Jenkinson’s debut collection.
‘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
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.
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
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/