REVIEW: The Book of Hours by Lucy English

REVIEW: The Book of Hours by Lucy English

Burning Eye Books

by Deborah Harvey

It’s often noted how rare it is for a poet to straddle the gap between page and performance poetry successfully. Lucy English has managed to keep a foot firmly in both camps for many years, and with her new project The Book of Hours), she has added an extra genre, that of poetry film.

It’s an ingenious idea – a calendar of poems that re-imagine the illustrated psalter of mediaeval literature for a secular, 21st century readership/audience. Lucy is supported in this endeavour by her extensive knowledge of the both fields, coupled with a poetic voice that is especially well suited to the demands of poetry film.

For all that there are mentions of stained glass, doom paintings, sun dials and psalmicly panting sheep, the subject-matter of the poems is resolutely secular. Churches are places to be visited in a spirit of curiosity rather than…

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Thoughts on Poetry by Carolyn O’Connell

Vale Royal Writers' Group Blog

Poetry was a feature in the November meeting as Ruth and I will both be reading in the Elevenses slot in the Cheshire Literature Festival and that, together with Liz and other poets reading in the meeting, led to a discussion of the type of poetry written and accepted today.

I am only a new member of the group having lived in Cheshire for just a year and therefore I hope you forgive anything that might be unhelpful or known to other members.  Let me introduce myself, I am a poet, writing in this form rather than any other. Why?  Well I’ve always been interested in writing but it was only when disability due to a back injury reared its head that I was able to find the opportunity to write. I don’t have the back for novels – the hours needed at a desk are too much.  In 1996…

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The Quality of Mersey

Had the following poem in this anthology celebrating the river and its voices . It was inspired by Jon Gorman and edited by Barry Woods and is dedicated to the memory of the late Cheshire poet  Tonia Bevans.  Over 40 poets have poems in this celebratory anthology which was launched on National Poetry Day. Contact barrywwods221@hotmail.com for a copy £3.99 including postage.

Début
Carolyn O’ Connell

Your song beats beneath M60’s ring roads, Merseyway
bringing ballads of the Goyt and Tame, the colours
of long gone dyes, cloth woven, and the hint of heathers
held in water, murmurs from the moor’s high gorge.

Despite your ride beneath Stockport’s sixties concrete
here the drooping hands of urban trees catch your birth,
cradling you in industries track, concrete, rags of cotton
spun in the mills you and your daughters turned.

Your voice sings the strength of Mercia’s lost kings
Northumberland’s craving peaks and wild seas,
you hold strong the boundary trench between
Cheshire and Northumbria still.

Slim trace here of the anthems you’ll extol,
that rushing travellers hear – unmoved or
unheeding shoppers snub; Heaven’s Gift
begins its winding melody of life until

it rings abroad as your wide skirts dip the Atlantic
and Liverpool harmonizes your history with the sea  ©

 

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David Varley, On Reflection (September 2018)

Vale Royal Writers' Group Blog

Driven by long-burning feelings of guilt, I finally surrendered to the inevitable and volunteered to do the blog. But what to do? What could I possibly put here?

I decided it was time to lay out some reflections from a not-terribly-new-anymore member of VRWG, and consider what the group means to me and how it’s affected my approach to writing. I’m not sure how long I’ve been a member, but I dimly recall two summer parties and (through the alcohol fog) two Christmas binges. Long enough, then, to be trusted with the sacred duties attendant on being the Hot Drinks Monitor™, but not long enough to have penetrated all the group’s mysteries (such as how Bob remembers everybody’s name, or how Bill never gets a round in despite having access to the VRWG riches).

I have always been a writer for as long as I can remember, but before joining…

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Picaroon Poetry – Issue #13 – September 2018

Picaroon Poetry

Picaroon is back, with our last issue of 2018 – but don’t be sad. There will be a bit of a break, but we get back to our normal bi-monthly schedule in January. Also: we are now OPEN for submissions after our summer break, so please check our guidelines and send us your best rogue poems.

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a brief reflection on the disease known as Brexit, by Martin Hayes

Very clever

I am not a silent poet

28 cows in a field
in which 1 of the cows has contracted
multiple cell dysfunction order.

Like what can happen in a failed experiment.

Like what can happen to anything
caught on the sticky peripheries
of a spider web.

Like what can happen in a disconnected blender
that comes alive while your fingers are still inside
trying to clean away the unwanted pulp
from its rotors.

Or when you run your finger hard
over a cracked mirror
above an old milk bottle;
the hordes of bacteria having gathered
at the summit of the congealed shoulder-blade-shape of what’s left
charging, blood-stained now
up and down the shallows of the host’s spinal fluid,
the network of significant afterthoughts
and hindsights,
confused as a rat in an upturned bucket.

The signs of this cellular dysfunction are:
a little blood appearing at the nostrils
on a warm August evening
while watching paint dry,

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The Dizziness of Freedom / a poetry anthology on mental health, edited by Amy Acre and Jake Wild Hall

This is an an important anthology to have

I am not a silent poet

DizzinessOfFreedom_COVER

Fifty of contemporary poetry’s most exciting voices speak out about mental health in this groundbreaking anthology. Edited by Amy Acre and Jake Wild Hall. Foreword by Melissa Lee-Houghton. Supported by Arts Council England.

BUY NOW

Discounted copies available at our upcoming launch events.

Featuring work from Amy Acre, Raymond Antrobus, Mona Arshi, Dean Atta, Joel Auterson, Rob Auton, Dominic Berry, Mary Jean Chan, Sean Colletti, Iris Colomb, Jasmine Cooray, Dizraeli, Caleb Femi, Maria Ferguson, Kat François, Anne Gill, Salena Godden, Jackie Hagan, Jake Wild Hall, Emily Harrison, Nicki Heinen, Gabriel Jones, Anna Kahn, Malaika Kegode, Luke Kennard, Sean Wai Keung, Cecilia Knapp, Melissa Lee-Houghton, Amy León, Fran Lock, Rachel Long, Roddy Lumsden, Katie Metcalfe, Rachel Nwokoro, Kathryn O’Driscoll, Gboyega Odubanjo, Jolade Olusanya, Abi Palmer, Bobby Parker, Deanna Rodger, C.E. Shue, Lemn Sissay MBE, Ruth Sutoyé, Rebecca Tamás, Joelle Taylor, Claire Trévien, David Turner, R A Villanueva, Byron Vincent, Pascal Vine…

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