Guest Poet: Alison Brackenbury
Alison Brackenbury has published 10 poetry collections. Her work has won an Eric Gregory Award and a Cholmondeley Award. She has read at many major literary festivals, including StAnza, Ledbury and Cheltenham Literature Festival. Her 2016 Carcanet collection, Skies, featured in The Guardian and was one of The Observer's Poetry Books of the Year. Gillian Clarke recently wrote: 'Alison Brackenbury loves, lives, hymns and rhymes the natural world and its people like no other poet'. Alison's most recent collection, Aunt Margaret's Pudding, (HappenStance Press, 2018) celebrated her grandmother. It was the basis of a BBC Radio 4 feature, What Sweetness Touched Your Tongue?, (June 2018), featured in Radio 4's Pick of the Week. Gallop, her Selected Poems, is published by Carcanet (February 2019). It presents her favourites from 40 years of published poems.
You can find more about the pedigree and poems of Gallop at Alison's website: http://alisonbrackenbury.co.uk/
Guest Poet: Rosie Jackson
Rosie Jackson lives near Frome. She has won many awards including 1st prize at Wells 2018 and 1st prize, Stanley Spencer Competition 2017. Widely published - What the Ground Holds (2014) was followed by The Light Box (2016) and The Glass Mother: A Memoir (2016). Rosie has taught at the University of East Anglia, UWE, and Cortijo Romero, Spain.
'It's not easy to take a familiar subject and 'make it new', but here is a poet who addresses personal and mythical griefs with an unflinching gaze and precise, original use of language.' Emily Wills
'Fluid, eloquent poems.' Helen Dunmore
'Stonking good poems.' Jo Bell
30th June 2016, The Swan Hotel, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1LN
It was a huge pleasure to welcome two excellent poets, Alison Brackenbury, and 'our own' Rosie Jackson - and a strong open mic contingent. The assured flow of Alison's performance - with poems smoothly delivered from memory - made for hugely enjoyable sets. Although growing up in Lincolnshire and now living in Gloucestershire, she brought with her many apposite references - to Bath, to river-towns - and a good measure of gentle humour. Her new book, Skies - which is the Observer's Poetry Book of the Month and has been featured on Radio 4 - is one of haunting imagery: stories from her grandfather, 1950s playgrounds and, somehow presiding over it all, 'the lizard older than the afternoon'.
Rosie examined, from various viewpoints in her new book, The Light Box, the idea of absences: the missing spaces inhabited by the likes of Ulysses, Stanley Spencer's first wife Hilda, and Barbara Hepworth, and the world-wide losses stitched into our subconscious in a fractured world, as in her achingly moving poem Had We Known: those who are "kissing mouths they will not meet again", "temples without gods", "heads needing pillows". Rosie's fine and prodigious output continues apace, with her memoir, The Glass Mother (Unthank) due out in November.