I am delighted to hold a copy of my first collection of poetry from Happenstance Press in my hot little hand and weep! Please forgive me for having an emotional moment but it has felt such a long time since the gestation of this work began. Probably when I was eight years old and now? Well, I am much much older than that and probably not much wiser.
The design of this chapbook is great, and the editing with the support of Helena Nelson has been a process of refining and polishing. At times it has felt like shaping a well loved piece of furniture. French Polishing and Poetry? This sounds like some-one’s PHD thesis. The first person I gave a copy of the collection to was my good friend and work colleague Beverley Ward. Beverley is a writer and literature consultant from Sheffield. She read the book home on the train from a meeting we had together and texted me to say the book was ‘genuinely beautiful’ and added ‘I haven’t read poetry I’ve enjoyed so much in years’. As you can imagine, I am thrilled to bits. Here are details of my launch and you are very welcome to come:
Anne Caldwell – Friday 17th October 2008
25 to 30 minutes guest spot, from 9pm.
The readings are in the backroom of Chorlton Library 0161 881 3179
Manchester Road, Chorlton cum Hardy Manchester M21 9PN
For a map and directions, type the postcode into multimap.com
(or the aa, or google maps)
Launch of ‘Slug Language’
www.happenstancepress.com (can buy on line)
Anne Caldwell’s poetry has a strong lyric voice. Her tone is sensuous, earthy and full of wisdom. Many of her poems pay homage to a tradition of nature writing but pose a new sense of urgency: balance is threatened with floods, storms and heat. This is a poet with something to say. Her poems about childbirth and parenthood achieve the ‘difficult combination of intimacy and universality’ (Michael Symmons Roberts). Firmly rooted in landscapes of the North of England, this confident first collection explores the unspoken territories between siblings, parents, children and lovers.
Anne Caldwell is fascinated by bones and music, sea and stone. Theses elements form a backbone of imagery in her work as solid as the Pennine hills in which she now lives.
‘Pain and joy are equal contenders in these poems, but delight is what wins through-delight and tenderness.’