The new Featured Writer is Alison Hill. I met Alison oh, ages ago on a course with Roselle Angwin and was delighted when she recently contacted me again. She has been working with poetry ever since then, being Poet in Residence at Kingston Library and setting up and running a monthly poetry and music event. Her recent new book, Slate Rising, (Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2014) is a wonderful collection that repays reading and re-reading because I find I’m entranced by Alison’s eye for small detail, the precise word, the surprising and apt image, her compassion. The collection as a whole contains strong threads to bind it together. In these meticulously crafted poems the past is always pushing up against the present as the poetry explores voices of women at different times and the pressure of memory in their lives. The opening poem, Loose Change, is well-chosen:
She gives her the gift of life,
a complex love bound up
in her own lost childhood.
Abegail Morley reviewed Slate Rising and wrote, There’s a timelessness, a self-perpetuating cycle of questioning femininity and expectation as these women try to find their way in the world as the past, present and future converge.
I discovered that Alison is also a playwright and I can see clearly how this skill feeds into her poems, strengthening her characterisations. I would like to tell you which are my favourite poems but I’d quote the entire Contents list.
You can order Slate Rising from IDP or from … dare I say it (?)Amazon.
(I am now blogging Featured Writers separately from other content to make my muddled blog less muddled in future!)