Over the 40-something years I’ve been writing poetry, I’ve been involved in a number of interdisciplinary and often land-based arts projects, frequently collaborating with other writers, artists, sculptors, dancers and musicians.
My work has been displayed on buses and cathedral websites, has appeared in numerous anthologies, been etched into glass, embedded into a cycle track, hung from trees, printed on T-shirts, carved into stone, metal and wood, painted onto bicycle-drawn flags, sung, composed to, choreographed, danced, performed – and eaten by sheep.
I’ve frequently collaborated with visual & sound artist Michael Fairfax; below is one of his pieces incorporating a poem of mine (carved and spoken). We’re currently cooking up a new project in a forest.
You can read a poem from my latest book, A Trick of the Light – poems from Iona just published in the Spring 2019 issue of Green Spirit magazine at: PoemPage29_GreenSpirit_Sp19magazine; and see my various books (poetry, novels and creative non-fiction) here.
There’s more of our work together in some instruments Michael has made with my haiku carved on them on this blogpost of mine: http://roselle-angwin.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/light-and-sound.html
Below are a few other poems. I’m also delighted to announce that my first collection, Looking For Icarus, has recently been republished. You can read sample poems and order it by clicking here. You can also hear a rather strange little piece from Icarus with atmospheric sound accompaniment by Nigel Rushbrook here (this was composed in southwest France at 3 a.m. one morning while in much pain from broken ribs).
Summer solstice poem, June 21st 2014
In the throat of the valley the brook is a trickle of song
coming out of darkness and homing to light and ocean
between the sussurations of midsummer grass and birdsong.
A year and a year and a year and still the world issues its questions –
sometimes the answers show themselves in full sun
sometimes the same faint question drags the same furrow, in shade
winter by winter a little deeper, a little more raw. We have no choice
but to turn towards the question and be willing to drink it deep. In
the dusk the roe deer treads quivering the path through the valley –
I track it into the woods, and the shadows of who I’ve been follow me.
Here, the new long-tailed tits quicken the oak tree above our heads
and the magpies thieve the first few currants. Like the year each year
again and again we come to this point of absolute ripeness high
in our own skies, and again and again we fall from the tree, have to reseed
ourselves into the rich ground, just as the earth now falls away
from the zenith, begins once again its long descent to what it needs to be.
© Roselle Angwin 2014
Winter Solstice Poem, December 21st 2013
Just now, in the full night of midwinter’s night
over the traffic and the cop-cars and the late shoppers,
down at the bottom of the hill in the car park
where the red dogwoods flame, a robin started up
her strong ribbon of song in the lee of the storm, and as I
drive up the hill, window open to let in the dark,
a second starts up, and then on the brow another,
each singing its loud hymn to the night and the cloud
and the brimming tapers of stars between, and this,
this, must surely be grace, a moment’s inbreath, in our
onwards rush, on this northern side of this lost-in-space
spinning-back-towards-the-light planet, our home star.
© Roselle Angwin 2013
In 1998 I was commissioned to write a long Devon poem to be taken into 3 secondary schools and 6 rural primaries. The idea was to bring age groups together to celebrate the local environment with creative compositions – poetic, musical, dance-based – using my poem as a starting point. I wrote about the Dartmoor landscape and rivers. The whole project was exciting and stimulating, and there’s lots more to say but what’s relevant here is that this year I brought out a limited signed edition (300 books) of the poem accompanied by the stunning Dartmoor water photographs of Vikky Minette.
‘River Suite’ would make an excellent Christmas present, perhaps? It’s 40pp (many photographs), and £15 plus p&p. You can buy it via Paypal on my blog:
and you can read the first section here: http://roselle-angwin.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/river-suite-2-section-1.html#!
And you can hear me reading the whole poem on Sound Cloud here.
I’ll be posting more poems here later. For the moment, here’s a recent poem that appears in the Dark Mountain 4 anthology (http://dark-mountain.net/stories/books/book-4/), and below that is a link to a page on one of my publishers’ websites for poems from my most recent poetry collection, All the Missing Names of Love. Below that again, you can find a link to my prose poem collection, Bardo.
Things that the light shines on
(title from a poem by Paul Matthews)
Here the storm has passed, sharpening
the landscape into a clearer focus
so that the buddleia candles gleam
with a fierce deep light
I imagine you standing somewhere
in conversation with a waterfall, the rain –
all of it, with all of you
I love the truth that mind is not limited
to just here and now, but can travel continents
in seconds, cross entire galaxies
in the space of a single phrase
or perch on the event horizon
and collapse any and every wave
into a probability of the God particle
and can also choose to come to rest
here on top of the flowering privet
where, after the rain, a family of young warblers
makes light and song and flesh
from specks of pollen and insect-dust.
I’ve just refound this one. It comes from a year-long residency I did in Hestercombe Gardens in Somerset as part of the Year of the Artist in 2000-2001, working collaboratively as one of a team of multidisciplinary artists (the other 7 were visual and sound people):
Wind the witches’ way
Be language of daisy
Read pipistrelle song, ride the crow’s flight
Weave spells of bird-tracks on winter sky
Be crowned with mistletoe and ivy
Scry the light in the moon-pool’s silver eye
Be dawn, be dusk,
Be the star-stung face
Of night embracing day.
© Roselle Angwin poem for The Witch’s House at Hestercombe, 2000
For other collections, see