Please click the titles to access the link pages.
report from the judenplatz
The new expanded edition of Report from the Judenplatz with the director’s version of the play and contributions from some of the Taunton cast is now available at my guest readings and on Amazon. .
Written over the four years following the publication of Too Late for the Love Hotel, the poems in Safe Passage were not imagined as part of the Oversteps collection in which they so happily found themselves. So for each poem that reached the book, there was at least one waiting in the wings, unchosen, clamouring, finally uncalled. Composing the collection was rather like making up a jigsaw from twice the number of pieces that were required. The final picture was much more provisional and tentative than it was complete.
I chose an Aldo Patocchi woodcut, Uccelli di passo ( birds of passage ) for the cover design.
A wooden surface carved and chiselled away to discover light within the dark plane of the inked-up printing block – this unexpectedly became my personal metaphor for my book. It was important that the cover image was a woodcut rather than a pen drawing : a drawing would have laid dark thoughts/ black moments on a clean white field and made quite a different statement about the lives who passage through my book. My more fortunate characters find ways to discover light in a rather sombre, often alarming world. Light has to be worked for/ is threatened with extinction/ is found in surprising places/ is all the more dazzling against the background of the dark.
A dealer in pictures is what I am, a poet said…
The light in the Safe Passage poems doesn’t seem to be a metaphor for an otherwordly state of grace. Light is simply standing in for / the visual equivalent of its near namesake, life. The incalculable blessing. The incalculable good. In its quirky, metropolitan, troubled, yearning, rather old-fashioned, unambitious way Safe Passage is a passionately hopeful and optimistic little book. If you look again at the cover, you can see that darkness does indeed seem to be gathering about the buildings, but the birds are flying, together, out of the dark passage in the left hand sky and towards the light.
Life does sometimes engineer the reprieve of her Illyrian nightingales.
Even as the most beautiful of cities sinks beneath its weight of corruption, mass tourism and tackiness….
Look at our lagoon, signori.
Luce sull’acqua. The light of heaven.
The dancing of the water.
Safe Passage is available from Oversteps Books