Thursday, 4 March 2010

March guest: poet Ann Gray, author of 'At the Gate', 'The Man I Was Promised', 'Gronw's Stone' and 'Painting Skin'

Poet Ann Gray is our guest on The Blah Blah Blah Show on Phonic FM on March 7th 2010 from noon until two.

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy recently featured a poem of Ann's in her Daily Mirror column:

One night you’ll come back and I’ll wake
to see you moving noiselessly in your socks,
you’ll look bewildered, nothing’s quite the same.
You’ll be hunting through the drawers,
wondering where your clothes are.
I won’t move or speak, I’ll try not to breathe.
I’ll want to say, look in the wardrobe,
I saved your Levi boots and leather jacket.
I’ll watch you lift photos in their frames,
take them to the window. Some faces
you won’t know. You’ll guess at Beth.
I’ll watch you sink to your knees,
cover your head with your hands.
I’ll hear you whisper, Nick. Nick got married.
I’ll watch you disappear to the bathroom,
hear you brush your teeth, hear you pee,
see you reappear with a glass of whisky.
You’ll sit on the edge of the bed for ages,
until you turn and lift my hair, touch my neck,
then hold your mouth there.
Then you’ll say, so what happened?
and I’ll say, how long have you got?

Carol Ann says: "This comes from the Cornwall-based poet Ann Gray’s new collection At The Gate (Headland, 2008) a powerfully moving sequence of elegies to her partner, who was killed in a car accident. In this poem, the grief of bereavement re-imagines the lover as a Lazarus figure, returning from the dead, puzzled and disconcerted at the small changes in the bedroom and the changing, ongoing lives of the living. The closing question is unbearably poignant, holding a deeper, tragic meaning beneath its colloquial surface." 

Ann is published by Headland.

Ann Gray's collections include 'At the Gate' (2008), 'The Man I Was Promised' (2004), 'Gronw's Stone: Voices from the Mabinogion, co-authored with Edmund Cusick (1997) and 'Painting Skin' (1995). She co-edited 'Having Your Cake and Eating It' (1997), an anthology celebrating food.

"Ann Gray's poetry is a measured but sumptuous revelation, like the sun coming up a few inches at a time."      Clive James

"Ann Gray writes a sensuous poetry... spans a whole range of emotions from the ethereal to the earthy."      Patricia Oxley

"This poet treads the precipice of language gracefully. The unexpected occurs throughout the book... Each poem is an individual insight."      Penelope Shuttle

The cover images of both 'The Man I Was Promised' and 'At the Gate' were painted by Michael Scott (1946-2006).

An exhibition of Michael's work will open at the Billcliffe gallery, Glasgow on October 1st with a book of his work due to be published this year.

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