BurnedThumb

Website of poet Elizabeth Rimmer


Dear stranger


  • May Reading

    The month started with Paula Jennings’ poetry collection, This is you Dear Stranger, published by Red Squirrel Press. It’s an astonishing book, not only because it was published while both poet and publisher were seriously ill, but because it moves beyond anything I expected from Paul Jennings, whose pamphlet, Under a Spell Place, exploring the experience of dementia, I have loved for a long time. These are strange, daring, tactile poems dealing with the female experience of nature, bodilyness, aging, death and memory. I gobbled this book – it was a delight.

    Windswept by Annie Worsley, published by William Collins. Annie Worsley has written a blog called Red River Croft for several years, and this book is a synthesis of all she has observed and learned in that time. She writes about migrating birds, the return of many wild flower species to the croft under their benign management, but most of all the impact of wind and sea on the experience of living in the landscape of the north east of Scotland.

    A Shakespearean Botanical by Margaret Willes published by the Bodleian Library. I got this from the globe Theatre in London, and it’s a very pretty book, a well-researched introduction to the herbs and flowers mentioned in Shakespeare. If you already know Gerard and Culpeper, there isn’t much new stuff in it, but it does have a teasing hint that Shakespeare might actually have known Gerard, as they were both protegés of the wealthy statesman Lord Burghley.

    Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde. Too well-known to need any introduction, I was blown away by the elegance as well as the power of her writing.

    The New Diary by Tristine Rainer, kindle version published by First Person Press. This is an in-depth look at journalling that goes beyond the aspirational affirming style of more modern texts, to consider personality, memory and relationships in a way that could be playful as well as profound. As I’m dealing with some issues thrown up during the writing of The Well of the Moon – memory, family mythology, boundaries and isolation, I’m finding this level of consideration intriguing as well as helpful.



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