In autumn 2019 the anthology This Place I Know (Handstand Press, 2018) £10.00 ISBN:978-0-9576609-6-0 was awarded won first prize in the award for poetry and literature at the Lakeland Book of the Year awards and was also a very close runner up for the Book of the Year. Hunter Davies said some very complimentary things about the anthology, commenting on the quality and range of poetry and the professionalism of the publication. He recommended it as the ideal holiday read. 

A new publication: The Archaeologist’s Daughter was published as a pamphlet by Wayleave of Lancaster in April 2019.

ISBN: 978-1-9999728-3-7 Price:£5.00/C$7.50

Here are two poems from the book:

The Archaeologist’s Daughter is in love
(and 20)

her lips graze his lips,
wander his cheekbones
like a camel hair brush
clarifying a tanned fragment
of anonymous,
five hundred year old skin
in a dry crypt –

she is conscious of this
as metaphor,
as fact,
but the fragrance of it,
the soft saltiness,
this is all new.

she uses her hand
as a trowel,
scrapes cloth
from the spine knots,
the smooth spider leg curve
of rib after rib.

the pulses trouble her,
the patterns and pauses of breath –
his hollowness
is full of substance,

an artefact of sensation
that tangles her centres of pure thought
with the fine sweetness
of temporary dissolution.

She ponders mortality in the cemetery of a Roman brothel
(on the outskirts of York, England; she is 62)

she is working in a trench
nearly ninety centimetres deep.
it is late fall.
she is wearing fingerless gloves
over the silky white forensic plastic,
a thick wool scarf and balaclava.
her knee pads are already damp.

the site
has been stripped
of the top metre and a half
of subsoil.
it is all mud, half frozen now.
it is cold enough
to snow.

a white cat is hunting a vole
in a clump of dead nettles
under the wheels of a huge
mechanical digger –
this is an image to distract.
she did not think
she could still be so moved.

the foetus is full term,
the skull cradled by a placenta of reddish earth.
now she lays bare the tiny vertebrae,
imagining the tension of bone and tendon
straining for air,
the mother’s jawline frozen
in mid scream –

her granddaughter
brings her
a flask of hot tea.
she cradles it in her hands,
her own joints for new pains.
perhaps this will be her last dig.

© Antony Christie March 2019

Buy The Archaeologist’s Daughter by email from the publisher or author or on line from The Poetry Book Society.

Also available from Great Books, Williamsford and Booklore, Orangeville.

After a somewhat fraught editorial process the anthology ECHOES was finally published in December 2019. It features the work of twelve poets at present writing in the area of Grey County in Ontario around the town of Durham in West Grey Municipality. The poems in the anthology were chosen by the poets themselves and give the reader an insight into the range of poetic talent found in an area well known for its art galleries and craft workshops but somewhere that poetry, music and a variety of literary genres, including novels, memoirs and biographies also flourish. Some of the contributors have been writing, publishing and performing for many years; some have added poetry to their range of interests much more recently, but what is striking in the collection is the way the individual poets have worked carefully with language to create for themselves a poetic style and voice that can communicate directly with the reader. It is a varied and well balanced anthology. 

At the moment the anthology is available only from the poets themselves, and there are few copies left.

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