This week sees the publication of Adelle Stripe's third poetry collection, Dark Corners Of The Land on Blackheath Books
I'm slightly biased, but this a classic collection; as good, if not better, than anything out there in poetry right now. It is also a work of art - a hand-crafted object of beauty.
Dark Corners Of The Land comes in a limited edition of 100 numbered copies. The first 50 include a vintage laminated and signed Brooke Bond 'tea card'.
I have been lucky enough to see these poems unfold, evolve and develop through some tough times. These works are visceral, emotional, energised, poignant, violent and exciting.
Ad Adelle explains on her blog: "So finally, after two years of banging my head against the wall, trying to get this collection written, Dark Corners of the Land has arrived. Geraint [Hughes, publisher] has done a cracking job, I’m delighted with the books."
"I think these poems are possibly the most personal I’ve ever written; I’m actually quite relieved to put them out into the world. This is perhaps my last collection for the forseeable, I’ll be concentrating on a new writing/research project in the next few months."
Michael Stewart as done an extensive interview with Adelle here. She explains the inception of the collection:
"I started writing Dark Corners in 2010; it was a difficult time for me personally as my father was critically ill. He collapsed in the milking parlour and was diagnosed with a rare condition called Boerhaave’s Syndrome. He had a torn oesophagus, and it ripped a hole into his lung. The survival rate is low so it was very much touch and go with him. I think he was in hospital for 110 days, so I spent a lot of time talking to him and drifting through various intensive care wards.
"At that point I didn’t know if he would make it, so I started writing down some of his stories as a way of preserving him. I’d write down little snippets of conversations and memories on the train journey home. They gave me some of the raw material for the collection.
"I’d also been reading a few writers that stimulated recollections about growing up in the countryside, D.H. Lawrence, Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney – but mainly Robinson Jeffers. For me, Jeffers is the master of nature poetry, but is hardly ever mentioned in the UK.
"Mytholmroyd is surrounded by incredible landscapes, and I spend a lot of time walking the crags, hillsides, and moor tops around here. It’s impossible not to write about what surrounds you when the scenery is so dramatic. Some of the poems in Dark Corners are set in Calderdale, but most of them were written about Tadcaster and its surrounding areas. I also worked on my cousins’ farm during lambing season, and kept a diary. All of these elements fed into the collection."
Buy a copy of the book here.