In just under a month, Paul Henry will read from his remarkable tenth collection, The Glass Aisle, at the Seren/Cornerstone Poetry Festival. In the meantime, please enjoy ‘Festival Field’, one of the poems from the book.
The Glass Aisle is Paul Henry’s tenth book of verse and features all the lyrical precision, empathy for the human condition and deep sense of temporal loss that have become the hallmarks of his work. The poems move between rage and stillness, past and present, music and silence. The title poem is a moving elegy to displaced workhouse residents, set on a stretch of canal in the Brecon Beacons National Park, in which a telephone engineer unwittingly connects the centuries.
Paul’s event at the Seren/Cornerstone Poetry Festival will feature a stunning musical collaboration with singer/songwriter Brian Briggs, lead singer of the band ‘Stornoway’. Tickets are available: book now.
Paul Henry on ‘Festival Field’ (from The Glass Aisle):
An earlier draft of this poem began with cows slithering in the mud of a churned up field, a few days after a music festival. (I was thinking of a field in Portmeirion where ‘The Flaming Lips’ had played). Poor field, like a tourist resort handed back to its quieter self in winter, a patch of land disturbed by who knows what other gatherings across the centuries – fêtes, battles, rituals….
Then I found myself in a smaller field, a smaller festival, in Flintshire, in the late summer – a much calmer affair. There were hay bales scattered about, a blacksmith, real ale, craftspeople sharing their skills… and music, of course. The late sun arrowed about the place and the field, for moments, held all of its time. And love was as old as the field.
Find out more about Paul and his forthcoming events on his website.
The Glass Aisle is available to pre-order from the Seren website: £9.99
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