Poetry by John Wedgewood Clarke – 27 April

John Wedgewood Clarke

Picture of Scarborough - featured in John Wedgewood Clarke's poetry

Are you a poetry fan?

Then you’re in for a treat when John Wedgewood Clarke comes to Huddersfield Art Gallery on Monday 27 April at 7.30pm.

John will be introducing his new book of poetry ‘Ghost Pot’ which is sure to evoke memories for anyone who has spent a holiday on the North Yorkshire coast.

The poetry in the ‘Ghost Pot’ is about Flamborough Head in the south and Skinningrove in the north, taking in Filey, Scarborough, Whitby and other less well-known places on the way.

What is a Ghost Pot?

The title of the book, Ghost Pot, refers to the name given to a lobster pot when it’s torn free from its anchorage and marker buoy, rendering it irretrievable from the seabed.

The pot doesn’t disappear, but continues to catch lobsters, each new catch acting as bait for the next until it’s crammed with their shells. This image, and the poem it led to, helped John to focus his thinking about the book. Not only did he want to tap into scientific, literary and historical ‘readings’ of the coast, but also to explore how a landscape may offer resonant images that help us to think about emotional matters, as well as a sense of being both in and out of place.

Who is John?

John Wedgwood Clarke was born in St Ives, Cornwall in 1969. He trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, before going on to study literature and completing a D.Phil. in Modernist poetry at the University of York. He set up the Beverley Literature and Bridlington Poetry Festivals, and ran them for ten years, before leaving to pursue a full-time career in writing and editing, as well as teaching Creative Writing at the University of Hull. He lives in Scarborough.

This event is being organised by Read Kirklees, a campaign run by New Writing North that partners with libraries and publishers to give readers the chance to meet authors in their local libraries. As well as the author events, all of the Read Regional titles are stocked in 19 library authorities across the region, creating a wealth of northern literature available to borrow.

Tickets are £1 on the door.

Sea Buckthorn – John Wedgewood Clarke

Hippophae, glittering horse –

another name

for this stubby North Sea shrub

with olive-like leaves,

fruit more stone than flesh,

at home on motorways

and here, where frost

scallops tideline and colour

gives form the slip,

its berries lifting from thorns

in thin orange smoke

up Tenants Cliff,

the sea tin-lit,

tilting in slightly, anchoring

air, landslip, stripped white trees,

crows grinding out

many centres of the coming night.

Photo courtesy of  MendhakCreative commons license 

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