It’s been something of a hobby horse of mine for a long time that this country’s rich variety of regional accents and language is hardly represented in our poetry. I blame the old grip of Oxford on what is the proper language for poetry. What does exist tends to be in the folk tradition (fisherman or ploughing) or northerners (self included) banging on about the Tories. But little contemporary that really celebrates the vernacular richness of our many voices.
So I fell upon this book with much anticipation and from the first line: When I became a bird, Lord, nothing could not stop me at last! the real deal, proper poetry you can read with enormous pleasure again and again. It honours the glories of the Black Country’s idiosyncratic and self-deprecatory voice with grace. Better still go and hear Liz Berry read from it and witness a room struck dumb by her quiet voice.