Merion Jordan – Renaissance man
Quiet, quiet: do not dream
it is the owl parting fronds
of starlight, the water
muttering in abandoned mines …
from Moonrise. A Horse in the Dark
I heard Merion read at Ledbury this year and was blown away by him – witty, varied, fun, and astonishingly erudite for someone who’s still only 30.
Rather than limp along trying to give him due credit, here’s his write-up from the Seren Books page –
Meirion Jordan was born in 1985 in Swansea, Wales, read Mathematics at Sommerville College, Oxford, where he won the Newdigate Prize in 2007. He holds an MA in creative writing from UEA, where he is finishing his doctoral degree. His début Moonrise was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, and his pamphlet, ‘Strangers Hall’ was shortlisted for an East Anglia Book of the Year award. Meirion has been published in Poetry Wales, the TLS, and Gallous, amongst other places. He is influenced by poets David Constantine, Andrew Waterhouse, Gillian Clarke, Geoffrey Hill, Byzantine & mediaeval art, music and science fiction. Meirion’s second collection of poetry is out now, Regeneration.
He’s also a musician, editor and director of Gatehouse Press.
I recommend both his first collection, MOONRISE, and the interesting double book REGENERATION.
The Headscarf Revolutionaries
Brian W. Lavery
This is a non-fiction book, but the much-overlooked story it tells has inspired me to write a sequence of poems which will feature in my next collection ‘No Map Could Show Them’. ‘The Headscarf Revolutionaries’ is a detailed account of the 1968 Hull triple trawler disaster and its aftermath, exploring the life of revolutionary campaigner Lillian Bilocca – dubbed ‘Big Lil’ by the press. After three trawlers from Hull’s fleet sank in rapid succession during a fierce winter, fishwife Lillian put down her filleting knife and took her demands for better shipping safety to Downing Street, despite the death threats and media slurs she faced along the way. Brian W.Lavery’s account is dramatic, but never melodramatic. He tells Lillian’s story with compassion and nuance. Though this isn’t a novel, it immerses the reader in its narrative completely, bringing the harsh realities of life for the men at sea and life for their families back home in Hull into sharp focus.