Reviewed by Kim Moore
Gill Nicholson, a local Ulverston poet launched her first collection at The Kings Head in Ulverston on the 21st October. Despite many people going by mistake to the King’s Arms, by 8.00pm the pub was full. I assume everyone found their way there in the end. There wasn’t room for more anyway! Many of the areas literary great and good were there to support Gill-Neil Curry, Jennifer Copley and Pauline Keith to name but a few.
Throughout the night it struck me what a fantastic atmosphere there was, which is indicative of the supportive poetry scene in South Cumbria. This was enhanced by the free wine and nibbles and by the wonderful flowers which David, Gill’s husband, had placed on the tables,but I think Gill is largely responsible for this through her staunch commitment, not just to promoting poetry events in the area (being a founder member of ‘A Poem And A Pint’ committee, who organise poetry events) but also through her support and encouragement of other poets, which I have certainly experienced first hand. It was gratifying to see Gill being rewarded for her own work.
Her collection ‘Naming Dusk In Dead Languages’ is printed by Handstand Press and looks fantastic, with striking photography on the front. Gill read for ten minutes in a concise, well structured and generous reading, taking us through an extraordinary childhood and break up of a marriage to name just two of the themes.
I read through the book when I got back home and then re read it the next day. It is a high quality collection and I was glad to see one of my favourite poems of Gill’s – ‘Meeting You’ was included. For me, the sequence in the middle of the book ‘riding the fireworks’ was very powerful, but I also particularly enjoyed ‘Lena’ a portrait of a girl with special needs. I would recommend the book to anybody, and you can purchase by going straight to Gill’s website (www.gillnicholson.co.uk). I would hurry to get your copy-Gill completely sold out at the reading all 45 books that she had brought with her.Who says poetry doesn’t have an audience anymore?
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