AlanBakerRiverrunAlan Baker will be reading from his new collection and talking about poetry and place with Aly Stoneman and me at Five Leaves on Tuesday 30th April, 6.30 – 8pm.

Here is an excerpt from Alan’s marvellous Riverrun sonnet sequence…

From Riverrun

from the river to St. Ann’s Well

and Radford Road

always a boundary

when enclosure came

later the loom-breakers

radical bookshops

old stories of picket lines and pensions

funded by scratch cards and lottery tickets

and the Trent had freedom to roam

gathered and guided

a tapestrie of May-month meadows

as if we could all fleet the time carelessly

through the river’s industry a golden age

maybe it will come again


where is Nottingham’s river?

it’s under the ring-road flyover

or meandering out of town

through urban-blight fields

it has no mouth or delta

no loud falls or famous wharves

just a Midland Water Company warehouse

and a ferry no-one ever sees

with no important destination

only stability (that “underpinned industries

and arable production”)

hydrology dictating erosion and deposition

and I’ve had enough of its silences

and enigmatic moods

Alan Baker from Riverrun (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2019)

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