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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Friday, March 20, 2009
    Poets on the periphery
     
    Seems that Michael Symmons Roberts and Paul Farley have been mooching around (as I am also wont to do) under the Barton Viaduct and other such peripheral zones. They're two great poets and because of that they know there's beauty in the most disregarded places.

    "We decided it was up to us as poets to try change people's minds about England's edgelands. We want to celebrate these overlooked places," Michael Symmons Roberts told the BBC. So these poets of the post-industrial North West have set about writing a book of non-fiction called 'Edgelands - Journeys into England's Last Wilderness' describing such wondrous wildernesses as the land between the Barton Bridge and the Ship Canal, 'an area south of Piccadilly Station that's got railway sidings and a huge freight yard with stacked containers from around the world', and 'the stretch just off the A34 south of Manchester, near Handforth, where an unnamed pool attracts weekend fisherman, between a massive leisure centre and a retail park.'

    The Royal Society of Literature has just awarded them a prize for a synopsis and sample chapter of their incipient work. They know it's going to be that good. It's not due out till 2011. Can't wait.

    Barton Viaduct pic from my Walking the M62 collection
    Thanks Mister Roy for sharing this news