by Anne Ryland
64pp Paperback Perfect Bound
Published June 2006
£7.50 post free in UK.
Anne Ryland was born in Essex in 1962. In 1999 she moved from London up to Berwick-upon-Tweed, where she works as a tutor in adult education. In 2002 she gained an MA in Writing Poetry, with Distinction, from Newcastle University, and in 2005 was awarded a Northern Promise Award from New Writing North. Her poems have been widely published in magazines and anthologies. Autumnologist is her first full-length collection. She enjoys working on her poems in coffee shops and on trains.
Anne Ryland’s poems are unique in their combination of patient exploration and imaginative reach. The poem Silk Escape Map, for instance, begins with the larger gesture ‘She holds the land of Burma in her hands / as if it were a live creature / sent to preserve her until the end’ and then opens out as carefully and revealingly as a valuable folded map. And this poet is adept at the telling phrase: ‘My life is small / but I will make room for him’ (The Tall Man), ‘The quiet will not be the same quiet’ (Listening for Winter). The haunting series After Vermeer is a still, yet impassioned centrepiece to a very fine book. This is a collection of impressive substance, and I commend it wholeheartedly to its readers.
Anne Ryland’s poems are subtle as Vermeer paintings – so hauntingly meditative they make you shiver. She has a deliciously mercurial imagination, and is in love with language, whether it’s the sea’s script, Greenlandic, or ‘the carved drawers of etymology’.
Autumnologist was shortlisted for the Felix Dennis (Forward) First Collection Prize 2006
Copyright © 2007 Arrowhead Press
Last modified: 16 June 2008