In 2021 I was commissioned to make two short films (the first appeared on this blog back in December 2021) about Dorothy Wordsworth to celebrate her 250th birthday on Christmas Day 2021. These films are based on talks by experts on her work, and in this second short film, Dr. Penny Bradshaw, Assistant Professor of English Literature at the University of Cumbria, explores Dorothy Wordsworth’s creative partnership with her famous brother William, her illness in later life, and her deep connection with the natural world.
On Tuesday December 10th I went to the British Library in London to receive the 2019 Michael Marks Award for illustration of a poetry pamphlet. I’ve written a bit more about this over on my photography website chrisroutledge.pictures, but the short version is that this was for the photographs in Carousel, my collaboration with poet Rebecca Goss, published by Guillemot Press.
Receiving the award was a wonderful way to end 2019, which has been quite a big year for my photography. Back in October I had my first solo exhibition, at the Heaton Cooper Studio Archive Gallery in Grasmere (there are still some copies of the accompanying limited edition book available). I also exhibited at the Liverpool Art Fair, and I have two limited edition prints in the dot-art gallery’s Liverpool Collection, which you can see (and buy from there) until January 18th. The two prints are best seen in person, but if you want to take a look they are Mersey Docks and Harbour Board (Mann Island) and Futurist.
I’m excited to announce that my collaborative book with poet Rebecca Goss is available from Guillemot Press today. It’s in a limited edition of 200, and like all Guillemot books is beautifully made and presented. This project has been simmering for over eight years, and we are delighted with the way it turned out. You can buy the book from Guillemot Press here.
More information is on the Open Eye gallery website.
A quick note to say that I’ve been awarded “Highly Commended” for a photograph of mine in the 2013 Bare Hands Poetry and Photography Competition. I’ve been enjoying Bare Hands’ mix of photography and poetry for about a year now and if you’re a fan of either of those things I recommend taking a look. The monthly journal is primarily web based, but there are also occasional anthologies. I should also say “thank you” to Rebecca Goss, who encouraged me to enter.
“Smaller than Melville’s white whatever … it’s just a dog, it’s not a whale.”
This be the verse, by Philip Larkin.
Update: Since Rebecca’s appearance on Woman’s Hour yesterday (August 15, 2013) this post from 2009 has been getting a lot of traffic. If you want to know more about her, visit her website, or take a look at our collaboration, The Jupiter Project. You can follow Rebecca on Twitter: @gosspoems
From 2009: Liverpool poet Rebecca Goss, whose work I admire, is to be interviewed on Woman’s Hour on Friday this week helping to raise awareness of congenital heart disease. She writes:
To mark the start of Children’s Heart Week which begins on Saturday, I will be on Woman’s Hour this Friday, May 8th, BBC Radio 4 at 10am.
I’m hoping to raise awareness of congenital heart disease by reading some of the poems I’ve written about my daughter Ella. Ella was born with a severe heart defect in 2007 and I’ll be talking about her short but incredible life.
There will be a Children’s Heart Federation appeal on Radio 4, on Sunday May 10th: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00k7qy8
Thank you for listening if you can.
A number of my Ella poems are available to read in the latest issue of Shadowtrain magazine.
Children’s Heart Federation
1 in every 133 children is born with a heart defect. Our vision is of a society in which all children with congenital heart disease can live life to the full because their medical, educational and social needs have been met. Charity Registration No 1120557 http://www.childrens-heart-fed.org.uk/
Last week Moira at Vulpes Libris wrote a terrific review of Elmet, a collection of poems by Ted Hughes with accompanying photographs by Fay Godwin. I owned a copy of this book–or rather its earlier incarnation–when I lived in West Yorkshire in the 1980s and this review convinced me to buy another. What I love about the place is perfectly captured in the book: the harshness of the landscape and calm domesticity of the villages and towns. These are solid, practical places, built for a purpose in a landscape that provided raw materials for industry, but is not kind to humans:
The Calder Valley in West Yorkshire (just in West Yorkshire … although it flirts dangerously with Lancashire) was carved from the local millstone grit by ice, wind and rain. When man first arrived in the area he inhabited the higher ground, along the spring lines. With the coming of the Industrial Revolution – and the industries that needed water – he migrated downwards, leaving the old villages deserted and the old dwellings decaying on the hillsides. The valley bottom filled with people, mills, chimneys, and cramped, overcrowded housing – all fighting for space between the canal, the river, the road and the railway that weave through it.
The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of …