This weekend I found my way to Much Wenlock for the first time, for the wonderful Wenlock Poetry Festival - a first festival outing for my new collection Bearings at the Nine Arches Press Showcase and (now that I've leaped some technological hurdles) the start of a new website. I hope there are no errors in the collection, but do please bear with me while I work on this fledgling site! Some tweaking and polishing still to be done, and more on launches and festivals to follow.
I feel very fortunate indeed to have this new book out, with the help of a brilliant team of women - Jane Commane of Nine Arches Press in the UK, Colleen Higgs of Modjaji Books in South Africa, and Lynne Stuart (artist and world traveller extraordinaire), who took the haunting cover photo and did the beautiful design. You can see more of her work on her idea in a forest website.
More about the collection, from Nine Arches Press (and next month it will be out from Modjaji Books in South Africa too):
In Bearings, her fourth collection, Isobel Dixon takes readers on a journey to far-flung and sometimes dark places. From Robben Island to Hiroshima, Egypt to Edinburgh, the West Bank and beyond, these poems are forays of discovery and resistance, of arrival and loss. Bearings sings of love too, and pays homage to lost friends and poets – the voices of John Berryman, Michael Donaghy, Robert Louis Stevenson and others echo here. As Dixon explores form and subject, and a sometimes troubled past, she keeps a weather eye out for telling detail, with a sharp sense of the threat that these journeys, our wars and stories, and our very existence pose to the planet.
‘‘Isobel Dixon's recent poems confirm her sumptuous gift of mining for melody all the way down to the syllable, but it is remarkable how she can go on tightening her focus even as she widens her range of topic. With every airport lounge a new starting point, her poetry is truly an international event. Admiringly, one is forced to the conclusion that she is becoming a poet who, far from hiding in lyricism, uses it for adventure and exploration, like a magician's cloak. Her work is a perpetual transformation, inexhaustible even though anything in it can be said aloud, and indeed demands to be. There is something new under the sun on every page.’ – Clive James
‘Here is a new collection by a poet at ease with a variety of forms and approaches, and possessing the confidence to address experiment in her work. The poems often sparkle with colour, and are feisty, full of rich doubt, and complex considerations of world and self. Much energy is released into being by these poems, whether the poet is drawing on her South African roots in both contemporary and historic settings, or whether her subject is Seville, Cambridge or Dubai. A wide-ranging collection in many senses then, venturesome and powerful, remaining in the mind long after reading.’ – Penelope Shuttle