RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Adam Horovitz

Love and Other Fairy Tales by Adam Horovitz (Indigo Dreams Publishing)

Love and Other Fairy Tales by Adam Horovitz (Indigo Dreams Publishing)

Adam Horovitz once told me he could hear music in the poetry of chemical words and terms. Well, his words in this collection sing to me. The love-themed poems are sometimes personal and sometimes grand in scale. Here are excerpts from some of my favourites below.

‘The Singing Street’ transported me to a childhood memory in Sunderland:

I knock again.

Are you in pain? I ask, and Can I help?

The duet become opera and I retreat,

hot faced and frightened, to the singing street.

‘Experiment’ really spoke to my love of science. This poem reminded me of certain feelings that I have experienced. Here is the opening verse:

Here is my hand. If I reach out

and let the nerves beneath my fingers’ skin

shiver in sympathy with yours

I believe that my head will electrify itself,

split apart from the atom of my lips,

create a fiery, autonomic smile.

I love the innovative use of language in one poem’s reference to Ovid’s Metamorphoses. ‘Thisbë the verse’ features this enchanting final stanza:


The phone roars like a hungry lion,

drowns out reason. Was that a voice

through the letterbox? I am too tired for words.

My mouth is dry and all the graves I’ve ever known

Are gaping at me in an imitation of a kiss

‘Love like pollen’ is an example that includes nature-themed imagery. This poem reminds me that there is so much beauty all around us. Here is the first verse:

Love like pollen

first a fine dust of it

smearing the summer air

then, sticky and heavy

on the backs of bees

the high priests of flower marriages

travelling from bloom to gaping bloom

Love & Other Fairy Tales is a wonderful Indigo Dreams collection that I highly recommend. Adam’s unique style immersed me into places where my head became filled with romance, questions surrounding faith, nature, and the mythical. This book would be a welcome Christmas present.

Stephen Paul Wren 14th December 2021

Adam Horovitz’s A Thousand Laurie Lees (History Press, 2014)

Adam Horovitz’s A Thousand Laurie Lees (History Press, 2014)

This memoir of growing up in the Slad Valley, the idyllic pre-War Cotswold landscape made famous by Cider With Rosie (1960), explores Laurie Lee’s continuing impact on the place.


It begins a year after poer’s death in 1997 with an epic, drunken cycle ride through the heart of the Valley when the locals dressed up as Lee. They called it The Night of a Thousand Laurie Lees and stopped at every pub, raising their fedoras, signing books, singing and carousing in celebration of the poet and novelist. The book ends with a spirited defence of the preservation of the landscape and community centred on Lee’s beloved Woolpack pub.


This centenary celebration of a poetic presence in the Valley is the first book on Lee’s impact since Valerie Grove’s The Well-Loved Stranger in 1999 and takes the narrative back to the Seventies and forward. Lee famously left the Valley in 1934 and walked to London and a literary life in Soho, Fitzrovia and the GPO Film Unit, returning to document his life and out of the Valley in poetry and prose. When Lee asked the young poet whether he was writing, Horowitz replied that he was going to summer writing classes. Lee raised his eyebrows and doubted that he needed them gesturing to the party, the valley, the world outside and his slopping drink.


The narrative celebrates the literary and artistic connections of the Valley, its local families and his own immersion in poetry, song and books. Horovitz writes:


I was taught to delve into the landscape aesthetically rather than

physically, so I learned to float into the names of flowers, lost in the

beauty of cowslip and campion, dead nettle and Michaelmas daisy,

beech tree and ash, but not much of immediate practical value was

hard-pressed upon me. The valley was a palimpsest of imagination,

of the living and dead, and was accessible only through though.


At the heart of his childhood memories are his mother’s reading voice, with its delicate articulation, and poems, which he places in the context of her absent husband and the darkness of nearby Keensgrove wood. Frances Horovitz was stilled and enthralled by the Valley, eventually leaving for a life with the poet, Roger Garfitt. Horovitz recalls visiting guests, such as John Cage, Allen Ginsberg, Tom Pickard, and liberally quotes from Lee, cites his father’s long poem, Midsummer Morning Jog Log, written in the Valley in 1984-5, other local poets, and the poems that fired his childhood imagination. Poetry readings, epic parties, bicycles, pubs, and the changing nature of agriculture, the struggle to save the Valley from unwanted development, all feature in this story of roots and gradual self-understanding. The narrative’s arc sees Horovitz returning to his parental home and becoming a fine poet in his own right:


Bluetits pick at the last rotten apple

on an unattended tree.


As shadow swallows the garden

I sit on a log and defy the night.


A bat deftly manoeuvres

through intricate webs of dew-laden pine.


I close my eyes and call your name.

It echoes around the valley,


the sound undulating

through trees and hills,


building power

until my cry is a mantra,


chanted by the whole immediate world

of night creatures, plants and spirits.


The book, illustrated throughout by Jo Sanders and has 28 pages of lavish colour photographs by Dan Brown, is a delight and joy to read.



David Caddy 1st June 2014

%d bloggers like this: