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Andrea Brady’s Cut From The Rushes

Andrea Brady’s Cut From The Rushes

John Wilkinson suggests that Andrea Brady is ‘one of the most impressive lyric poets writing now in English’ and goes on to salute her clear-eyed precise register of tone. This new sequence from Reality Street bears out the full accuracy of that judgement. When Brady’s critical examination of English Funerary Elegy in the Seventeenth Century was reviewed in The Use of English (Vol. 58, No. 2, Spring 2007) the reviewer referred to the adoption of poetic form as being ‘a necessary means of containing otherwise overwhelming feeling’ and the apposite nature of this comment to Brady’s own lyric voice was made clear early on in ‘Japanese Song’, from 20 Poems by Keston Sutherland & Andrea Brady (Barque Press 1995):


Your skin is white like the white

heel of a reed where it goes into the ground.


This new collection of poems, divided into two sections ‘Embrace’ and ‘Presenting’, reveals a maturing of that lyric tone and compassion threads its way through political anger to produce a voice of real distinction.


So the link collapses like an old story

after wearing into a hook then a

wire  Then powder drops out

of the air, outlining a man on the ground. We can go

on      splinters of horn nailed right into

green trees   where they fought against nature,

get bundles of light to tell

us where we went

wrong, downhill out of sight

past all minding.

(‘How much to have a go’)


Buy this book please from


Ian Brinton





Peter Hughes from Reality Street

Peter Hughes from Reality Street

Peter Hughes is a prolific poet and an increasingly confident one. His lyrical tone is juxtaposed with a passionate concern for getting things right and his mordant sense of humour adds both grace and depth to his writing. This new collection from Ken Edwards’s Reality Street publications, Allotment Architecture, contains five major sequences, ‘Lynn Deeps’, ‘Behoven’, ‘Site Guide’, ‘18’ and ‘Berlioz’. Behoven appeared of course as an Oystercatcher in 2009 and John Hall’s account of it is essential reading (‘An intuition of the particular’, some essays on the poetry of Peter Hughes, Shearsman Press 2013). Some selections from ‘Lynn Deeps’ and ‘18’ appeared in the recent Shearsman selected Hughes but it is a delight to be able now to read the whole pieces and recognise their breadth and continuity. It is always refreshing to read Peter’s work and I wholly endorse Peter Riley’s comments on the back of this new volume where he refers to the ‘reassurance to readers that all of the many forms in which experience and language confront us are open to our own powers and defences’. The next major publication must now surely be a collected Petrarch which will gather together Peter’s splendidly vivid interpretations of the Italian poet: fourteenth century Avignon informing the Norfolk coast-line. Perhaps the dedication of this volume to his parents and to Cliff Hughes says it all: ‘This book is dedicated to my parents, Mary Hughes and the late Cliff Hughes, who showed me early on how to get off the path in order to explore, and who continue to support these explorations in different ways.’


Allotment Architecture is published by Reality Street, 63 All Saints Street, Hastings, East Sussex TN34 3BN.


Ian Brinton



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