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Never-Never Land is the debut collection of poetry from Adele Ward. This collection takes the reader on a journey through the poet’s life with a satisfying outspokenness on subjects usually kept hidden. Changing locations mark our different stages and experiences: from London to Italy, the scenery may change but the startling openness is constant. Although the writing is autobiographical it is not introverted; it looks outwards to the stories of others and the relationships and events that shape a personality.
‘The final sequence about childbirth is
particularly moving. These are precise, powerful and unflinching poems – brave
‘I love this collection. It’s the best I’ve
read for a very long time. Precision and emotion running together,
and a rich variety of themes. Fearlessness too. The poems I particularly
liked: Eclipse, Today, The Muses, The Boy at the Guest House, Caring,
Gooseberries, September, and, above all, the three wonderful, painful,
loving poems about childbirth.’
‘There’s a fantastic range of life between the pages of Never-Never Land, set down with a finely understated narrative style that not only gives the poems room to breathe and expand, but also heightens the visceral jolts of shock that Adele Ward delivers with such a sure touch. Ward glides effortlessly over the surfaces of things with a precise eye, whether the crisp sheet of an Italian bed or the hairiness of a gooseberry; lingering just long enough to allow the reader a glimpse of what lies beneath: the shadows and ghosts, the things half articulated which pull us in and make us catch our breath.’
‘These are wonderfully evocative and powerful poems ranging over most of the poet’s life; her childhood and family background, late teens/20s in ‘bedsitterland’, married life in Italy and as a divorcee in London. The poems about giving birth will stop your heart .... well, they stopped mine. They do what good poetry always does, puts you there.’
‘Her Advice To Women From A Spinster With Dog is a witty villanelle that was winner of the Radio 3 The Verb Villanelle Competition ... the poem Solid Wood evokes the world of the writer in a bed-sit wonderfully.’
About the Author
Adele Ward lives in North London with her sons Stefano and Danny. She worked as a journalist and author of nonfiction before spending four years in Italy where her children were born. She was one of the first students on Andrew Motion's postgraduate creative writing programme at the Royal Holloway, University of London. Her poetry has been anthologised and broadcast on national and local radio, and other publications include a selection in the first Bedford Square anthology published by John Murray. In summer 2010 she set up Ward Wood Publishing with Mike Fortune-Wood, and in 2011 she started the regular Friday Night Writers event in London.
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