Alyson Hallett was the second Charles Causley poet-in-residence, and the first to live in Causley’s house – Cypress Well – on Ridgegrove Hill in Launceston. On Ridgegrove Hill is a collection of poems created during her residency.
Cyprus Well, Causley’s house, is a stepping-down-into house. One step then another from front door to little hall then into the lounge. You will come to see what this means. You will come down into the house and because of this you will come down into yourself. Into the well of yourself. You will keep going until you come to water. You will become a bucket and rope, a round stone wall and a winching system. When you are full of water you will haul the bucket of yourself back up. This is what the stepping down does. It lowers you down and hauls you up. It helps that the house is quiet. That nothing interrupts the race of the rope as it plummets. It also helps that there’s a tradition of stepping down here. More than thirty years of it already.
On Ridgegrove Hill is beautifully designed and illustrated by Phyllida Bluemel, a current student on the MA Illustration course at Falmouth University. It is printed on high quality papers from GF Smith and features a blind-embossed cover design.