Places of Poetry is a project which aims to use creative writing to prompt reflection about national and cultural identities by inviting contributions to the website placesofpoetry.org.uk, until 4 October. The project is open to all writers. This summer Places of Poetry will hold events across England and Wales, each site hosting a poet-in-residence with each poet contributing a poem from their residency to The Clearing. Isabel Galleymore’s poem, Navigating Diglis, was inspired by the upper reaches of The Severn.
This water is like a long tail, swishing.
This water is running wild and WARNING:
DO NOT PROCEED then walking
like a dog beside its owner. This water
tumbles, twistles STOP! tumbles,
twistles AT THE LOCKKEEPER’S
DISCRETION and busies itself
with water-breathers who are busy themselves;
some feeding, some resting, some trying
to swim upstream to release DO NOT
OPERATE THE LOCK YOURSELF
some trying to swim upstream to release
their small, translucent eggs. This water
tumbles NO ENTRY this water is busy
with fish trying to DANGER! WEIR!
trying to swim upstream… Gentle rebels
in the water’s mud-swish and crystal
ON GREEN YOU MAY PROCEED.
Isabel Galleymore’s debut pamphlet, Dazzle Ship, was published by Worple Press in 2014 and her work has featured in magazines including Poetry, the London Review of Books and New Poetries VII. Significant Other, published this year, has been shortlisted for the Forward’s Felix Dennis Prize for a first collection. She teaches at the University of Birmingham.
The illustration is by Benjamin Bowen of Union Studio.
Places of Poetry is led by the poet Paul Farley and the academic Andrew McRae. It is based at the universities of Exeter and Lancaster, and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England. It is underpinned by national partnerships with the Ordnance Survey, The Poetry Society, and National Poetry Day.