National Poetry Day 2020: Podcast

Thursday October 1st 2020 is National Poetry Day in the UK. Founded in 1994 by the Forward Arts Foundation, its purpose is simply to encourage all of us to enjoy, discover and share poetry.

As an independent publisher specialising in artist’s books and poetry titles we share in this encouragement. 2020 continues to be a difficult year for the country and we are all enriched by arts and culture in times of crisis. As the poet said: ‘La poesia serve disperatamente…’

To join in the celebration we are delighted to present a reading for National Poetry Day from the poet Angie Pyman.

Angie reads her poem Ties That Bind. The text of the poem follows below and we hope you enjoy reading and listening to it:


High summer in the creek. An ebbing tide
has pulled the clinging fingers of the sea
back till they break to lie in bars of light
along the rippled mud, while stilted birds
sketch ragged crisscross boundaries between
steel anchor chains whose links are wrapped in green.

We see the children come in twos and threes
down to the voss. Their jellied sandals slap
through pools, their yellow buckets pitch like tents
across the causeway. They take string,
knotted with leaded weights and bacon fat
then dip it in the stream, letting it hang
as long as they can bear, until at last
they pull and swing it up, seething with crabs.

The camera’s in my hand as our boy takes
a careless step down from the causeway, shouts
to feel his toes splay in the oily grains
that ooze above his ankles. When he flails,
the mud clings on and drags him further down.

The photo shows them all caught in the act,
as if my son became a twisted rope
fought over in a frozen tug-of-war,
his dad invisible except for arms
that strain against the silence of the creek.
PHOTO Reproduced by kind permission of the Pyman Family.

Ties That Bind is taken from Angie’s forthcoming collection Y: Poems of Separation published next month by The Artel Press. More