Poems of pilgrimage and flight are explored in a wonderful new poetry collection by Devon-based poet Angie Pyman and published for the first time by The Artel Press.
In Y: Poems of Separation Pyman explores movement and separation between cultures: those who choose, and those who are forced by circumstance, to abandon all that they hold dear.
The book’s title originates from the startling photograph of a train-jumping migrant on the Mexican border taken by the award-winning documentary photographer Claudia Guadarrama.
The hieroglyphic form of the man became for Pyman a kind of cypher for the forced movement of peoples, from antiquity through to the present day.
Her poems are marked by a particular attention to the senses, through colour, scent and musicality. Meticulously realised passages capture Proustian moments of time, to propel them vividly into stanzas that are alive with the present moment.
And Pyman uses her extensive travel experience across Africa and Europe to create an authentic bridge in thematic content, linking both the global and local human experience.
We are therefore given consent in her poetry to share in the forgotten experience of a child migrant, contrasted with great sensitivity and beauty to moments of quiet domesticity that will be familiar to many readers.
Angie Pyman studied at the Universities of Kent and Warwick and leads a local poetry group near Plymouth where she continues to read and write her poetry.
“She is a wanderer in silent places, the poet we meet in this eloquently modest collection – a tender, attentive soul meditating on migrations, on afterlives, on all the ways we seek to know a home. Silence and time are her companions in poems that still leave her ‘a stranger to myself’ and come to rest at last in a whisper. It’s an exquisite gathering.”Professor Michael Hulse, University of Warwick
Y: Poems of Separation by Angie Pyman
60pp B-format paperback
Publication date: 20 October 2020
Review copies available by request.
Header image: Newton Creek, River Yealm (detail), as depicted in the poem ‘Ties That Bind‘ by Angie Pyman and featured in Y: Poems of Separation. Reproduced by kind permission of the Pyman Family.