Lydia Fulleylove first came to my attention when her poem Night Drive was shortlisted for the 2010 Forward Prize. It was the Saturday poem in The Guardian on 25th September that same year and you can read it here. Night Drive is an exceptional piece, one of those rare poems that manage to carve themselves into your memory forever. Fulleylove's use of language is all the more intense for its restraint.
However, she's far more than a one-hit wonder. Fulleylove published a pamphlet, titled Notes on Land and Sea, with HappenStance Press in 2011, and her collection shows just how important the sea around the Isle of Wight (where she lives) is to her poetry. What's more, her experience in working as a tutor on creative writing projects in prisons, schools,etc, also shows through, as in her poem Visit, which you can read on her website here. It evokes an inmate's longing for the sea, and it really struck home with this reader.
In the context of the respect I have for her work, I was delighted when Lydia Fulleylove approached me last year with the suggestion that we do a reading together. I'll be travelling over to the U.K. later on this month to read alongside her at Tongues & Grooves in Portsmouth (see here for more details). Suffice to say, I'm very much looking forward to seeing and hearing her make those terrific poems come to life!
I hadn't realised how much Birmingham figures in Lord of the Rings. Tolkein used to play by Sarehole Mill (close to where he used to live), where now the...