www.garylongden.wordpress.com BILSTON VOICES April 2013
The headliners, and second half readers, were David Calcutt and Nadia Kingsley reading from their new collection and collaboration “Road Kill”. The title is somewhat macabre, the pieces individually, however, are elegiac and celebratory. A carcass of a fallen animal can be magnificent, and can be pathetic, both scenes are captured in this collection.
They did not read every poem, incentivising the listener both to return to future performances, and read the collection in full, providing a sense of spontaneity. Nonetheless the work lost none of its fluency and cohesiveness in so doing. David has always excelled in writing about birds, “Two Crows” stood out as a succinct, startling vignette. “Road Kill” itself is a shocking piece of magpie brutality, seemingly glorifying in Clockwork Orange style malevolent violence,“ a heavy shouldered thug, putting the boot in, and keeping on doing it”. By contrast his excerpt from “Aten”, inspired by Egyptian mythology – “But for this quivering of wings/ At the blades tip/Poised at the zenith, before the long slide down/ the nirvana of a drop”, soars as magnificently as the bird swoops.
Nadia’s “Red Deer Stag” combined grandiloquent description worthy of her subject, stripped of sentimentality, but awash with emotion. For her, the “antlers hewn from ancient forests” transcend mere mortality, offering animal myth as dignified as any hunter’s noble quest. In sharp juxtaposition was her modern take on the magpie in “Pica Pica” ,in which she asks us to:
“watch it choose select pieces/ while judging car’s speed/then confidently hop aside”
Both writers pieces were stylistically, as well as thematically, complimentary. Sometimes they split up poems to offer contrasting voices in a performance, other times they simply read their own work. It was always rewarding and easy on the ear, and a delight to hear a collaboration so fully realised, it was akin to musicians touring their album live.
EMMA PURSHOUSE. Bilston Voices APRIL 2013:
I was already a huge fan of the collection but it was great to hear the pieces performed and I loved the mix of your voices which really brought out the haunting quality of the work.
“STATES OF INDEPENDENCE” – 16th March 2013 – A day celebrating Midlands independent publishing. Fair Acre Press will be there, on a stall; plus David and Nadia will be performing part of ROAD KILL www.statesofindependence.co.uk