Liz Lefroy’s third poetry pamphlet.
Liz Lefroy won the 2011 Roy Fisher Prize for new work in poetry, resulting in the publication of her first pamphlet, Pretending the Weather.
This was followed in 2012 by her sequence, The Gathering. Both were published by Long Face Press.
This pamphlet is in its second print.
Here’s the first poem of the pamphlet…
In The Queue In The Waitrose Café, I Meet My Love
The man next to me in the queue is gorgeous.
It starts with him telling me I’ve dropped my pen
and I pick it up, though it’s not mine.
I’m almost sure he knew that anyway
so we talk about pens and dropping things.
I ask for a cappuccino and we’re on to poetry.
While the milk is frothed, he says for him
it’s about what sounds like daffodils.
I tell him about my rhyming dictionary.
He says, So, you’re a clever girl then!
I smile, say, No, then, Yes, to chocolate.
We laugh as I hand over a five pound note.
If I were fifty years younger I’d fall in love with you.
He says this as I hold out my hand for change.
All this in minutes, and I already love him.
He’s eighty-five, but I won’t believe it.
He looks at me from the corner of his eye,
gives a nod of knowing, asks for two cups of tea,
hooks his stick over his arm to pay.
I say, Lovely to meet you, walk to a table
past a woman who is smaller than him
creased into a chair and wearing pink socks.
I look up at them from time to time.
I see their silence. It’s been a long time.
It’s just been a long, long time.
Gillian Clarke (National Poet of Wales – Carcanet, Gomer Press, Harper Collins)
From the delicious first poem, ‘In The Queue In The Waitrose Café, I Meet My Love’ this is a little book of songs: a love-song to an 85 year old stranger, to sons, at the school concert, or shopping; poems to places, remembered childhood, a mortally ill mother, and all in the easy voice of a natural poet.
The book is LOVELY. The design, the feel, the contents.
Philip Gross (Poet. Winner of the TS Eliot Prize 2009 Writer, Children’s Poetry. Writer – Oxford University Press, Faber and Faber, Scholastic)
Nothing is ordinary in these poems, in the sense of unremarkable.
They deal with moments that come in the order of our lives, with people growing, leaving, passing or being remembered.
But the effect of the poems is to lift them slightly out of time, into a perspective that is tender and
quizzical, alert for more.
Jan Fortune reviewing in Envoi magazine February 2015
Humanity is something that surfaces again and again in Liz Lefroy’s Mending the Ordinary. A beautifully produced pamphlet from a discerning new press, Fairacre, Lefroy’s language is Larkinesque in its simplicity; finely balanced and lucid phrases that are at once lyrical and full of light touch. The subject matter of these poems is so ‘ordinary’ that a less skilful poet would struggle to say anything of note, but Lefroy’s quality of observation, her slant-wise perspective and her ability to lift the surface off ordinary moments with no showiness, but deftly and with grace, turn the quotidian into the epiphanic with seeming ease.
Jennifer A. McGowan in Orbis Winter 2014
A thin, landscape-orientated book with a picture of mother and child in homely-yet-Madonna-like pose. Immediately there is a marriage of the special, the personal mythic, and the ordinary…Again, Lefroy takes the microcosm, relating it upwards to macrocosm.. A chapbook full of small surprises.
Bobby Seal – Psychogeographic Review’s Recommendations – March 2015
Mending the Ordinary is Liz Lefroy’s third collection and, whilst the poems in this pamphlet demonstrate the growing depth and maturity of her work, they still pack the emotional punch and vitality of Liz’s earlier collections. She writes about her sons and her mother, about love and loss, about exploring the past and embracing the present. There are some old favourites from her live readings here, such as My Ambiguous Relationship With Rain, and new favourites to read, such as Question Answer and Snapshots
Joe Stretch (Novelist – Jonathan Cape, Vintage Books. Winner of a Somerset Maughan Award 2013. Film maker. Singer and lyricist)
This pamphlet is beautiful. There is such grace and confidence – as well as wisdom and humour in these poems. They are vital! Fantastic work.
Steve Griffiths (Poet – Cinnamon Press, Seren)
Wonderful poems, there’s a clarity about how they’re formed that somehow melds with their humanity.
Matthew Stewart (Poet – Happenstance)
extract from a review
There’s a freshness to Liz Lefroy’s verse that very much does lift it out of the ordinary. The reader is unexpectedly moved by every poem. That’s a considerable achievement.
Paul Francis (Poet. Playwright – Cambridge University Press, Liberty books)
…some familiar friends I’m glad to have (the wonderfully delicate Waitrose Cafe, and School Concert) but so much else I hadn’t heard before, and shall enjoy going back to. Snapshots is terrific, and overall there’s such a range and variety… I’ll stop drooling.