Woods River Road is wonderfully erotic, an earthy, pagan, vital celebration of sexual love and of the land that, as the poet says, always remembers
“how vast in happiness / love is, how loving grows with every love / we have.” John Burnside
You can hear John Sewell read from this book, alongside Jean Atkin, Katy Alston, Steve Griffiths and Carl Tomlinson on Sunday 21st March 5 to 6pm. Register here for a free ticket as it is a zoom event!
John has two previous collections: The Imbolc Bride (Littlewood Arc) 1992 and Bursting The Clouds (Cape) 1998, and was co-author (with three others) of The Blue Bang Theory (Redbeck) 1997 – a collection of contemporary nature poetry. His poems have appeared in various anthologies, including Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language; Oxford Poetry Books for Juniors; and Poetry Book Society Anthologies. They have also appeared in The Guardian and Observer, as well as magazines such as Poetry Review; Ambit, Rialto and Poetry Ireland Review, and broadcast on radio.
For Woods River Road: “These are fine poems about landscape, the weight of the word, the sensuous essence of things, the inevitable making of love. Images are tactile, colourful, a kingfisher glimpsed on on a fishing rod, hawks on their tethers, a midday nightingale.There are touches of sharp wit, of tenderness, of loss, of the complexity of love. Read these poems. Listen to those grasses bending in the wind.” Pauline Stainer
For The Imbolc Bride: “Sewell distills incident into its strongest elements, leaving the impression of an insight etched on steel, something felt and said with vivid finality. He’s the real thing.” Anne Stevenson
“He has an instinctive ability to use language in a very musical and original way.” Gillian Clarke
“The language is original and strong. Yet his voice is tender. John Sewell writes beautifully. I shall read this collection again and again.” Iron Review
“The Imbolc Bride is wonderfully fresh. The invocation of Celtic winter festivals lends this volume a dark resonance.” Time Out
For Bursting The Clouds: “Bursting The Clouds represents a bold development of the talent shown in Sewell’s promising and very different first book.” Sunday Times
“A gifted observer of the natural world.” Carol Rumens (Independent)
“John Sewell knows how to ambush his readers. This funny, seductive, secretive little poem [The Response] is one of the gems of Bursting The Clouds. The poems explore marriage, lust, the end of marriage and a cold pastoral that was parallel to them and will outlive them.” Helen Dunmore (Observer)
“I consider him to be a poet of great integrity, lyrical power and profundity.” Robin Robertson