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England and Nowhere

Written by Chris Searle for Morning Star on no date provided

Another skilful weaver of demotic language is Kevyn Alan Arthur, whose England and Nowhere is also published by the Leeds-based Peepal Tree Press. There are some very memorable and approachable poems in this collection. There is nothing distant or esoteric about Arthur’s work. Memories of childhood, of colonial mind-shackling, of simple situations giving birth to realisations and imagery while just ‘waiting for the charcoal to start,’ of loving evocations of the Caribbean islands and their precious people, such as: ‘these little lumps of rock pushed heaving up... / and which are now barnacled by a precarious people,/ who live their lives ducking from hurricanes.’

Arthur’s is a new, fresh voice, direct and unpretending, still bewildered by the insights that he creates and the contradictions and surprises inside them.

‘You know how it is:
the trouble with poetry 
like the trouble with life, 
is that it is
and is not.’

This is a review of England and Nowhere

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