Finding the Planes: New and Selected Poems

Finding the Planes: New and Selected Poems

By M R Peacocke

Price: £12.00

ISBN: 978-1-910323-31-1

148x210mm, paperback, 152 pages

I would describe myself as an observer, although now, at 85, I don’t see well. I began making poems when I was very young. Most have been attempts to capture a moment; often a poem has arrived years after the event it recalls.

A free country childhood stimulated my writing; an academic education discouraged it. I did not begin to publish until I was in my fifties and keeping a smallholding in Cumbria. Before that came teaching in England and Turkey, marriage, bringing up four children, training as a counsellor and working in a children’s cancer unit.

More even than solitary walking and creature-watching, music has always been my great love. I am the sister of the composer Richard Rodney Bennett, with whom I collaborated as verse-writer and text-finder in the latter years of his life, and whom I miss profoundly.

I have been fortunate enough to win a few good poetry prizes, was supported by a ‘time to write’ grant from New Writing North at an early point in my career, received a Cholmondeley Award in 2005 and was a Hawthornden Fellow in 2011: for all of which I’m grateful. This year, 2015, I have recorded poems for the National Poetry Archive.

“A very interesting collection” – Penelope Fitzgerald on Selves

“What fascinates me in (Peacocke’s) poetry are the moments of change in which things die into each other without loss of essential energy or force. It’s a question of perception. It also calls to our need for a precise vocabulary for the merits of being alive. Peacocke shares this precision of language with the late American poet Elizabeth Bishop. Both have a bristly perceptive clarity for minutiae, and for the wry double-take on detail that can be deadly as well as funny.” – David Morley on Speaking of the Dead

“These poems, continually illuminating the phenomenal world, never rest content. They are like a threshold, across which there is more. Again and again they make you feel it will be worth your while to watch, listen, attend.” – David Constantine on Caliban Dancing

Read the London Grip Poetry Review here.