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The True Traveller
Edited by Rory Waterman
RRP: GBP 11.99
ISBN: 978 1 784100 88 9
Categories: 20th Century, British, Memoirs
Published: January 2015
280 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, eBook (Kindle)
W.H. Davies (1871–1940) was popularly though reductively known as the ‘tramp-poet’ due to his remarkable journey from vagrancy, in Britain and the United States, to considerable literary success. ‘Discovered’ in part by Edward Thomas, who admired his poetry, Davies became a prolific memoirist and occasional writer of fiction, criticism and drama. He is now known almost exclusively for a handful of poems and for his memoir The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp; his other writing has long been out of print. This book collects generous selections from Davies’s prose memoir, poetry, and critical prose, alongside comprehensive notes. It brings back into print the work of a remarkable, controversial and unduly neglected author.
Awards won by Rory Waterman Short-listed, 2014 Seamus Heaney Award (Tonight the Summer's Over) Commended, 2014 Poetry Book Society Recommendation (Tonight the Summer's Over) Short-listed, 2019 The Ledbury Forte Poetry Prize for Second Collections
Praise for Rory Waterman 'Very few poets can bring to the lives of others the same devout attention we tend to bestow upon ourselves: Rory Waterman is just such a poet. Whether their site of meditation is an abandoned colliery or a much-marketed urban vista, the exquisite lyrics of Sarajevo Roses are imbued with mindfulness. Suppleness of poetic line matches suppleness of spirit.'
Judges, Ledbury Forte Poetry Prize for Second Collection
'In this book, personal, emotional wounds are memorialised... the poems are the red roses that these moments become, marking a distance between selves, acknowledging them as landmarks in a psychological landscape.'
Vicki Husband, The Compass
'a volume that balances both wit and wisdom'
Kate Noakes, the North
'Waterman's work extends out and beyond any dangerously neat equations or notions of 'home' and 'self'; with him, it is in the settings of Europe's past and future. The reader visits Iceland, Palma's Bellver Castle, Venice, Krujë, the Italian ghost-town Craco, St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, and in all the travellings we become more and more aware of the precarious fragility of human 'settlements' in all senses.'
Peter Carpenter, Under The Radar
'Waterman is a fine craftsman and this is a thing most needful in the collection's journeyings through 'industrial dereliction' and the painful re-calibrations of a 'post empire' experience. Re-imaginings of spaces for leisure are met by a poet who is at home with formal variations, rhyme and meter.'
Peter Carpenter, Under the Radar
'The collection is marked by a sense that the world is indifferent to us, both as species and individuals, that time is slippery and fast-moving...For all his often regular metrics and traditional craft, these are not conservative poems... It's a consistently 'political' book.'
Declan Ryan, Poetry London
'The world is a slightly better place for the existence of this book. I do not write that lightly.'
Peter Pegnall, Ploughshares
'Rory Waterman writes poems of the kind there'll always be a need for poems that require skill to make but don't insist on it, that combine keen-eyed observation and immediately graspable shades of feeling in a memorable way. Waterman's is a very appealing voice, laconic, unillusioned and vulnerable. His world is a recognisable and convincing one, his rueful, sometimes harsh sincerity is palpable, and he deserves to be read by anyone to whom these things still matter.'
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