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Tonight the Summer's Over

Rory Waterman

Cover of Tonight the Summer's Over by Rory Waterman
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Categories: 21st Century, British, First Collections
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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Paperback (66 pages)
(Pub. Nov 2013)
£9.95 £8.96
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(Pub. Nov 2013)
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  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Author
  • Contents
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • Family Business

    The boatman stares through million-pock-marked waters,
    tapping a cigarette, shying from the rain
    in mac and wellies, beneath a London plane
    that rustles and drips. He turns and tells his daughter
    to bolt the hut. Tonight the summer’s over.
    He heaves the skiff to the boatshed, ties the lines
    and double-locks the door. She fits a sign:
    CLOSED FOR SEESON. They load a battered Land Rover
    with cash tin, radio, stools, as fast as they can,
    for it’s raining harder. Lightning blanks the dark,
    and then they’re away, the wiper thwacking its arc.
    She glances at this ordinary man
    then shuts her eyes: she’s damp and tired and bored.
    He drives more gently. Neither says a word.
    The poems in Rory Waterman’s debut collection Tonight the Summer’s Over explore belonging and estrangement with precise resonance. Born in Belfast and brought up in rural Lincolnshire, Waterman turns an unblurred eye on his own childhood, caught between two countries, two cultures, two parents. Yet his poems are never mere autobiography: they are rooted in a broader concern for the inconsistencies of human experience. Tonight the Summer’s Over becomes a book of love and hope: ‘Lift the purest feather from the wreck. / Ignore the seagulls laughing against the sky.’
    Family Business 
    Visiting Grandpa 
    What Passing Bells 
    Rebirth Island 
    In the Avenue of Limes 
    An Email from Your Mother 
    Growing Pains
      1. Distance 
      2. For My Father 
      3. Ireland, 10 
    Access Visit 
    Seeing Him Off at the Station
    Craigmillar Castle at Dusk 
    Faroe Islands: Notes for Three Photographs
    Seeing Baby Emrys in Gwynedd
    Salisbury, After the Argument
    For R.S. Thomas
    Coming Home
    From a Birmingham Council Flat
    Where Were You When...
    The Outings
    A Suicide
    West Summerdale Ave
    53° 09'33.17" N, 0° 25'33.18" W
    To Help the Birds through Winter
    The Lake
    Shrine for a Young Soldier, Castle Drogo
    On Derry City Walls, 1992
    Winter Morning, Connecticut 
    A Wedding Photograph 
    Back in the Village 
    The Fields over Winceby Battlefield 
    Spring Shower, Metheringham Fen 
    The Beck 
    ‘You’re a shower of bastards’ 
    Note to Self: Chip Shop Battered Sausage and Other Meat 
    Stopping for a Moment on Exmoor 
    Hallowed Turf 
    The Shipwreck Memorial a Mile from Town 
    Over the Heath 
    Out to the Fen
    Rory Waterman was born in Belfast in 1981, grew up mainly in Lincolnshire, and lives in Nottingham. His previous full-length collections, all published by Carcanet, are: Tonight the Summer’s Over (2013), which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for a Seamus Heaney Award; Sarajevo Roses (2017), which was ... read more
    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
    (Sarajevo Roses)
    '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.'
    Alan Jenkins
    Praise for Rory Waterman 'All of life is here - the heartache and the humour - bound together by an understanding of the essential fluidity of time and place. We carry our histories with us, Waterman tells us. The people and places from past experience are central to who we are now.'
    Isabelle Thompson, The Friday Poem
    'With his carefully weighed retrospection, Waterman is the most Hardyesque of modern poets, forever sniffing out he might-have-beens beneath mere actuality. Never merely solemn, this is a wise and deeply satisfying book.'
    David Wheatley, The Guardian
    'Poets often write about grief, but rarely so well about its complexity... Moving but never sentimental'
    Graeme Richardson, The Sunday Times
    '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... Suppleness of poetic line matches suppleness of spirit.'
    Linda Gregson
    'I have long admired Rory Waterman's honest, often very sensitive, pitch-perfect poetry. He has the ability to capture, without appearing too knowing, that which is at the edge of the mind. The diverse poems in Come Here to This Gate are enticingly open to both life's realities and its unrealities. They include acute and moving poems on his father's dying and on parental separation and its after-effects. This is surely his most deeply resonant and versatile book.'
    Moniza Alvi
    '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
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