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Tonight the Summer's Over
RRP: GBP 9.95
ISBN: 978 1 847775 14 6
Categories: 21st Century, British, First Collections
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: November 2013
72 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle), Paperback
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.
Poetry Book Society Recommendation
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.’
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.
What Passing Bells
In the Avenue of Limes
An Email from Your Mother
2. For My Father
3. Ireland, 10
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
From a Birmingham Council Flat
Where Were You When...
West Summerdale Ave
53° 09'33.17" N, 0° 25'33.18" W
To Help the Birds through Winter
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
‘You’re a shower of bastards’
Note to Self: Chip Shop Battered Sausage and Other Meat
Stopping for a Moment on Exmoor
The Shipwreck Memorial a Mile from Town
Over the Heath
Out to the Fen
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
'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.'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
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