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image of the cover of The Giddings with a sunset over a bare country road.

photo of John Greening by Adrian Bullers

The Giddings, John Greening Paperback ISBN 978-1-869848-28-6, 36pp., £7.00. 31 May 2021
Illustrated with 16 line drawings by Rosie Greening.

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An unnamed traveller is distracted from his business trip by a sign ‘To the Giddings’. He sets off walking through the Huntingdonshire landscape, with its Civil War associations and modern military bases, past wind turbines and fragments of ancient woodland, the trees providing a commentary in a variety of verse forms – lyrical, sardonic, admonitory. But it turns out that he is also walking through time and, after a powerful encounter with Nicholas Ferrar in 17th-century Little Gidding, towards a mysterious metamorphosis. In the tradition of The Pilgrim's Progress, and owing something to Ted Hughes's Gaudete, this ingenious and musical interweaving of verse and prose continues John Greening's earlier series of long 'dream poems'. Composed before the pandemic, The Giddings still tells a highly relevant story about a search for spiritual meaning and the power of nature in dark times.

John Greening is a poet, critic and playwright. Born in 1954 in Chiswick, he was brought up near Heathrow Airport and attended university at Swansea, Mannheim and Exeter. His poetry has been awarded the Bridport Prize, the TLS Centenary Prize, the Arvon Prize and a Cholmondeley Award.

This year sees publication of his edition of Iain Crichton Smith and a major anthology of country house poems Hollow Palaces. – co-edited with Kevin Gardner who is currently preparing John Greening’s new Selected Poems. He is married, with two daughters. For further details see his website www.johngreening.co.uk or visit John Greening (poet) - Wikipedia

Reviews of John Greening’s poetry:

‘A fine collection of verse... constantly fresh and insightful…. It is a collection to return to frequently, in order to immerse oneself in its richness, its darkness, and its felicity of voice.
     David Malcolm, Poetry Salzburg Review, on The Silence

'Knot is a miniature masterpiece'
     Harry Ricketts, Warwick Review

‘Another successful long poem ... deepens the sense of an imaginative engagement with the history and land.’
     Nicholas Murray, Times Literary Supplement, on To the War Poets

‘Greening’s control and his breadth of vision result in impressive poetry, and show the value of a long poetic sequence when it is handled well [...] a resonant and intricate piece of work which deserves to be widely read.’
     Matthew Jarvis, English, on Omm Sety

 
Interested in History as well as Poetry? See this publisher's other imprint, Campanula Books