There is something richly circumstantial about Alison Brackenbury's poems: they are often rooted in a rural world, or in townscapes which sustain communities and preserve a strong sense of their history and what it gives them. Thorpeness has delicious surprises, among them 'Aunt Margaret's Pudding', a rewarding culinary experience based on a black-covered handwritten notebook of recipes from Dorothy Eliza Barnes, 'Dot', the poet's grandmother. 'When I knew Dot, she was a Lincolnshire shepherd's wife. But, as a young woman, she had been an Edwardian professional cook,' the poet explains, making her notebook a resource for the contemporary reader. The world of nature - birds, plants, weathers - comes alive in poem after poem, but there are also important poems of nurture. Brackenbury belongs in a long line of rural and provincial poets who bring England alive in forms and rhythms of renewal. She is a familiar radio voice, performing her won poems and narrating programmes she has scripted.
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