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Peterloo Poets

Poetry Publishers 1972 - 2009

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BARTON, Matthew

Learning to Row

Paperback

1871471788

Original Cover Price:

£7.95

Drysdale,-Between-Dryden-&-04

LEARNING TO ROW
Poems by Matthew Barton

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Matthew Barton was born in London in 1954. He worked on farms, in psychiatric clinics, as a class-teacher in a Rudolph Steiner school, and in a prison education department where he taught creative writing and drama. He now works as a translator and editor, and in education welfare.

His poems have appeared in a wide range of magazines, newspapers and anthologies, including London Magazine, The Independent, Thumbscrew and Resurgence, and he has won prizes in several competitions. In 1996 he won second prize in the National Poetry Competition, and in 1997 he won the BBC ‘Wildlife Poet of the Year Award’ for his poem “Octopus” which he also read on BBC Radio 4’s Poetry Please.

Learning to Row is Matthew Barton’s first full collection.

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Grande Mer

Rag-rug of mussels, fluted
limpets knotted to rock,

a whole haberdashery of seaweeds:
from frilliest negligee to elastic

ribbons of bladderwrack.
We’re down on the beach

on hands and knees -
as I was once before

my long-gone grandmother’s
button-bag – sifting through sea-beads:

gravel, pebbles, shells
slip through my fingers – I’m looking

for well-worn treasures, something
curling, shiny, the mother-of-pearl

of memory. The sea’s
running stitch gathers its muslin, folds it

over in a gentle breath,
the wrinkled fingers smoothing out

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LEARNING TO ROW
Price £7.95 per copy post free (£5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover  illustration: by Irmeli Kalliomäki.
Publication: SPRING 1999 (64 pages laminated paperback).