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Peterloo Poets

Poetry Publishers 1972 - 2009

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DOWNAR, Joan

The Empire of Light

Paperback

0905291522

Original Cover Price:

7.95

Drysdale,-Between-Dryden-&-04

THE EMPIRE OF LIGHT
Poems by Joan Downar

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Joan Downar was born in London, started work as a librarian, then to become an ex-teacher, living in the country outside Nottingham. For many years she acted and sang in the amateur theatre, and has read stories for BBC Radio Nottingham, but now confines herself to poetry readings.

Her poems have appeared in leading national journals (Encounter, New Statesman, Poetry Review, etc.), and in the annual Arts Council anthologies. A pamphlet, River People, was published by the Mandeville Press in 1976. She was a runner-up at the Stroud International Poetry Competition in 1976, at Cheltenham in 1981, the National Poetry Competition in 1982, and winner at Stroud in 1981.

The Empire of Light, Joan Downar’s first full collection, is the 50th volume in the Peterloo Poets series published by Harry Chambers.

“Joan Downar’s prizewinning ‘House Martins’ is typical of this undervalued poet’s precise original evocations of places and people and the way memory works . . .”
Stewart Brown, Outposts 40th Anniversary Number

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Norfolk Village

Giant oaks knuckle the sky
where men whose fathers worked these acres
for little bread sell to strangers
their cottages. The glance is sly,

so many Jacques laughing at
so many suspect Dukes to whom
the stink of hens in outhouses, the bloom
of nettles is more graspable than that

complexity which living in the city
is. They sweat still, brown as wheat
on tractors, leaving oilcans in the sweet
hedgerows, muck out prisoned pretty

cattle, build a garage on
their bungalows. They wish good day
to cottagers who come to stay.
The village seems to be at one.

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THE EMPIRE OF LIGHT
Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: Magritte, 'Empire of Light' (1953-54), Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice. (The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation). Photo: Mirko Lion, Venice.
Publication: 1984 (68 pages laminated paperback)