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For seven years, she worked as a gardener (her mother is garden designer and writer Mary Keen). Her first collection, The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile, was written at a time when she was working eight-hour days in the garden. Is there an affinity between gardening and writing poetry?

Following the journey of the river Dart from its source to the sea, Alice Oswald has woven a work of meandering voices that conjures up every person the water encounters on its way. Terrain: Difficult going, no defined path from Dartmeet to the New Bridge, but a very rewarding route nonetheless.

Dart consists of one long poem about the River Dart in Devon, England. It combines prose and poetry. [1] Oswald is a gardener at Dartington Hall, an estate in South Devon. She spent three years recording her conversations with people who live and work on the river; the poem is her homage to them and to the river. [2] The river, she said, has a "frightening female presence...she seemed female from the people I talked to". [3] Falling Awake provides the notation for an immersive aural experience... it is certainly a strong contender in this year's Forward Prizes, and a highly compelling meditation upon transience' Huffington Post

But she likes to think that children help prevent her from getting 'too much in the head'. She adds: 'You have to remain practical and strong for them.' There is an extraordinary poem in the new collection 'Poem for Carrying a Baby out of Hospital', in which she is terrified by its fragility, fearful that she might drop it.In 2004, Oswald was named as one of the Poetry Book Society's Next Generation poets. Her collection Woods etc., published in 2005, was shortlisted for the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Collection). She says that the balance is 'precarious', that she writes with earplugs in, that everything is 'framed by chaos'. This is a book-length poem – a collage of water-stories, taken mostly from the Odyssey – about a minor character, abandoned on a stony island. It is not a translation, though, but a close inspection of the sea that surrounds him. There are several voices in the poem but no proper names, although its presiding spirit is Proteus, the shape-shifting sea-god. We recognise other mythical characters – Helios, Icarus, Alcyone, Philoctetes, Calypso, Clytemnestra, Orpheus, Poseidon, Hermes – who drift in and out of the poem, surfacing briefly before disappearing.

Sharrah Pool is a popular swimming spot, and the author was persuaded (by himself) to briefly go in. Judges for the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize Announced". 19 August 2015. Archived from the original on 5 March 2019 . Retrieved 19 August 2015. Oswald gives voice to a river's many voices and makes it look easy. We peer briefly into the lives of those who live in the Dart and beside it, those who dream of it and around it, those who rely upon its ever-changing waters, the waters themselves. We glimpse history and place and identity all bubbling up and swirling together, reflecting sunlight, moonlight, "wind, wings, roots." I can only share a collection of my favorite lines gathered gulp by glass by gallon.We soon arrive at Northgate House alongside the abbey, offering impeccable, good-value accommodation and a hearty breakfast. it is part of the Foundation. As the path skirts around the industrial estate of Totnes, it feels decidedly less salubrious, but it’s worth it to make sure you come out at Totnes Bridge, so you can start at the bottom of the High St, walk all the way up and enjoy this cornucopia of independent shops and eating places to the full.

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