My poetry was first published when I was 15 years old – in an anthology, Next Wave Poets 1, edited by Desmond Hertzberg. More poems appeared the following year in Next Wave Poets 2. In my early twenties, I wrote ‘Special Delivery’, a poem about the death of my father, which Norman Hidden accepted for his magazine, New Poetry. Norman continued to encourage me for almost thirty years, until his death in 2006. I will always be grateful for his support and for that of the late Peter Porter, who I first met as a student at the University of Kent, and who advised me to apply for an E.C.Gregory Award. I did this in 1980 and was awarded one the following year, along with Alan Jenkins, Kathleen Jamie, Philip Gross and others. In 1981, I was also fortunate enough to be a first-prize winner in the Cheltenham Festival Poetry Competition. I continued to publish in magazines and anthologies and, in 1988, was thrilled when Neil Astley accepted a manuscript of The Peepshow Girl for Bloodaxe Books. Raiding the Borders followed in 1996 and New Wings, in 2007. My fourth collection, Hyem, will be published in October 2017. For more details, please see: http://www.bloodaxebooks.com/ecs/product/hyem-1160
Hyem (Bloodaxe, October 2017)
New Wings: Poems 1977-2007 (Bloodaxe, 2007)
The poems in “New Wings” focus on many different kinds of beginnings. Drawn both from new poems as well as from two earlier collections, these are poems of living through and coming to terms with changes – sometimes momentous or traumatic – and moving on into the future. In them, the reader travels from Scotland to Stockholm, the Californian desert, New York, rural Pennsylvania, Venice, Constanta, the Blue Mountains, Sydney and Tyneside.
These poems raid borders of time and place through several centuries up to the present. Like geographical divisions, those between history and myth, despair and hope, possession and loss, are never fixed. From the borders of Northumbria there are forays into Scotland, Wales, southern England, Ireland, and beyond, which show people living with boundaries which they either dare to challenge or are unable to cross.
This first collection is full of different voices – from those of a photographer’s model, a mourning father, a widow fiercely protecting her children, a second wife, and Mrs Mackie with her north-east dialect – to the words of a Jacobean fragment, a laburnum tree, Eurydice, Guinevere and Isabelle of France. There is also,’…vivid natural description…and freer, more mysterious poems which convey an otherworldly chill…’ Ruth Fainlight
Poetry Anthologies edited by Robyn:
This comprehensive anthology covers over 100 poets from a wide range of social backgrounds across the English-speaking world. Familiar names – Anne Bradstreet, Aphra Behn, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Emily Dickinson and Christina Rossetti – appear alongside other fascinating writers from America, Australia, Canada, India and New Zealand as well as the UK.
‘Everyone interested in literature or in the place of women in history should own this book. Eliza’s Babes will take you on an extraordinary journey through the lives and writing of women who were famous in their time, mixing with the literary glitterati, as well as those who were ‘minor poets’ struggling to keep food on the table through their writing. . . This is one of the most wonderful, mind-changing, horizon-lifting books I have ever read. I have given it as presents to many of my friends, and I urge you to buy it.’
Maggie Butt, Chair of the National Association of Writers in Education
Time Present and Time Past: Poets at the University of Kent, 1965-1985, ed. Yorrick, 1985 (published as Marion Lomax)
Recent poetry reviews by Robyn:
The Poems of Bail Bunting, ed. Don Share (Faber, 2016), The Lake http://www.thelakepoetry.co.uk/reviews/ October 2016
Review of Clive James’s Sentenced to Life (Picador, 2015) www.thelakepoetry.co.uk September 2015.
Alison Hill’s Slate Rising, The Lake (www.thelakepoetry.co.uk) February 2015.
Deirdre Shanahan’s Recovery Position, The Lake (www.thelakepoetry.co.uk) August 2014.
John Agard’s Travel Light Travel Dark, The Lake (www.thelakepoetry.co.uk) March 2014.
Connie Bensley’s Finding a Leg to Stand On, The Lake (www.thelakepoetry.co.uk) September 2013.
Wendy Cope’s Family Values, TLS 17 June 2011 (www.the-tls.co.uk/archives)
Robyn’s poems can also be found in:
At Sea. Ferry Tales, 2017
Fifty Ways to Fly, ed. Alison Hill. Rhythm & Muse, 2017
Two Thirds North, ed. Paul Schreiber & Adnan Mahmutovic. Stockholm, 2016
Beached Here at Random by Mysterious Forces, ed. Ben Hickman & Jan Montefiore. 2015
The Arts of Peace, ed. A. Blamires & P. Robinson. English Association/Two Rivers Press, 2014
Poetry Review vol.103:4 Winter 2013, p.54
Heart Shoots Indigo Dreams for Macmillan Cancer Support, 2013
Riptide, volume 9, August 2013
A Mutual Friend English Association/Two Rivers Press, 2012
Resurgence Winter 2009
Poetry Salzburg Review vol.13 University of Salzburg, Spring 2008
London Magazine, 2008
Feeling the Pressure: Poetry and the Science of Climate Change, ed. P. Munden, British Council, Berne, 2007
New Writing ed. Graeme Harper vol.1:0, 2004
Swedish Reflections ed. Judith Black & Jim Potts Arcadia/British Council, 2003
Modern Scottish Women Poets ed. Dorothy McMillan & Michel Byrne Canongate Classics, 2003
Earth Songs ed. Peter Abbs, Green Books, 2002
Staying Alive: real poems for unreal times ed. Neil Astley, Bloodaxe, 2002
Everybody’s Mother ed. Linda Coggin & Clare Marlow Peterloo, 2001
Poetry Review, ed. Peter Forbes, vol. 91 no.2 Summer 2001
New Blood ed. Neil Astley, 1999 (published as Marion Lomax)
The Tabla Book of New Verse ed. Stephen James, 1998 (published as Marion Lomax)
Interchange ed. Richard Marggraf Turley, 1998 (published as Marion Lomax)
The Forward Book of Poetry 1997 (published as Marion Lomax)
The Long Pale Corridor: Contemporary Poems of Bereavement ed. Judi Benson & Agneta Falk, Bloodaxe, 1996 (published as Marion Lomax)
Sixty Women Poets ed. Linda France, 1993 (published as Marion Lomax)
Klaonica: Poems for Bosnia ed. Ken Smith & Judi Benson, 1993 (published as Marion Lomax)
Poetry with an Edge ed. Neil Astley Bloodaxe, 1988, 1993, (published as Marion Lomax)
Poetry with a Sharper Edge ed. David Orme and Neil MacRae, Stanley Thornes, 1988 (published as Marion Lomax)
London Magazine August/September 1987 (published as Marion Lomax)
Poetry Durham Spring 1987 (published as Marion Lomax)
Four Ways Phoenix Press, 1985 (published as Marion Lomax)
Slipping Glimpses, ed. Carol Rumens Poetry Book Society, 1985 (published as Marion Lomax)
The Gregory Awards Anthology 1981&1982,eds. Howard Sergeant & Anthony Thwaite (Carcanet, 1982 (published as Marion Lomax)