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Edwin Stockdale

Updated: Mon, 17 Feb 2014 07:13 pm

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Edwin's debut pamphlet collection is forthcoming from Red Squirrel Press in September 2014. Magazines Edwin has been published in: the Brontë Society Gazette, the Coffee House, Drey (Red Squirrel Press), Fire, the Gaskell Society Journal, Ink sweat & tears, the Interpreter's House, In the Red, Long Poem Magazine, Obsessed with Pipework, Open Mouse (Poetry Scotland), Orbis, Poetry Cornwall, Poetry Monthly, Poetry Salzburg Review, Poetry Scotland and Snakeskin. Anthologies: Room for Poetry (Cestrian Press, 2008), Habitats of the Mind (Cestrian Press, 2010), the Robin Hood Book (Caparison, 2012), Spaces (Cestrian Press, 2012), Sculpted (North West Poets, 2013), Best of Manchester Poets 3 (Puppywolf, 2013), Cats, Cats, Cats (Cestrian Press, 2013), Poems from the 2013 Cheshire Prize for Literature (University of Chester Press, forthcoming), an Anthology of Jane Austen-themed Poems (Like This Press, forthcoming), an Anthology of Bronte-themed Poems (Like This Press, forthcoming). Prizes: shortlisted for the Flintshire Poetry Prize in 2008 and 2009, Highly Commended in the Wirral Festival of Firsts Open Poetry Competition in 2011, 2nd prize in the 2012 Liver Bards Poetry Competition, shortlisted for the 2013 Cheshire Prize for Literature. Performances: Zest in Alexander's Jazz Bar, Blaze in Northwich, the Poetry Scotland Festival in Callender, the Liver Bards, the Bards of New Brighton, Poets Corner in Hoylake and the Essar Oil Chester Literature Festival. Edwin is a member of Chester Poets and North West Poets. In 2007 he graduated from Lancaster University with a 2:1 in Creative Writing and Music. After that he worked in a bookshop, then as teaching assistant and a nursery nurse. He has recently completed his postgraduate training to be a primary school and nursery teacher at Liverpool Hope University and currently works as an Early Years Practitioner.


River Dee Railway Bridge, 24 May 1847 English shorthorn cows graze the grass content in the May evening. Two lovers stroll in and out of cow parsley. They hear a whistle, smell smoke. A train crosses the river on its way to Shrewsbury. The lovers think about going home as they spot a dragonfly. Robert Stephenson’s girders snap. Carriages plunge into waters beneath, the engine and tender carry on for a few yards. The lovers stop and stare. All is quiet. Time slows. Then, the air is filled with splashes and screams. The moment breaks, the lovers hurry forward. Whisking away, the dragonfly chooses a more peaceful spot. This poem was on display in Nuts and Bolts: Engineering in Cheshire, an exhibition at the Grosvenor Museum, Chester, from October 2011 to January 2012. Last Recording I turned up at the studio; freezing cold, December frost, fingers numb. I thought it was the biting air outside. I was recording a Beethoven Sonata. I crashed out the sforzando at the beginning, my cello humming with tension. Haunting fragments of melody swept through the room. Wonderful contrasts: extreme dynamics, dramatic then pathétique mood, low and high pitch. The music flowed on. Numbing sensation in my fingers again; fade to black. I woke up in a strange bed somewhere, couldn’t move my legs; nurse says consultant coming soon. Multiple Sclerosis: that’s what the consultant says. No more playing the cello for me. Goodbye to my career. I can’t even clench my hands together to be angry. Music is my passion. Without it I have nothing. Now I’m in a wheelchair, listening to the last recording I ever made that day in the studio, the one in G minor. Looking out at the garden: December again, hard frost outside. Published in Fire Hathersage Moor Baked moors, a trickle of water in peat. Dozing on the heather I listen to the bees’ song: Jane flees across the heath, knee-deep in its dark growth. A plover startles. Jane sits under a granite crag, gathers jet beads of bilberries. A lizard runs over the stone. Rushes and moss cover the marshes. Night brings rain, pelting her skin, soaking her dress. Light shines in the darkness. Jane hastens towards it, plashing in the bog, falling occasionally. Published by Obsessed with Pipework These Old Stones (Lidice, Czechoslovakia) The stones of the valley have tales to tell. Otters leave wet prints, sleek tails dusting the surface. Coal-blackened feet pass over the stones as men go down the pit. Children skip over them on their way to school. The stones sense their laughter. These stones saw everything. Men lined up, shot, blood and bullets showering the stones. The stones hear their cries. Ornaments, rocking chairs and mirrors splinter on the stones. Stones twine with tree roots, seek shelter in the earth. Rainwater washes the stones, yet they still remember. The stones talk to each other: pass it on. Published by Snakeskin Crannog (Loch Tay, Scotland) Early morning mist rises from the loch. Bear, hazelnut fur, lumbers from cold peaty water, shaking his coat; droplets gleam in resin sun. Thatched roof of reeds, bracken and straw meets the sky. Hurdles of hazel make the wall and partitions, vertical alder supports secured by clay. Inside, a large family eating breakfast, gritty bread from spelt wheat. Black-faced sheep nibble sloe-berries not noticing the bitter taste. Wood-smoke from the always-lit fire ingrained in pillars. Ferns on the floor, dry smell. Ducks nest in walls, drawn by flickering warmth. Later, children assist Dad on the lathe. Mum grinds flour between stones. Spooling thread on a spindle, Grandmother sits. Granddad fishes in a log-hollowed boat. Dusk, the drawbridge is raised. A pack of wolves patrol the shore: thunder-clawed coats, hackles raised; howling, eyes slivers of ice. Published by Poetry Scotland Thorp Green, Little Ouseburn The hall has pink and yellow brick, a stone and plaster portico; high sash windows complete the scene. I think of Agnes in the schoolroom listening to tales of Rosalie’s attachments, Matilda more interested in horses and dogs. I can see Mrs Robinson sashaying about the house, fan in hand, before reclining on a chaise-longue. In the grounds stands the fourteenth-century Monks’ House: timbered frame, brick and wattle walls, diamond-paned windows - Branwell’s lodgings. Anne writes in her diary paper: “During my stay I have had some very unpleasant and undreamt-of experience of human nature.” Published by the Interpreter's House

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.


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Sun 26th Feb 2012 19:32

Hi Edwin. I'm not sure if I can tell you how to make a poem less prosy - or if I should even attempt. All poets have their own voice - yours appears to be a more literal one - and that's fine if it works for you and your readership.

I see that the River Dee Railway Bridge is in a similar vein to your Bronte poem. The writer is like an eye - describing a scene - with that curious sense of detachment - even when describing tragedy.

I do write prosy poetry too, sometimes. And then there are other times when I go for the whole musical beat thing :) Because I am into performance poetry, I tend to like stuff that will work on a stage - so it has to flow and be understood easily...

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Ann Foxglove

Fri 24th Feb 2012 07:07

Hi Edwin - welcome to WOL. Some fine poems on your profile page! If you feel like putting one on the blog section I'm sure you'd get some feedback.

<Deleted User> (6315)

Fri 24th Feb 2012 00:03

Ps great to be reading you Edwin.. :)

<Deleted User> (6315)

Fri 24th Feb 2012 00:00

Hey Edwin hiya and welcome to on make a new entry to put your stuff up..if you copy then click on I think it is the fourth or fith from the left it should work for you...can be a bit tricky but it is worth it as it is a great community with many fine poets on here..good to know you are getting out and about to other venues too..How are you? :)

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