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Jan Dean

Updated: Thu, 6 Nov 2014 06:05 pm

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Jan Dean is a poet-in-school. Her poems for children appear in over a hundred anthologies and she has two full collections. Her latest book 'The Penguin In Lost Property'(Macmillan) is written with Roger Stevens. Her published work for adults (with Rivelin/Grapheme) has been on hold since the mid 80's - but now she's back. A member of NW poets, she's been a guest at Write Out Loud Sale, Chester's Zest, and guested on the Quiet Compere's NW Tour. Recently she collaborated with artist Caroline Lea on the exhibition 'Tree Round a Rock' - for which she wrote 22 Lullabies for the Dead. The exhibition has appeared in Mid-Cheshire College and headlined at MMU's Words At Play festival.


Deep Cutting (1814 – 1826) and the hill said the slab stones said you made a hole in me pickaxe navvy men dynamite blast men rumble crack pause then all fall down again… …you made a hole in me (1930 -1960) and the town said the terraced town said you made a hole in me shut down cotton mills shuttle stop loom stills dole queue red bills jam bread belly fills… …you made a hole in me (1950 -) and I said from the edge I said you made a hole in me she falls and he goes shipped off before it shows knits bootees with pink bows can’t keep it heaven knows hands her over doors close but see, see… …you made a hole in me. Jan Dean Lullaby 20: Away the narrow dead for your coffin is no wider than a kerbstone and you are safe in this pinched place you cannot fall you cannot wander cupped tight and cosy in this pent up space there are no adventures here no room for risk and I have plugged the cracks around your casket lid with caulking twisted from certificates away the narrow dead to your thin sleep fine as pen lines marking out a map you are contained constricted cannot bend or choose a way less circumscribed your arms clamped firm across your chest secure and sheltered in your own embrace your prudent feet snatched from the jaws of dancing away away the narrow dead   Jan Dean

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