Poet gives first reading after accident that left her in brace with broken back

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A poet who broke her back in seven places after falling into a pond while walking her dog earlier this year will be launching her latest collection at Marsden library on Wednesday 18 October.

Alison Lock will be reading for the first time since her freak accident in April. She had to drag herself out of the water and along a path for half a mile before finding help, and was in a body and neck brace after the accident, unable to move.

She told Write Out Loud: “This is my first reading since the accident, and one that I’ve been working towards on this road to recovery. It’s been a long six months of pain and frustration, and I’m so glad that I’m able to go out and read again.”   

In an article in the Yorkshire Post newspaper she described her ordeal:  “I was walking past a derelict mill site. It was first week of April - a very cold wind and the path was quite muddy and very close to the edge of the water - and I just slipped in.”

She managed to haul herself out of the water, but had to crawl for half a mile before she found help.  “It was horrendous - absolutely horrendous. I had to just keep going and believe that I was going to get there. I still remember every stone, every bit of that ground that I crawled across.”

When she eventually reached the main path she still had to navigate streams and rocks before she was spotted. “Eventually an ambulance came but I was in quite a bad state. It wasn’t until I got to hospital and they did tests and consulted with the spinal unit in Leeds that eventually they said, ‘You’ve got seven broken vertebrae’.”

Her recuperation has been long and painful, but she now has some “pain-free time” on many days.  “I’d injured my thoracic and lumbar spine and I couldn’t move at all for a few weeks. That was a period of great reflection. Breaking your back in seven places is something you are lucky to survive - but of course there was the concern that I might lose various functions or that I might be paralysed.”

Alison no longer needs a back brace, but still requires a stick to help her balance. “I have to be very aware of my limits because once the pain starts I can’t do anything. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now,” she told the newspaper.

She will be launching her third collection, Revealing the Odour of Earth, published by Calder Valley Poetry at Wednesday’s reading. Calder Valley will also be showcasing two other poets, Stephanie Bowgett and Mark Hinchliffe, during the evening which will also include a talk by Calder Valley publisher Bob Horne, and there will be a short open mic section at the start of the evening.  

The event begins at 7pm, and you are advised to arrive early to ensure a seat. Entry is free to the event, organised by Marsden the Poetry Village, Write Out Loud, and Friends of Marsden Library.   



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Hannah Collins

Sun 22nd Oct 2017 20:15

Such a brave woman, I wish her every success.


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