80pp | 978-1-9-10367-55-1Price: £9.95
Or buy this book from Inpress
You see only half of the moon
and mist comes out of the ground.
The cherries are finished on the tree,
the redcurrants ripe on the bush.
We sleep at the top of the house in the room
full of musical instruments. The music
enters our dreams and leaves by the gate
leaving it open.
(from ‘Alt St Johann’)
Jam is a various and expansive collection. There are love poems and elegies, poems about childhood, friendship and bike rides in the rain. A record collection is set on fire, ‘Kevin’ learns to breathe above water, a chicken lives on someone’s head and a boat appears in the sky. The work combines technical assurance with ambition and playfulness to challenge preconceptions. The poems are moving, surprising and funny, sometimes in the space of a few lines.
‘In his own way I think the view of England that Cliff portrays is as distinctive as those created by Hughes or Larkin. It is a vision of in-between places in which nothing much happens or promises to: where the horses snack on bike chains, boats are called Freedom, dogs run sideways, and the seaside donkeys are virtual’
– Anthony Wilson, Lifesaving Poems
Cliff Yates has shared his thoughts about writing Jam on his website here.
Cliff Yates was born in Birmingham and now lives in Gloucestershire. His various collections include Henry’s Clock, winner of the Aldeburgh prize and the Poetry Business competition, Frank Freeman’s Dancing School (Arts Council England Writer’s Award) and Selected Poems, a smith/doorstop ebook. He wrote Jumpstart Poetry in the Secondary School during his time as Poetry Society poet-in-residence. He is a tutor for the Arvon Foundation and is currently Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Aston University.