On Saturday 10th October I was lucky enough to celebrate Claire Walker’s success at her Book Launch. I have always admired Claire’s poetry, it touches you deeply and makes you think, it lingers after you have read it and stays with you. Her new pamphlet The Girl Who Grew Into A Crocodile (great title) is available from V Press and if I were you, I would order a copy so you can read the poems over and over again.
“Claire Walker’s debut pamphlet The Girl Who Grew Into a Crocodile is a riveting meditation on motherhood and transformation that crackles with drama. There are moments of lyrical delicacy and oceanic longings, and Walker’s perceptual acuity pitches the reader into a world where nothing is taken at face value – a girl might be a crocodile, a mermaid could become captor, and seeds are studied for their mnemonic potential. This is a work to be savoured.” Carolyn Jess Cooke
“A confident and impressive debut by Claire Walker. The alluring qualities in this collection are the sense of mystique in many of her poems which at first glance appear elucidating. The stylistic fusion of narrative and illustrative poetry see-saws from the adult experience of life to a fabling account of the innocence and fragility of childhood and adolescence. Claire Walker is a writer who clearly cares about her craft and some of the dreamlike qualities of this collection are reminiscent of Joy Davidman’s work.” Antony Owen
It was a fabulous night of poetry and Claire reading from the collection. I have wanted to get my hands on this pamphlet since I saw the first photographs in the summer. It has been very hard not to buy one before the event.
I was delighted to be asked to read at the launch, it gave me a chance to choose a set of poems that I know Claire has enjoyed hearing before.
The Girl Who Grew Into a Crocodile, by Claire Walker, is published by V. Press. In addition to readings from the pamphlet, Claire will also be joined by guest poets Kevin Brooke, Kathy Gee, Jenny Hope, Neil Laurenson, John Lawrence, Nina Lewis and Ruth Stacey.
Claire Walker’s poetry has appeared in magazines, websites and anthologies including The Interpreter’s House, Ink Sweat and Tears, Nutshells and Nuggets, And Other Poems, Snakeskin, Crystal Voices and three drops from a cauldron. She was runner up in… the 2014/2015 Worcestershire Poet Laureate Competition. The Girl Who Grew Into a Crocodile is her first pamphlet.
Kevin Brooke writes poetry and stories. His second book called ‘Jimmy Cricket’, and aimed at young adults, was published by Black Pear Press in 2014. He’s also had a number of short stories published in various anthologies and was amazed to have won the Erewash Writers’ national short story competition in 2014 with ‘Running Away’.
Kathy Gee lives in Worcestershire and mentors museum and heritage organisations. In 2011 she was an unexpected finalist for the Worcestershire Laureate and has since had some fifty poems published in online and print magazines including The Interpreter’s House, Obsessed with Pipework, Ink, Sweat and Tears, ‘And Other Poems’, Antiphon, Acumen, and in three anthologies. She is a member of the Worcestershire stanza and regularly reads at spoken word events. Her first collection will be published in 2016.
Jenny Hope is a writer, poet, workshop facilitator, Woman with a Tree Thing. Her collection, Petrolhead was published in 2010 by Oversteps Books. She is currently working on her second collection. Her websites are www.poetrymaker.co.uk and www.jennyhope.co.uk
Neil Laurenson has read at poetry events across the region, including the Wenlock Poetry Festival and the Ledbury Poetry Festival. Guaranteed lashings of puns and piles of wit.
John Lawrence is a sometimes writer, sometimes performer of his sometimes poetry, who always lives in Redditch. And always wants to write more than he sometimes does.
Nina Lewis has poetry published in a range of anthologies and magazines. Her poetry has appeared in an art installation and on the Wenlock Poetry trail. In 2014 she was commissioned to write and perform at Birmingham Literature Festival. She is currently working on her first collection.
Ruth Stacey’s debut poetry collection Queen, Jewel, Mistress was published by Eyewear, July 2015. Her pamphlet Fox Boy was published by Dancing Girl Press in 2014. Most recently her poems have appeared in the anthology Advice on Proposals by Like This Press, Brittle Star magazine, Abridged issues 0-29 and 0-34, and online at Ink, Sweat and Tears. She lives in Worcestershire.
Kathy Jenny John Kevin
Nina Neil Ruth
Photographs – credit Richard Hodgetts