What began as an isolated poem, written after a poetry reading given by William Oxley in a city church in Exeter more than a decade ago, has developed into a collection of poems about that city. It was then suggested that some photographic accompaniment would further help to capture the spirit of Exeter. The idea appealing greatly, the poet suggested to photographer, Barry Davidson, rather than just providing illustrations to each poem, he should seek in his own way to express that spirit also.This beautifully-produced book − given the Romano-British name of ISCA for Exeter − is the result of their joint endeavours. The book contains 30 poems and 50 photographs, all evocative of Exeter.
William Oxley, author of many books of poetry and prose, became Poet-in-Residence for Torbay for the Year-of-the-Artist in 2000-2001; and in 2008 he received the Torbay Arts Base Award for Literature. Though resident in Torbay, he makes many trips to Exeter, being fascinated by its history and gradually the poetic ambience of the city settled into these poems. Many of the poems were written in the buildings,cafes and inns he discovered during his wanderings through its streets.
Barry Davidson is a British diplomat and freelance photographer. During his many postings, he has taken photographs of some of the most famous places in four continents. But he loves most of all returning to the county of his childhood, Devon, where he attended Furzeham school, followed by Churston Grammar school. While in Nepal, he was ‘mentioned in dispatches’ for his part in rescuing marooned UK residents during the curfew imposed following the massacre of the Royal Family.