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The Wrong Jarrow

The Wrong Jarrow

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Jarrow was once called the Town That Was Murdered. It is still a painful site of popular memory, a shameful emblem of industrial decay and deprivation, immortalised by grainy newsreels, the photographs of Bill Brandt and the speeches of Ellen Wilkinson.

Tom Kelly has lived in Jarrow for most of his life, but he sometimes feels as though he is living in the wrong Jarrow, as though the ghosts of the past cannot leave the place.

The Wrong Jarrow is a clear-eyed picture of the North East today where deprivation and unemployment are supposedly a distant memory. It also includes a sequence of poems inspired by the paintings of Norman Cornish, charting the life and times of a working class community, something this collection achieves with passion and honesty.

”Put down with a spareness it is difficult to find these days.”Barry MacSweeney

“Specialises in suburban epiphanies, the lines lying flat, full of grudging northerness. ” Stand

”There’s heartache and pain within these short, plainly-written poems."Ambit

"Kelly writes with an uncomfortable rawness and directness. Not to do so would also be a betrayal… The cumulative effect of reading this book is to be exposed to an honesty we are in much need of. ”Matt Simpson, Critical Survey

”Tom Kelly’s gaze is compassionate, steady and unflinching, his tone direct and unsparing, his integrity resonant throughout these poems. ”The Journal

”A forceful little collection, unremitting yet not without a background compassion. ”Other Poetry