In Angela France’s third poetry collection, Hide, what is invisible is just as important as what lies within plain sight. Layers of personal history are lifted into the light and old skins are shed for new; things thought lost and vanished long ago are just on the edge of perception, yet certainties before our eyes vanish in the blink of an eye.
These poems possess their own rich heritage of stories and experiences; themes of magic, wisdom, age and absence are woven into the fabric of this skilful and succinct collection. Readers should also keep their wits about them, for these poems are cunning and quick; they hide nothing, but delight in camouflage, disguise and secrets, patiently awaiting someone who will seek.
“France’s writing engages sensitively with the world as she searches for meaning in the ordinary and movingly explores the borders between shared and private experience. These are poems that make an honest deal with discomfort, following the trails and ‘ghostly outlines of existence’ with integrity, thoughtfulness and care.”
“‘Invisibility must be achieved for success’, writes Angela France, revealing one of the truths of why the best poets serve language and are annihilated in the process. Hide is a book of wisdom, dignity and first witness. It offers poems of scrutiny and strength of character. And the poet's language possesses and is possessed by a gloriously sheared weight and shared music.”
“Angela France’s new collection is a deft and resonant exploration of the half-hidden, taking us ‘over there’ and ‘in there’ under the hide of the ‘other’ and the liminal spaces they inhabit, all evoked with an uncanny command of language and image.”
"There are fifty-two complex, thought-provoking poems in this, Angela France’s fascinating third collection, all of them engaged with what are clearly deep, lastingly cental preoccupations and, despite her view in “Anagnorisis” that “My only surety is carbon and water, ashes; / language as sensation, / no words”, more than justifying the fulsome back-cover endorsements of Nigel McLoughlin, Deryn Rees-Jones and David Morley, who speak of the “integrity, thoughtfulness and care of her work”, its “uncanny command of language and image”, the sensitivity with which she perceives the world “as she searches for meaning in the ordinary” and its “gloriously sheared weight and shared music”."
"Angela France's collection not only brings immediate rewards - its depth satisfies more and more on rereading. I enjoyed it immensely."
Matthew Stewart, Rogue Strands
Angela France has had poems published in many of the leading journals, in the UK and abroad and has been anthologised a number of times. She has an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Gloucestershire and is studying for a PhD. Publications include Occupation (Ragged Raven Press) and Lessons in Mallemaroking (Nine Arches Press). Angela is features editor of Iota and runs a monthly poetry cafe, Buzzwords.