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A Year in the Bull-Box

A Year in the Bull-Box

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Simon Armitage's Book of the Year 2011 in The Guardian.

"I don't ever remember being as moved by a book of poems."
Simon Armitage, The Guardian

The eighth poetry collection from one of The Timesí ëSix best authors ever in the North of Englandí.

Glyn Hughes wrote about his latest collection: ìThis book follows the course of a yearís cancer from acceptance to joyous life again through closeness to nature. On one of my first nights in the oncology ward, I dreamed that a wall-clock at the foot of my bed was replaced with a scroll covered in runes. I had to decipher these in order to regain health. On waking, I instantly understood. There were three parts to my recovery. One was the medical attention that I was receiving. The second was my mental attitude. The third lay in my spiritual strength. These poems belong to the third of these categories. I had recently acquired use of an isolated stone hut (the ëBull-Boxí) in the Ribble Valley. The time spent there was my healing.î (The Irish Times)

"After Glyn Hughes was diagnosed with cancer, he spent a year in a ëBull-Boxí, an isolated stone building in the Ribble Valley, recording the changes in the natural world across the seasons, its bleak skylines, hard frosts and summer meadows. The result is A Year in the Bull-Box... an unbearably beautiful calendar-sequence in which the poetís ëtiny lifeí is overwhelmingly ëhumbledí by lavish Natureís rich ëextravaganceí."
Andy Croft, Morning Star

"The bookís concern with how 'flowers give the light back in cups of beauty' and 'recompense the dark / and bandage the damaged soul' (ëFlowersí) has throughout a resonant honesty and directness that is frequently moving, frequently thought-provoking in what it has to say about human morality. Warmly recommended."

Glyn Hughes is best known as a Northern poet, artist and novelist with a string of prizes for his work (Guardian Fiction Prize, David Higham Prize, Poetry Book Society Recommendation, Welsh Arts Council Poetís Prize; plus shortlists for the Whitbread, Portico and James Tait Black Prizes). A Guardian poll of readers in 2005 chose two of his books as ëEco-Classicsí, while he was picked by The Times as one of the ëSix best authors ever in the North of Englandí. He lived in the Calder Valley for forty years, and died in 2011.