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Fields Away

Authors: Sarah Wardle

Published by Bloodaxe Books

ISBN: 9781852246204

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Shortlisted for 2003 Forward Prize for Best First Collection

Sarah Wardle's poetry ranges from playful wit to gentle lyrics, exploring a personal geography from country to city. Every poem covers different territory, but in each the voice is distinctly hers: "sparky and feisty" (Sheenagh Pugh), with "a hint of darkness and wicked wit" (Roddy Lumsden).

She can be mischievously inventive - imagining a Parliament of poets, or a people's revolution at the Palace - as well as powerfully reflective (the horror of a Sussex car bomb). And she confronts the suffering, treatment and prejudice of schizophrenia in poems such as 'Psyche', 'Digitalis', 'Metamorphosis' and 'Flight', in which we watch her, like a released blackbird, 'spread her wings and soar'.

"In this propitious debut Sarah Wardle demonstrates an eye for the arresting metaphor, an ear for the memorable phrase. Vigilant, prudent, and surprising, she can open philosophical puzzles or illuminate the commonplace and local, and write with accuracy and grace."
Michael Donaghy

"In this immensely varied collection, Sarah Wardle manages the difficult task of using rhyme without letting it turn comical, wilful or self-conscious. In her work it is always the poem which impresses, never the poet. Time and again, a miracle of unforced musicality is allowed to fall gracefully to the page, seemingly without effort. To be able to make rhyme disappear into thin air is a great gift to a poet, but a greater one for the reader. Fields Away is a highly auspicious beginning."
Hugo Williams
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