Oswald's Book of Hours
Published by Smokestack Books
Shortlisted for the 2013 Forward Prize for Best First Collection.
Oswald, King of Northumbria from 635 to 642 AD, was a warrior, evangelist, hunter, scholar, martyr and, most famously of all, main rival to George’s claim to be patron saint of England. Oswald’s Book of Hours is a series of elegies and eulogies for Oswald, written in the voices of an unlikely band of northern radicals, including union leader Arthur Scargill, hermit Richard Rolle, brigand John Nevison, Catholic rebel Robert Aske – and Oswald himself.
Brutal, provocative and thrillingly original, Oswald’s Book of Hours is a pocket history of northern subversion and exile, going back before the Industrial Revolution, before the Reformation, before England even existed.
Steve Ely lives in the West Riding of Yorkshire. A former Sunday League footballer and secondary school headteacher, his other works include the novel Ratmen, published by Blackheath Books in June 2012. A selection of poems from Oswald’s Book of Hours will appear in a forthcoming Five Leaves anthology of Yorkshire poetry.