Published by Smokestack Books
Following a series of unsuccessful spinal operations in 2010, Gordon Hodgeon has been confined to bed and wheelchair, unable to move his arms and legs and often unable to breathe without the help of a ventilator. These poems capture his coming-to-terms with a gradually narrowing view on the world; some were dictated to friends and nursing staff, some typed using voice-recognition software.
Still Life is a book about learning to live in a new element, about helplessness and loss. But it is mostly a book about living, a wonderfully energetic and sharply humorous celebration of the fact of being alive – the birth of a granddaughter, the slow changing of the seasons through the hospital window.
Gordon Hodgeon was born in Lancashire in 1941. He has worked in education, including as a schools advisor in Teesside, and was active for many years with the National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE), Northern Arts, Cleveland Arts, New Writing North and Mudfog Press. His previous books include November Photographs (1981), A Cold Spell (1996) and Winter Breaks (Smokestack, 2006). He won the Mirehouse Poetry Prize (Keswick) in 2004 and 2007. He lives in Stockton-on-Tees.