Publication Date: 25/06/2020 ISBN: 9781780375229 Category:

Return by Minor Road

Heidi Williamson

Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd
Publication Date: 25/06/2020 ISBN: 9781780375229 Category:
Paperback / Softback




In her mid-20s, Heidi Williamson was part of a Scottish community that suffered an inconceivable tragedy, the Dunblane Primary School shooting. Those years living in the town form the focus of her third poetry collection. Through rivers, rain, wildlife and landscape, she revisits where ‘the occasional endures’ and discovers the healing properties of a beloved place:

‘These small movements
towards the bracken
are to be reckoned with.’

Publisher Review

Through poems of meticulous clarity and precision, Williamson charts the lives and landscapes of a tragedy and its aftermath. These are poems which honestly and respectfully explore the two worlds of humanity: the world we inhabit, its towns, fields and rivers; and, equally importantly, the emotional and spiritual context - the world which inhabits us. What binds the two together? In this powerful and moving collection, it is surely love. -- John Glenday * [on Return by Minor Road] * Heidi Williamson's Return by Minor Road is a wonder. Almost unbearably moving at times, these poems evoke the elemental nature of memory, our animal striving for survival, and the horror that human beings so often inflict upon each other. In three sections, the haunting of trauma, the returning in memory, and the return in actuality to honour the dead, Williamson reminds us that our most sacred responsibility is to remember. -- Dan O'Brien A subtle, moving collection that embraces and explores the landscape cut into the heart. With profound moments and a cumulative power, the collection encapsulates how place and the past are a continuing emotional reality. -- Esther Morgan * [on Return by Minor Road] * It is these moments of stillness in Williamson's writing, of stasis and contemplation, of sadness and such beauty, that make her poems unforgettable. They make you return to them, to find what made you stop in that silence.... A sense of extreme loss pervades her writing, but it is counterbalanced with a lightness of touch, a fluidity and a simplicity that keeps you reading. -- Tilly Nevin * The Oxford Culture Review [on The Print Museum] * At their heart is human tenderness and a sense of human friability... The poems display an incisive mind, a powerful imagination and an equally impressive purchase on language. -- Moniza Alvi & Paul Farley * PBS Bulletin [on Electric Shadow] *

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