Saturday, 4 August 2012

The poetics of the motorway

The poet Andrew Taylor sent me a copy of In the Company of Ghosts: The Poetics of the Motorway, published by his own imprint, erbecce-press, and edited by him, Alan Corkish and the artist Edward Chell (who I've written about elsewhere on this blog). There are a couple of things I've written in there: a piece about the M62 from the New Statesman and some of my Motorway Twitter poems which I've posted before. But there is lots of really good new stuff by other people: the architectural critic David Lawrence on 'the nocturnal geography of the motorway service station'; the Dickens scholar Malcolm Andrews on the French autoroute and the Picturesque; and poems by Taylor and others on the M58, the M62-M57 Interchange and other unlikely objects of lyricism. I particularly liked the 'Motorway Prayer Poems' by the C of E vicar and psychogeographer John Davies, now sadly (for us) relocated from Liverpool to deepest Devon. Here is an extract from 'Prayer in the wind':

Bless all drivers of high-sided vehicles,
Bless all seagulls blown off course,
Bless all shoppers whose carrier bags are erratic sails in a bad storm.
Bless those who really are at sea, in cavernous calamitous waves.

Amen to that. The book, I have just discovered, was featured on Radio 4's Today programme a couple of weeks ago:

1 comment:

  1. The Erbacce Press website seems wilfully unfriendly to anyone actually looking to buy one of their products, but it looks like In The Company Of Ghosts is available via this page: