Field Book | Andrew Forster
A Field Book is a naturalist’s notebook, and these poems take their impetus from encounters with nature, against a background of ecological crisis, exploring ways forward in a time of upheaval. Reconnecting with the natural world in its various forms they consider the challenges of rewilding, species reintroduction, and self-sufficiency but, written out of a time of personal change, they keep sight of the human, aiming to live in a way that means no harm.
Andrew Forster has published three previous full-length collections of poetry: Fear of Thunder (2007) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and poems from it have been included in AQA GCSE anthologies. Homecoming won a Northern Writers Award, was shortlisted for the Lakeland Book of the Year Award, and featured as a ‘Read Regional’ title in 2016. Andrew lives in West Lancashire and has worked in Literature Development, in various capacities and across the UK, for 25 years. He has a PhD, in Poetry and Environmentalism, from Manchester Metropolitan University.
“Written at a point of change, Andrew Forster’s Field Book charts a period when shifts are taking place. We meet a man during his search for grounding, for new roots, who is in the process of ‘getting...bearings once again’. The compass spins from youthful innocence to adult hurt and it is through being in nature that life events become understood. Reflections upon owl, stag, badger, foal, bring both creature and experience quivering to the page, asking us to consider who we share this earth with. We can only learn from this poet’s respectful, observant pen, and follow to the book’s joyous close to feel ‘the weight of our feet on earth/and the lightness of what is possible’.”
“Field Book is an apt title for a collection of poems that follows a poet’s journey through his encounters with nature. The poems, with their patient observations of landscape and the animals, plants and birds that inhabit it, as well as occasional personal revelations, are a moving testimony to the fragility and endurance of all forms of life. They remind me of Edward Thomas, one of my favourite poets.”
“Andrew Forster’s poems are patient: they wait for the decisive moment, then they wait for it to unfold, for all that ripples from it. This gives them an extraordinary clarity. This collection is alive to things which exist on the edge of breaking, precious findings on the fells and beaches, towns ‘tied to the rhythms of steel’, villages where ‘the hills press in’, land ‘reduced to its bones’. It is utterly enchanting.”
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