Since I Last Wrote | Ric Hool
Ric Hool has 11 collections of poetry. He was the Welsh Academy poet for the Abergavenny Food Festival, also Academy poet representative for the London South Bank London Global Poetry System. The first publication of Last Fair Deal Gone Down, a docu- story conflating the lives of the author, seminal blues singer Robert Johnson and Eric Clapton, was published in Fulcrum No. 6 (Annual of Poetry & Aesthetics) USA.
His poetic themes are the psychological and geographical impact of place, time and space on the human experience. He has run the reading series Poetry Upstairs in Abergavenny for 30 years. Ric Hool is from Northumberland but lives in Wales.
In leaving a place of origin, that place can become a lens through which to view the world; oneself in the world; the world in oneself. Since I Last Wrote is the culmination of mapping, muthos and documentary poetry revealed as Ric Hool takes the reader through a personal and historical palimpsest of Cullercoats, Northumberland. Since I Last Wrote builds on themes of locality from previous collections and directly from poems in his last title, Personal Archaeology.
‘In Ric Hool’s new collection of poems the poet looks out not only at the world but at himself in the world and this can only be done with such a gift of haunting lyricism because he brings his sharp focus to bear upon the world in himself. In his lecture on “The Geography of the Imagination”, given at the University of Kentucky in 1978, Guy Davenport made clear that not only was the imagination “metamorphic” but also that it was “rooted in a ground, a geography”. As Ric Hool now makes clear “Like ivy historians move / into darkness before turning / towards light” and these new glimpses of a past asserting itself through a present make the reader aware that “A location requires definition”. The poet has provided it!’
‘The fresh air, spaciousness, stoniness, Ric Hool’s mind moving: pace, familiarity, sound, vision. The Black Mountain world vista a reference point, as he drifts through his landscape, without a design on the reader, Diesel, pot bait and hope—how more immediate and documentary can you get! What I appreciate in poetry, through words of particularity.’
‘Ric Hool trusts poetic adventure as one that is revelatory and life-affirming. There is a certain quality of devotion in the writing—for the word as well as the world. Space and silence are granted their place, throwing the music of life all the more into relief. It is a poetry of process and indeterminacy, where “home” is explored with veracity, and identity is not taken for granted.’
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