Milner Place: In A Rare Time of Rain
Publisher: Chatto and Windus
Described in the Telegraph as ‘Huddersfield’s Melville’, Milner Place has spent much of his life sailing the seven seas as a skipper of a trading boat, while also writing beautifully crafted poetry. His two pamphlet collections. The CONFUSION OF ANGELS and WHERE SMOKE IS, has sold out and been reprinted, and this (at the age of sixty) is his first full length collection, Simon Armitage’s first acquisition for the Chatto Poetry list. Place’s poems have an international or universal quality, influenced by Neruda and Rilke rather than Auden: they are lyrical and wise, rather than quotidian and clever. Some of the poems are sea-going yarns, others are set in South America and read like Gabriel Garcia Marquez in verse. There are also a handful of characters portraits, and a wonderful long poem, ‘Lum Street’, based on a row of terraced houses, its tenants and their relationships to each other. IN A RARE TIME OF RAIN is a powerful and assured first collection, and brings an unusual new voice into British Poetry.