Communing

Published Friday 19th February, 2016

9781910834084

Communing is my debut pamphlet, from Indigo Dreams Publishing. It consists of 20 poems about life, love, birth, death, memory and place. Some were written as part of 52 (prompts by Jo Bell), and its successor, 52+ (prompts by Norman Hadley).

ISBN 978-1-910834-08-4
Paperback
216mm x 138mm
28 pages
£6.00

Praise for Communing:

“…full of poems about family which are at the same time touching and funny, tender yet full of vitality…

“…It’s a quiet collection that radiates warmth – there’s no cynicism here. Michael Symmons Roberts says he likes poetry that displays sentiment, without crossing over into sentimentality, and I think Ben walks this line superbly…

“…Personal poetry, written in this way, transcends itself and results in poetry that is not only engaging and enjoyable, but that really matters.”
Keith Hutson, poet, playwright and editor

“…the poems connect on several levels, but their variety is also impressive within the short range of a pamphlet. Banyard celebrates those little moments of quiet, the noticings of a poet when they have all their “ears alive”, as W.S Graham puts it. I feel confident that the promise Banyard shows here will continue to develop and flourish.”
Angela Topping, Sabotage Reviews

“Ben Banyard’s impressive debut is notable for the way it not only documents a particular stage in the poet’s life, the loss of his mother, the birth of his children, but also succeeds in transforming these experiences and making them universal. Reading it I had a strong, disquieting sense of the fragility of life and of its beauty. A lovely book.”
Carole Bromley, poet, tutor and judge of the YorkMix Poetry Competition 

“Ben Banyard conveys his themes of familial loss and remembrance through beautifully observed domestic details. These familiar moments, like the old telephone number that you never forget, connect us to our own experience.”
Rachael Clyne, poet and therapist


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Sample poems:

The Pigeon

Strutting that opal sheen
on my third floor ledge,
chest puffed aloud.
Her feathers fly as you
treat her to your dance:
she’s Betty to your Wilson
or Keppel at a push.

I catch your beady proud
stare and regret my intrusion.
You pursue her still despite
a firm ardour for my
cheese and pickle.

Two years I’ve sat here
witnessing you woo
a harem of young and old,
trim and tatty,
sleek and city-worn.

And didn’t I see you
one lunch-time in Broadmead
working on a dog-end
and then crumbing through
forests of legs outside Greggs?

You live here better than me,
taking your chances, grifting
Bristol on two defiant wings
and rooftop prayers.


Lympstone

High tide on the estuary
and the boats bob smugly,
prows nudging the weed
and masts bell-clinking softly.

A train’s homely two-tone horn
echoes from Starcross
and the red cliffs
spy the widening shimmer
of Exmouth’s nearby clatter.

Come low tide
avocets scythe the mud
and washing flaps on the lines
all along the shingle
as we trace the harbour wall.

I’d build you Peters’ Tower
to watch over this water,
and these jumbled cottages
where we take our rest.

To contact me in order to arrange a guest reading at your local poetry group or festival, please email me at bbanyard [at] yahoo [dot] com, or via my Facebook page: facebook.com/benbanyardpoet

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