At a glittering awards ceremony on Monday 13 November, Literature Wales announced that John Freeman was the winner of the Roland Mathias Poetry Award for his collection What Possessed Me, which explores childhood memories and lifelong relationships with humour, poignancy, and preternatural clarity.
In a recent review on Tears in the Fence, Ian Brinton finds it “a remarkable volume of honest and engaging writing” and writes, “It is no mere chance that this book by John Freeman was awarded the Roland Matthias Poetry Award at the recent Wales Book of the Year Awards. I urge readers to contact Worple Press and get a copy NOW.”
Writing on www.gwales.com for the Welsh Book Council, Caroline Clark finds that Freeman’s “style is deceptively relaxed, even casual, sometimes close to a diary entry or a conversation. Memories of experiences, both distant and recent are captured with great charm, poignancy and sharpness, to illustrate the fact that ‘we live in so much more than just the present’ […] In ‘Casting the Poem’ he compares making a poem to casting a horoscope: ‘A reflection of the universe at that / precise moment in relation to you’. I have rarely seen a better description of the experience, and that is what John Freeman achieves in this collection.”
You can find out more about What Possessed Me, read more reviews and buy a copy here.
Ian Brinton has also reviewed our anthology The Tree Line: Poems for Trees, Woods and People, finding connections with such wide-ranging cultural points as Dickens, Pissarro, Hopkins, Heidegger and the Shawshank Redemption. “Anthologies are reflections of their editors and they represent a very particular bringing together of poems which repay being looked at again and again: they are books, like memories, to be carried around with one. This new publication containing some sixty poems is no exception.” Read the full review here.
Elsewhere, DA Prince calls it “a book for readers, offering simultaneously the real trees and woods known to the poets and routes back into our own memories, trees (and people) we have known. It reminds me, yet again, that if I care for trees as I say I do, I should know more about them and their world that parallels ours. This anthology is a good place to start.” Read the review on London Grip.
Worple Press wishes all our readers, friends and supporters a very happy Christmas and peaceful 2018.