Janet Sutherland’s Hangman’s Acre

    
   
Janet Sutherland was raised on a dairy farm in Wiltshire, lived twenty years in London and now lives in Lewes. Her second collection, Hangman’s Acre (Shearsman Books, 2009), is to be published on 15 October 2009. Of her first collection, Burning the Heartwood (Shearsman Books, 2006), reviewed in Poetry Review, Judith Kazantzis said the “poems are questioning, tender, guarded”. Her work has appeared in many magazines including Poetry Review and Poetry Wales and in anthologies including The Virago Book of Love Poetry and The New British Poetry 1968-88. She has read widely including at venues in Brighton, London and at the Ledbury Poetry Festival. Read more about Janet and Hangman’s Acre on her Shearsman author page  and website.
    
  
    
Assemblage des Beautés
  
Bone monkey has set up shop in the airing cupboard.
It’s warm in there. Silverfish take refuge in his skull
and slide around his ribs. Worn sheets have ruched between
his bones like the petals of old roses – Assemblage des Beautés
for instance – so cherry red and full it almost seems
there is blood again and a heart beating like crazy.
  
  
Previously published in Poetry Review (Volume 99:2 Summer 2009).
  
  
 
Nearer
  
rain is falling under sodium lights
the municipal toilet roof is bathed in gold
up station street the tarmac shines and little rivers
writhe and coil along the roadside gutters
 
it’s late     the traffic light in broken pieces
scatters across the deserted lane
in amber, red, red and amber, green
in all the houses darkness slowly deepens
  
in this town on a night like this     my heart
glitters     each footfall takes me nearer
to your bed   and to the dark where I will
lie with you this little time     I thought
  
it could not be like this   but I was wrong
walking on light and water     coming home
  
  
Published in Hangman’s Acre (Shearsman Books, 2009).
  
  
 
Bath launch of Carrie Etter’s pamphlet and Janet Sutherland’s second book
  
Monday 26 October, 6.30pm, Carrie Etter and Janet Sutherland launch new collections at Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, 14 – 15 John Street, Bath, BA1 2JL. Phone: 01225331155. Email: books@mrbsemporium.com.
 
Shearsman Books December 2009 Reading
 
Tuesday 1 December 2009, 7.30pm, Alan Wearne and Janet Sutherland at Swedenborg Hall, Swedenborg House, 20/21 Bloomsbury Way (entry on Barter Street), London, WC1A 2TH. Email: editor@shearsman.com.

5 thoughts on “Janet Sutherland’s Hangman’s Acre

  1. dale

    Oh my God. What an extraordinary poem. (They both are, but it’s the second one that rocks me back on my heels.) Thank you, Michelle.

  2. Michelle Post author

    Thank you, Janet, Fiona Sampson and Tony Frazer for letting me post these poems. Hangman’s Acre is a wonderful collection.

  3. Geraldine Green

    yes, it is. i’m pleased to have it (‘hangman’s acre’) as a companion, here, on my bookshelf. thanks janet, michelle

    can’t be at your book launch, janet, but here’s a hug!

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