Friday 17 December 2021

Anne Bailey, "What the House Taught Us"

Anne Bailey was born in West Yorkshire, very close to the Pennine moors. She has worked as a teacher, a mother and a couples counsellor in London, and now lives in North Norfolk. She is a committee member for CafĂ© Writers. Her poem ‘What the River did Next’ was commended in the 2021 Ambit Poetry Competition. Her new pamphlet of poems is What the House Taught Us, published by The Emma Press. You can find her on Twitter: @Anneebai

About What the House Taught Us, by Anne Bailey

You never know how things really are in other people’s families, in other people’s homes. There’s the public face and the private truths – the personal griefs and tragedies, whether festering or resting in peace. In her wry, engagingly strange poems, Anne Bailey takes the door off the latch and lets us inside. 

She shows us loss and disappointment, as well as hardness and resilience, particularly through the eyes of a daughter, wife and mother. We see the domestic sphere in such close-up detail that it becomes bizarre, an uncanny dimension that nonetheless rings horribly, weirdly true. 

You can see more details from What the House Taught Us on the publisher's website here. Below, you can read a sample poem from the pamphlet. 


So you’ve put a picture on the lovely blank wall
that used to go pink in the sun
and feel like an ice cream.
A wall on which I used to rest my eyes
in pleasant contemplation.
A wall which represented air
that could be breathed.
A wall through which it was possible to see
how much space is in the universe.
The distance between one star and another.

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