Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria is the largest annual gathering of Gypsies and Travellers in Europe. As a child, Jo Clement visited the fair each year with her Grandad Jack. In this moving homecoming, the poet travels alone to the fair to watch horses be bathed in the River Eden and raced along the electrifying flashing lane to reflect on the poetics and politics of Gypsy identity.
Lyrically agile and never predictable, Moveable Type is a proud and startling debut pamphlet that marks an impressive new voice in contemporary poetry.
Foreword by Sean O'Brien. Poems are illustrated with seven wood engravings by Thomas Bewick.
Published by New Writing North (forthcoming March 2020) with support from Arts Council England.
Launch postponed due to the CV-19 pandemic.
It is very rare to find a young poet with such an alert musical ear, able to listen ahead for the shape of a sound yet to be uttered.
- Sean O'Brien
Here is delight – these poems, rich and strange, brim from ‘the skim/of blood that can’t settle’. Jo Clement’s gifts shine and dazzle: amongst the darting, many-layered music of her imagery and sensuous evocation of northerly landscapes gleams a clear-sightedness politically aware and historically acute. Meaning is interrogated as a riverine process and emerges, movingly, in significances found later. Part urban fable, part re-imagining of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller culture, these poems are beautifully made to be read and re-read, savoured for their sharp, apple-bite tenderness, their truth and wisdom, their sheer originality.
This will be splendid for poetry fiends, print aficionados, woodcut wonks, their mates who rave over engravings, that aspect of the citizenry which is bonkers for Bewick, and possibly even passersby who simply find themselves inordinately fond of fonts.
- W. N. Herbert
This wonderful book feels exhilarating, like a wild dance with a fiddle playing so fast you can barely keep up. Or a bareback ride through the woods. Bloody gorgeous.
- Jo Colley
This is the word of the weathered hand and of the hard, hale youth; the tattered treasure, the grafter and the fetter-breaking wild. These intoxicating and fine-sprung poems instantly place Clement in the front rank of Traveller writers. May they also relight our wonder at the depths of all unsung Englands.