The Hill - Angela France
Publication date: 14th July 2017
Paperback, 60 pp
DCF: Poetry Collections
Angela France’s The Hill is a remarkable sequence of poems that leads us up the winding footpaths of Leckhampton Hill near Cheltenham. Under our feet are fossils and flora, bones and the relics of quarrying. France is masterful in capturing the sense of place and weaving the entrancing voices of the hill, its walkers and inhabitants, into the fabric of these formally adventurous poems that range from prose to ‘anglish’, richly worded and delighting in their shapes and sounds.
Here, we encounter ghosts, foxes and ancient kings. We meet the protestors who, years before the Kinder Scout Trespassers, were standing up for their rambling rights and took the law into their own hands in 1902 when a landowner tried to enclose the hill they had walked for generations. And though history is never far from the surface, The Hill raises questions that are just as important today; who has the right to roam, whose land is it, anyway?
“these are words that make you ache for the place.” - Phil Smith, author of Mythogeography and On Walking
"Exuberant, controlled, angry, elegiac, this is a poetry of landscape, politics, witness." - Sheenagh Pugh