Poetry dropping in Sandwich
Back in October, Helen, a member of the Cumbrian Reading Detectives team, wrote an interesting blog which drew our attention to The Embalmer's Book of Recipes by Ann Lingard. In her blog, Helen quoted Jane Gardam, and Rob pointed out that Jane Gardam has a house in Sandwich, Kent.
Intrigued to discover if Jane Gardam's writing could be included among our Kent literary finds, I was encouraged to find that Kent Libraries and Archives has over 50 copies of her books, and Sandwich Library even has some signed copies! So plenty here to keep us busy .....
Jane Gardam, who was born in 1928, has written extensively for both adults and younger readers. She spent her childhood in North Yorkshire and Cumberland, and many of her books are inspired by vivid childhood memories, but she clearly draws on a rich variety of sources, and is still creating great fiction. Last September she published The Man in the Wooden Hat, a story featuring barrister Edward Feathers and his wife Betty. It covers a wide time-scale, from late 1940s Hong Kong to present day Dorset. I confess I haven't read this book yet, but I did catch part of it when it was serialized last year by BBC Radio 4, and it's definitely one I must read.
Local influences may not be obvious in her latest novels, but an article by Jane Gardam in the Review section of The Guardian (Saturday February 21st 2010) reveals that she has recently turned her hand to other activities in her local market town. Working in partnership with a friend, she set out last autumn to make "random droppings" - dropping poetry at various locations in and around the town. The reason she gives for making these poetry drops is "pleasure"! How wonderful for the inhabitants of Sandwich to be at the receiving end of this generous act!
Jane Gardam says in her article that she and her friend have tried to avoid parochialism, but, desiring to act with courtesy, some of the poems which they selected do have local resonance. (More food for Reading Detectives here!)
Initially, it seems, these droppings did not go well. But, adapting their tactics a little, offering local shops poems for their windows, the activity soon proved to be a great success. Apparently the Sandwich independent bookshop filled two windows with pieces by Gawain Douglas, a local laureate who lives in nearby Deal. Children did not miss out, being treated with verses by Spike Milligan, nor did patients waiting at the doctor's surgery, who were uplifted with a poem by Francis Burroughs. On Valentine's Day the town was given All for Love.
I'm beginning to visualize a way to give our "forgotten" poets an airing. Perhaps we could make a start with poems from our Tramp Poets? (Or would that risk being too parochial?)
23 February 2010 from Julia
- Pangbourne - a love affair with a gorilla
- Out of the Blue by Val Rutt
- The Kent Factor
- Grubby Tales from Beardy Ardagh
- The Men of Kent March On
- The Curse of Aphis Minimus
- One True Crime
- Why Pick Lydden?
- From Maidstone Prison to the Wide Sargasso Sea!
- Dover- Life's a Beach
- The ideal home
- The Tramping Methodist - more tramping in Kent!
- The Small Years by Frank Kendon
- Everyone Loves Rupert Bear!
- On the write tracks in literary Kent - Day 4
- On the write tracks in literary Kent - Day 3
- On the write tracks in literary Kent - Day 2
- On the write tracks in literary Kent Day 1
- On the write tracks in literary Kent
- Penshurst is the Place
- From Country Pursuits to the Western Front
- Edmund Blunden - echoes from Yalding church bells
- Jane Austen walk
- John Knatchbull from Quarterdeck to Gallows
- Catherine Aird
- More from the tramps .....
- Van Gogh in Ramsgate?
- Tissot A Passing Storm c1876
- The Downfall of a Reading Detective
- Male Georgian/Regency authors
- Bluestocking writers
- Sketches By Boz - We must leave town!
- If You're Going to Snodland...
- The Kent Tramp Trail
- The Altar in the Loft
- Regency and Georgian Literature with a Kent Connection
- Jane Austen and Godmersham by The Rev. S. Graham Brade-Birks
- Kent Clues!
- Poetry dropping in Sandwich
- Reading Detectives film
- Out of the Blue - continued
- Denton Welch
- 45 London Road Sevenoaks
- To Penshurst
- Kent Finale!
- Mon 21 Sep 10.30 am DETECTIVE EVENT AT CENTRE FOR KENTISH STUDIES, MAIDSTONE
- Cat Lovers
- W H Davies
- Silence on the home front as my hard drive has died
- Jeffery Farnol
- Denton Welch, a look back to simpler times
- What Jane Austen really looked like !
- Life in the Country: With Quotations by Jane Austen and Silhouettes by Her Nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh
- First Meeting for Kent
- Jane Austen - Monster Mash Up
- Launch of Kent's Reading Detectives Team on 12 August
- Jane Austen Heritage Link
- Reading Detectives are starting soon in Kent
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