Bedlam Cowslip: The John Clare Poems
80 pages | ISBN 978-1-928088-05-9
**Winner of the 2016 Saskatchewan Arts Board Poetry Award**
In this new collection, Jeanette Lynes turns her attention to the life and work of John Clare (1793–1864), the renowned poet of the countryside and one of England’s greatest working-class bards. In these poems, the Romantic world of Clare – strewn with wildflowers and dizzy with birdsong – is visited by a new, postmodern voice, and the conversation that ensues is both profound and dazzling. Painstakingly researched and deftly crafted, these poems share Clare’s loves, ambitions, rages and failures. Lynes has created an uplifting poetic biography on a bright poetic star that has been rising for over a century.
Pummeling the Enemy Volta (Cora Siré, Arc Poetry Magazine, 10/04/2017)
"By contemporizing Clare’s language with dazzling wit, Lynes generously transfers her brilliance to her subject."
To prog, to swee, to haynishly versify (Anita Lahey, Fiddlehead, 19/10/2016)
"Cloaking herself in the linguistic and political passions of a nineteenth-century peasant-poet boy wonder, Lynes succeeds in reanimating a remarkable, singular voice that might otherwise be hard for many contemporary ears to truly hear, while at the same time inflecting it with her own accent: that of a woman writing in the post-colonial twenty-first century, many generations after the societal changes and tensions that affected Clare, but in a time when his own concerns ring ominously clear."
"Outrageous Intelligence: Two New Collections of Poems from Buckrider Books, 2015" (Catherine Owen, Marrow Reviews, 28/10/2015)
“A real rapacious romp through the fields of blooms and language. The reader instantly draws closer to Clare and his era through Lynes’ wicked ability to empathize with the thoughts, motions, aches and losses of this singular poet.”
"Under the Cover: Begun in Grief and Silence—The Writing of Bedlam Cowslip" (All Lit Up, 03/03/2016)
"To help pass the time, Lynes wandered the grounds, which included “a lovely little library” where she found Jonathan Bate’s biography of Romantic poet John Clare. Says Lynes:
I was instantly enchanted, took the biography back to my room, crawled into bed and read. ‘If I can’t write,’ thought I, ‘at least I can read.’"
"The Shaken and the Stirred – Canadian Poets Rock the UK" (Grace O'Connell, Open Book Toronto, 04/11/2015)
“It was amazing to be in a pub that existed when John Clare was alive, amazing to sip a pint in a pub where the Bee Gees played billiards, and amazing to stand, with Catherine Graham and Holly Luhning into front of the house where Sylvia Plath first lived.”
About the Author
Jeanette Lynes' poems have been shortlisted for The Pat Lowther Memorial Award, The Matrix Lit POP Award and Room Magazine’s poetry contest, among others. They have received The Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Award and The New Quarterly’s Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Award. Jeanette’s novel, The Factory Voice, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and a ReLit Award, and Bedlam Cowslip: The John Clare Poems, Jeanette's seventh book of poetry, won the 2016 Saskatchewan Arts Board Poetry Award. Jeanette lives in Saskatoon where she directs the M.F.A. in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan.
Other titles by this Author
Archive of the Undressed (2012)
The New Blue Distance (2009)
Left Fields (2003)