Burning the Bracken: The First Fifteen Years of Seren Poetry

Amy Wack
Publication Date: 
Monday, June 3, 1996
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This anthology presents the forty-six poets published by Seren in its first fifteen years. From new poets to a Nobel nominee they represent a wide range of styles and interests from a narrower geographical area, largely Wales and the borders.

R.S. Thomas rubs shoulders with concrete and performance poet Peter Finch; the heightened lyrics of Vuyelwa Carlin follow Duncan Bush’s social realism; the polemics of Mike Jenkins rest close by the reflective Catholicism of Catherine Fisher; and ages range from poets in their eighties (Jean Earle) to those in their twenties (Deryn Rees-Jones).  Elegy and eulogy, the ironic and the downright funny are all to be found with writers like Sheenagh Pugh, John Ormond, Paul Henry, Robert Minhinnick and Christine Evans.

This extraordinary range also extends to the poets subjects.  Politics, landscape, portraits, childhood, love, loss, the exotic and the erotic, nature, human nature, the historical and the thirteen ways of looking at a Hoover are among the many preoccupations of Seren poets.  From the humbug of a brother’s advice to his sister on social etiquette in the nineteenth century to the bitter roll call of ‘Elegy for the Welsh Dead, in the Falkland Islands, 1982’; to the tender love of ‘Design for a Quilt’ to the fishy romance of ‘Kipper on the Lips’, there is much to enjoy – and admire – in Burning the Bracken.

The Editor, Amy Wack, was born in Florida and educated at San Diego and Columbia Universities.  Now living in Cardiff, she has been the Poetry Editor at Seren since 1992.

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