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Narrow Water by James Carruth

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“Lyrical and atmospheric, these poems are also always robust and compelling. They work together like outstanding short stories, bringing vividly to life places and times that for a while we live among. James Caruth is a distinctive voice in contemporary verse, and Narrow Water shows him at the top of his game.”
Peter Sansom

“Jim Caruth’s writing balances risk against hope and hope against experience. The place names and landmarks of Northern Ireland dot a collection where deep time and deep water are often close at hand. This is a gentle, humane and philosophical account of a life lived thoughtfully.”
Jo Bell

“These poems build a bridge, made from the fibres of the living and the dead, the guts of migrant workers walking high tower girders, the barricades across uneasy streets, the steel of ships that sail us from old lives to new, the melancholy of a rural bus, dancers who close the space between themselves. This bridge, the language woven in its span, creates and crosses borders, and though the poems are imbued with James Caruth’s quiet acceptance of the way things are, ‘hope spans the narrows’. Caruth’s poetry takes us by the hand, leads us over troubled waters, ‘no place for us’, but always his clarity and warmth, his precision and humanity ensure we have our ‘backs to the wind’. This poet conjures national and family history, its uncertain but compelling destination, like no other writer I know. In Narrow Water we have Caruth at his magnetic best.”
Keith Hutson




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