Poem of the month

Lindisfarne Castle shown beyond the remains of two jetties

The Poetry Book Society was founded by T S Eliot to "propagate the art of poetry". Through a restorative range of poems we’ll help you reconnect with the beauty of nature around you to find joy and solace at these strange times.

Free Movement by Christy Ducker

At first, its name was mud
by which I mean the dynamic

rush of silt that massed and made


this rock I’m standing on: gigantic

black slab mooring Lindisfarne
for now, but also porous and tropic,


still travelling geology’s churn

after drifting fifty-five latitudes.

Against that, how could anyone


with her brief bones in her crude

slip of skin claim to be fixed
on place or nation. What certitude


when even rock isn’t set in stone.

Why invent our shores as solid
if at my feet, land speaks its own


language of change, lily and ammonoid

fossils grinding back to silt insisting
no place can ever remain an island.


In partnership with the National Trust, the Poetry Book Society and the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts present a Moment of Calm poem of the month to help you reconnect with the beauty of nature in Lockdown 2; "no place can ever remain an island". November's poem 'Free Movement' by Christy Ducker comes from Waves and Bones, a poetry project sponsored by the Area of Outstanding National Beauty Partnership and premiered at the Newcastle Poetry Festival in 2018. A group of poets visited sites on the Northumbrian Coast, including the National Trust's Lindisfarne, to be inspired by relics and stories of pilgrimage. The result is a video and photography collage created by artist Phyllis Christopher which includes readings of the poems by Linda Anderson, John Challis, Christy Ducker, Linda France, Cynthia Fuller, Kris Johnson, Peter Hebden, Lisa Matthews, Theresa Muñoz and David Spittle. A pamphlet featuring the poems and photographs was published by Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts and is available to order from melanie.birch@ncl.ac.uk.


Christy Ducker is a poet and teacher of creative writing. Her first full-length collection, Skipper, was published in 2015, and includes work commended by the Forward Prize judges. Her pamphlet, Armour (2011), was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice. Her commissions include residencies with Port of Tyne, English Heritage, and York University’s Centre for Immunology and Infection; she is also the director of North East Heroes, an Arts Council England project.  The resulting pamphlet Heroes is available to order from the Poetry Book Society, a unique poetry book club founded by T S Eliot to share the joy of poetry.


Link to the film: http://archive.nclacommunity.org/content/?p=2688