Contraflow (hardback, 112pp)
Contraflow is Fay Musselwhite’s debut full-length poetry collection. A beautifully produced 112-page hardback (with cover artwork by Mary Musselwhite), it is available from Longbarrow Press for £12.99. You can order the book securely by clicking on the relevant PayPal button above.Visit the Contraflow microsite to read and listen to poems from the book.
The tales that rivers tell have tangled with our own for millennia: before, through, and after the industrial age.
Humans’ rapid migration to towns, often along the course of these waterways, has left many of us bewildered and ill-equipped in an environment at odds with the natural world we depend on. Rivers, bringing the relief of nature to the centres of cities they grew, confront us with forces bare-faced and ancient, seemingly unmoved by our regard. Malleable in their youth, prone to messing about before finding their groove, many were harnessed for mill-work as they matured, and then, like us, after centuries of valuable industry, were abandoned, left to lick their wounds.
All these tales converge in the Rivelin, which rises from peat moorland north-west of Sheffield, and descends 80 metres as it approaches the city. This fast-flowing river, and the valley it etched out, is the setting for many of the poems in Fay Musselwhite’s first collection. Contraflow harnesses these energies to carve its own rugged course, with its bottlenecks, bends and counter-currents: tales that slant, swell and spill.