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August 23, 2020

Winged, by James Roberts, published by Night River Wood
“Written over the first 12 weeks of lockdown in Wales when birds were given
back their spaces for a time, when curlews circled the uplands, swans nested on pools and goshawks appeared for the first time in the wood I’ve been walking in for 2 decades.”

This was an impulse-buy. I saw the cover on Twitter and I had to have it. I was not disappointed. Everything about this book is beautiful. The paper is silk-smooth and perfectly opaque. The design is pure and uncluttered. Gorgeous ink drawings and fine writing face one another on each double-page spread. I’m not normally a fan of centred poems, but the layout works well here. Roberts is a meticulous observer with an uncommon ability to be drawn so completely into his subject that at times he almost disappears. Why have I not heard of him before? Why can I not find anything else by him? It’s a mystery!

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