Today I’m delighted to invite Hedgehog Poetry Press poet, Nigel Kent, back to Patricia’s Pen. Nigel is here to share information about his brand new poetry collection, Unmuted. Check out that cover. Isn’t it just gorgeous? Without further ado, let’s go over to Nigel.
Thanks, Patricia, for allowing me the opportunity to tell your readers about my latest collection, Unmuted (Hedgehog Poetry Press, 2021).
Unmuted is a collection of thirty-two ekphrastic poems which explore the selected art works as though each is a frame in a storyboard that I unfreeze and unmute to reveal the narrative that lies behind it. I should stress that these are the stories that I hear in my head when I look at the pieces and, as a result, may be very different from what the artist intended. I hope this is a strength of the collection, as it enables each poem to stand alone from the work that inspired it and means that readers not do not need to have any prior knowledge when they come to the poem. However, having first read the poem in isolation, I hope there is a second pleasure to be had in reading it alongside the art work.
That said, anyone with the slightest knowledge of art will recognise a number of the artists and the works which inspired the collection: such as Picasso’s Weeping Woman, L.S. Lowry’s Coming from the Mill and Edward Hopper’s Automat. I didn’t pick such works because they were well-known. My selection was based entirely on whether the piece spoke to me or not. As a result there are some lesser known works too, for the reader to discover, such as George Segal’s Bus Riders, Paula Rego’s Come to Me and Josef Herman’s Head of a Miner.
As I looked at Herman’s picture it seemed to me that he portrayed his subject as though the miner was hewn from rock himself, and in doing so captured the silent strength of the man, his courage and the solidarity of the community he represents. I try to bring this out in the poem. Why don’t you now have a look at the picture and see what you think? You can find it HERE
About Nigel Kent
Nigel Kent is a twice Pushcart Prize nominated poet (2019 and 2020) and reviewer who lives in rural Worcestershire. He is an active member of the Open University Poetry Society, managing its website and occasionally editing its workshop magazine.
He has been shortlisted for several national competitions and his poetry has appeared in a wide range of anthologies and magazines. Some of his work has been translated by Mariana Zavati Gardner for the literary journals, Banchetful and Pro Saeculum.
He is the author of two collections, and four pamphlets: Unmuted, a collection of 32 ekphrastic poems (Hedgehog Press, 2021); Saudade (Hedgehog Press, 2019) his first collection; Psychopathogen, a pamphlet exploring the effects of the pandemic, which was nominated for the 2020 Michael Marks Award for Poetry Pamphlets and made the Poetry Society’s Winter List, 2020; A Voice and A Vision, a book of photopoetry in collaboration with photographer, Nick Browne; and two poetry conversations with Sarah Thomson, ‘Thinking You Home’ and ‘A Hostile Environment’.
In 2021 he was shortlisted for the Saboteur Award for Reviewer of Literature.
If you want to know more about Unmuted visit HERE
Readers of this blog can buy a copy for £7 P&P free if you enter the word PATRICIA in the contact form.