Poems by David Pownall
David Pownall was born in Liverpool in 1938. After graduating from the University of Keele he worked at Ford, Dagenham and Halewood, as a personnel officer. In 1963 he went to Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and was employed in the copper-mining industry. During the six years he spent in Africa he started writing plays for the co-operative theatres in the mining towns. In 1969 he returned to England to write for a living. First, he worked with the Century Mobile Theatre in the north-west which produced his first play in the U.K. – How To Grow A Guerrilla; then moved with the company to the Duke’s Playhouse, Lancaster where he was the resident writer from 1971-6. His plays from this period include Little Jimmy Williamson, Buck Ruxton, and A Tale Of Two Town Halls. In 1975, together with Edward Adams as director, he started Paines Plough, a touring theatre company which was to specialise in new plays. During the next two years he wrote exclusively for this group, producing Crates On Barrels, Ladybird, Ladybird, Music To Murder By, Motorcar and Richard III Part Two. The last two plays were staged at the National Theatre (Cottesloe), in December 1977.
From his African experiences came the much-acclaimed pair of comic novels, The Raining Tree War, and African Horse, (Faber, paperback edition in Penguin). A collection of short stories My Organic Uncle (Faber) was published in 1976, followed by another comic novel, God Perkins in 1977. Another novel, Light On A Honeycomb was published in 1978.
His plays for children are The Dream Of Chief Crazy Horse (Faber), and Blue Genes. He has also written for radio and television.
Another Country is his first individual collection of published poems.
Here, according to myth
and Milton, was the neck
of the wine-pot of Hell.
From this brackish lake
emerged the gloomy, foaming
lord of wrong, eyes dull
as phlegm, looking for light.
He was lucky. Old Dis grabbed
his woman amid brilliant flowers
while we, folk from afar,
found a snarling race-track
and the Bar Proserpina del’Autocar.
Price £4.95 per copy post free (£3.30 post free to Associate Members)
Publication: 1978 (36 pages laminated paperback)