Poems by John Glenday
John Glenday was born in Dundee in 1952 where he worked as a drugs counsellor. His first book The Apple Ghost, won a Scottish Arts Council Book Award in 1989. He was appointed Scottish / Canadian Exchange Fellow for 1990/91, based at the University of Alberta, Edmonton.
Undark takes its title from the trade name for the original Radium-based luminescent paint, beautiful and carcinogenic. Throughout these poems, the ambivalences of light and darkness return again and again. The subject matter ranges from intense personal experience to the historical and arcane; from a childhood on the Tay Estury to the anatomical illustrations of the Carnoustie perspective of the American Civil War. Compassionate, witty, haunting and lyrical, the poems in John Glenday’s second collection carry their own light, their own shadows.
From reviews of The Apple Ghost:
“This is an impressive first volume from a poet with a distinctive and original voice . . . a joy to read.”
Ingrid Broomfield, School Librarian
“John Glenday dares to be intense, even mystical. His poems sometimes touch on those awarenesses at the blurred periphery of conscious thought.”
Colin Sutherill, Sheffield Telegraph
And so they come back, those girls who painted
the watch dials luminous and died.
They come back and their hands glow and their lips
and hair and their footprints gleam in the past like alien snow.
It was as if what shone in them once had broken free
and burned through the cotton of their lives.
And I want to know this: how they came to believe
that something so beautiful could ever have turned out right,
but though they open their mouths to answer me,
all I can hear is light.
Price £7.95 per copy post free (£5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: ‘Glen Coe’ by Reinhard Behrens
Publication: AUTUMN 1995 (72 pages laminated paperback)