Tear up the lace

Adam Strickson

Poems of strange loveliness illuminate lives drawn from the margins of British society and beyond, from teenage lovers kissing in Haworth churchyard to Ulysses taking an afternoon nap.

Price, including P&P:

Trained at Dartington College of Arts (Theatre), Sunderland Polytechnic (Sculpture) and the University of Huddersfield (MA in Poetry), Adam is a poet, librettist and producer. He has worked as a freelance writer and as Teaching Fellow in Creative Writing (.4) in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries at the University of Leeds.

After an early career as a performer and maker with theatre companies like Horse and Bamboo and Satellite Arts, Adam co-founded Chol Theatre, the pioneering inter-cultural company based in Kirklees, and was artistic director for 13 years until 2002. He led projects throughout the north of England and in India and Bangladesh. He has written plays for the Oldham Coliseum, Peshkar Productions, Chol and an acclaimed trilogy for Burnley Youth Theatre. He has completed four writing and short film commissions for Integreat Yorkshire around regeneration themes.

In 2005, his first collection of poetry, An Indian Rug Surprised by Snow, was published by Wrecking Ball Press (Hull) and he was poet in residence at the Ilkley Literature Festival. In 2006, he was writer in residence for the town of Boston, Lincolnshire and in 2010 schools poet in residence for Bridlington Poetry Festival. He has won the Yorkshire Prize in the Yorkshire Open Poetry Competition and has had a poem featured as 'podcast of the week' by 'Anon' and Scottish Poetry Library.

Adam regularly collaborates with composers and his opera, 'Green Angel', was premiered in Leeds in January 2011. His popular poetry readings are often accompanied by South Asian music.

Mr. Sunny

Suraj, my name, once sown in sweet corn heat, means 'sun',
a proper Yorkshireman, a good Kashmiri son.

With battered book in hand, back home from school I'd run
to drive the oxen, a ploughboy berried brown by sun.

And then this foreign home - unspoken rules: keep mum,
don't answer back, sweep dust and never see the sun.

In just a year, I gained a weaver's rapid thumb
and learnt this awkward tongue in bone-tired daytime sun.

I taught my friends our new home's words and spread my sun
among their bread bun roti, cool Bismillah sons.

By selling door to door in wind-blown streets, I've done
what we all hoped: grown shops and vans in English sun.

Now retired, I phone around and sort out everyone,
advise a bit of 'when in Rome' in different sun.

So why do some see hidden bombs and rattling gun
when this Halifax man roams the streets in showery sun?

If others ask what's in your homespun heart, Suraj,
don't speak of heavy rain; uncloud the sun.

He places his find in the rock cabinet

Joshua     home-schooled

adds     his cube stone

to plant     furl stones     basalts and granite

two ammonites from     Jard-sur-Mare

and banded ironstone     two billion years old

before oxygen     before limbs fins rust

I watch him     and think back

to Half Moon quarry     on Foxcote Hill

my first find     my belemnite

I chipped the mollusc spire     from honey stone

rubbed it clean     weighed the sea in my palm

ocean arrow     sleek fossil

Devonian squid     cuttlefish cousin

perfect swimmer     from the Old Red Age

Joshua becomes     motionless

stone bound

© 2011 Adam Strickson

Back to top
Graft Poetry
Frizingley Hall
Frizinghall Road
+44 (0)1274 541015