We had an excellent evening at The Minories in Colchester last night, launching the new poetry anthology, so too have the doves gone, to mark the anniversary of the Great War.
The book, published by Jardine Press, was edited by Stephen Boyce, Pam Job and Judith Wolton. It contains contributions from a range of poets, largely but not exclusively from Essex and Suffolk. The evening began with a slideshow of the new Wilfred Owen Memorial at Forester's House in northern France, a building summed up in the metaphor, 'bleached bone'.
The event was part of the Essex Book Festival and was very well supported. Poems spanned wars from Homer to the present day. There were many different 'takes' on the theme of conflict and peace. I read my Edward Thomas poem about the poet's decision to enlist.
The evening afforded guests the opportunity of viewing the complementary artwork produced by students of Fine Art at Colchester Institute. Many of the images have been reproduced in the book.
The anthology concludes with a poem called 'The Standard of Ur' by Julia Brady. It draws to a close with the thought that 'art ...builds up some clear-cut arguments for peace.' If the poems and ekphrastic images in the book promote something along these lines, they will surely have done their work.