A Place Apart

A Place Apart tells the story of the author’s great-grandparents in poems letters and photographs.  He describes it as ‘a love story without a happy ending’ as it follows the meeting, courtship and separation of an Edwardian couple forced apart by the accidents of history.

‘In 1906 the man emigrates to Canada, the woman to follow, but she never does, despite a seemingly loving contact by letter. One of the inexplicables all families have:

What has come between them
is duty,
a ticket…

What has come between them
is sacrifice
pretending to be life.

Read through, the book has cumulative narrative power.  The great-grandson carves his comment on the intractable material of this mutual absence and the poignancy of life’s circumstance gathers…’


In a variety of forms, all handled with the assurance readers of Henson’s earlier work will expect, some forty poems treat their story with understanding and historical imagination.   This is ‘a good read’. A Place Apart is a match for most novels, and does things few of them can do.’


The snow is falling, dark and thick:
each flake is lost into the night
or gathered to an island round a lamp.
Her footsteps hide behind her as she walks,
sifted through whiteness, muted, echoless.
Her will is drifting, too, a snow-moth
dandling down the eddies to its death,
like all the rest that silt the coils of her hair
and brush their stars against her lashes and her lips.…

from TRYST  (A Place Apart, Shoestring Press)

 Tryst was selected as the poem of the week in the Independent on Sunday in January 2004


‘Top-notch stuff’  EDWARD MACKINNON . For Edward Mackinnon’s commentary on the poem  HER LONELINESS  go to http://www.edwardmackinnon.com/otherpoets.html


A Place Apart (53pp;  7.95   ISBN 1 899549 91 9) may be ordered from Shoestring Press, 19 Devonshire Avenue, Beeston, Nottingham,  NG9 1BS     www.shoestringpress.co.uk

Trade distribution:  Central Books.

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