Emily Oldfield
15 March 2023. 31 pp. ISBN 978-3-901993-83-1 (= PSPS 39)
£7.00 (+ 2.00 p&p), €7.00 (+ 2.00 p&p), US$ 10.00 (+ 3.00 p&p)

"Emily Oldfield's Calder travels through the crowded, haunted and daunting landscapes of Yorkshire, England’s most poetic and poet-ridden county, and slips the myriad lurking influences to arrive at a voice of her own. The moors are here, the rocks and reservoirs, the woods and weather, but Oldfield's landscapes are populated by UFOs, the ghosts of extinct Methodist congregations, Old English etymologies and onomastic speculations – poems vividly observed and skilfully developed, characterised by a restless and questioning exploratory intelligence."
Steve Ely

"Emily Oldfield's Calder delights in the poem as a spoken event, dramatising landscape in ‘the rough of local tongue’. Oldfield skilfully engages the senses in dredging moors and valleys for language, folklore and history in a vivid and painterly manner. These are fluid and incantatory poems, spoken from somewhere deep within the Yorkshire landscape."
John Challis

"The places, the walks, the worlds of myth and magic in Emily Oldfield's new pamphlet draw you in effortlessly. Her words carry you across the Yorkshire landscape. The poems in Calder take you by the hand and walk you to places like Gaddings Dam and The Basin Stone. Her pamphlet is like an ideal walking companion, taking you across the windswept landscape, beguiling you with tales of the past. It is a collection of ground-breaking, moving, unique poems you want to read again and again."
Anjum Malik

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Table of Contents

Excerpts from Calder

Basin Stone

Elephant’s foot of rock
basks in heat
but bouldered by the cold of another
I sit up
on its dinted bulk
new passion moulds
to the part of my throat
we are used to crying from

is a new page.
The foot knows
and hand follows,
the contours’ calligraphy steers
the pen.
And as the elephant crushes
the cotton grass:
at this basin I begin anew,


Moves through the mouth
in a moisture. Here two rivers meet:
her breath and your step
by the County Bridge.

Distance turns as
something in the water.
Her hand on your arm
and your reflection – a rinse.

Turn it over, this place-name
passed in a moment; from train carriage,
newsreel, the points of her stare.
Under Midgley and Erringden

the moors' invitation
to your Ship of Theseus.
And the flood of your secret
holding her there

Reviews of Calder

"Oldfield is striving for the essence of this precise part of the Yorkshire landscape through sensory impressions. She listens to how the weather plays across landscape and walkers: thus, some of her poems are best heard rather than read silently. Reading her work aloud, listening to the irregularities and the variety in pitch, brings out the gusty air and stubbornness of the land."

D A Prince. "London Grip Poetry Review – Emily Oldfield". London Grip (September 15, 2023).
Click here to read the full review.

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