This Place

When my time comes
and I ask you
again and again where I am
you’ll be able to tell me, truthfully
that this place is a train
that I know quite well

            Calling at:
Warrington Bank Quay
Wigan Northwestern

            Calling at:
Wigan Northwestern
Warrington Bank Quay
and London Euston, where this journey terminates

            Calling at:

by Sarah Hesketh

This is the first of a special trio of poems to be posted on the list over the next week from poets who are featuring in one of the two Poetry Centre events in the upcoming Oxford Literary Festival. Sarah Hesketh will be reading alongside Harry Man and Claire Trévien on Tuesday 5 April at 4pm (there are more details on the Oxford Literary Festival website), whilst Helen Mort and Alan Buckley will be performing their poetry show ‘The Body Beautiful’ on Sunday 3 April at 2pm; more details on the OLF website. We hope to see you there!

‘This Place’ is copyright © Sarah Hesketh, 2014. It is reprinted from The Hard Word Box (Penned in the Margins, 2014) by permission of Penned in the Margins.

In 2013 poet Sarah Hesketh spent 20 weeks visiting a residential care home for people with dementia. The result is The Hard Word Box, a book of poems and verbatim interviews that takes the reader on a surprising and enriching journey through memory and imagination.

The agility of Hesketh’s poetic voice channels moments of tenderness, suffering and humour, revealing dementia as a negotiation with language and silence. The Hard Word Box is an inventive and compassionate meditation on the things that will be lost. Read more about – and further samples from – the book on the Penned in the Margins website.

Sarah Hesketh obtained an MA in creative writing from UEA. Her first full collection of poetry, Napoleon’s Travelling Bookshelf, was highly commended in the Forward Prize 2010. In 2013 she was poet-in-residence with Age Concern, working with elderly people with dementia, and in 2014 she published The Hard Word Box, a collection of poems and interviews inspired by this experience. In 2015, she was commissioned by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust to produce ‘Grains of Light’, a sequence of poems based around the story of Holocaust survivor Eve Kugler. You can read more about Sarah’s work on her website.

Penned in the Margins creates publications and performances for people who are not afraid to take risks. The company believes in the power of language to challenge how we think, test new ideas and explore alternative stories. It operates across the arts, collaborating with writers, artists and creative partners using new platforms and technologies. Read more about its work on its website. You can also follow Penned in the Margins on Twitter and on Facebook.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.