by Lydia Fulleylove
A poet in conversation with her mother, across eight decades.
Visit Soundcloud to hear a five-minute interview with the author about her collection.
Inspired by reading her mother’s World War II diaries, Lydia Fulleylove’s latest collection, Ampersand, creates a unique discourse between mother and daughter. By placing her own diary entries and poetry in conversation with her mother’s, we are introduced to a young woman enlisting in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force at the height of the war, a person Fulleylove finds both curious yet quietly familiar. Upon discovering their shared rhythms and unexpected connections – the sea, their temperament, a fierce love of place – she keenly weaves their words together to present a portrait of a relationship that continues to evolve even in death. A startling counterpoint, their words – separated by nearly eighty years – acquire renewed significance in this beautiful book that revels in the bonds between mother and daughter.
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“When a poet daughter discovers a set of war diaries in a familiar hand, it sparks a spine-tingling, creative response that forges a new bond with the artist mother she has lost. Fulleylove has created a unique dialogue – in poems, prose, collaged pieces and diary extracts – an experimentally-fascinating, honest, often moving, beautifully-crafted book. A remarkable meeting of artistic minds.”
– Robyn Bolam
“These poems move with a sensitive, self-questioning intelligence, letting Fulleylove’s mother’s experience speak from its own immediacy but feeling for resonances in the poet’s own life and times, inviting the reader into a shared space that is not so much timeless – history is the living core of it – but stepped aside from mere chronology into a genuine conversation we are privileged to overhear.”
– Philip Gross
“Lydia Fulleylove’s gloriously sustained set piece retrieves the past like a cache of old photographs. The meeting of the voices of these two women speaks of the dark retrieval of time, couched in fascinating historical detail, and linked by infinite love.”
– Philip Hoare
“In this exceptional and unusual collection, Fulleylove pursues the difficulties of grief, finding meeting points with her mother, through sensuous but separate experiences of the physical world.”
– Stephanie Norgate
Date Published: 2022-10-20
Catalogue Number: VP0203
Number of Pages: 96
Cover and text design: Peter Barnfather
Commissioning editor: Jo Brandon
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