Last night I went to the launch of a friend's anthology of poetry called THE SONG OF THE BUTCHER BIRD
. Gladys Mary Coles is a poet, biographer, novelist and teacher and is the person most responsible for my becoming a published writer. For over ten years I went, most Wednesday evenings, to her two hourly sessions in a local school, and her encouragement over that time was invaluable. THE SONG OF THE BUTCHER BIRD
is her tenth volume of poetry and leafing through the one that catches me is one called Ithaca-Liverpool and is about her father walking along the beach remembering war.
The entire anthology is about war in one form or another - past and present. Since Gladys Mary is also an historian there some interesting footnotes - and in one section an excerpt from her recently-completed novel which features the blossoming of a young poet during the first world war. She read some of this out during her launch and I am very much looking forward to reading the rest.