Elaine Randell - Selected Poems 1970-2005


Elaine Randell - Selected Poems 1970-2005

Paperback, 148pp, 8.5x5.5ins

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Elaine Randell was born in 1951 in south London, and has been living close to Romney Marsh, Kent for over thirty years. Living with her husband, three daughters, two English Setter dogs and a herd of rare breed sheep and other livestock, she works as a social worker and psychotherapist. This Selected Poems represents thirty-five years of work as poet, glimpses in time, concerns, loves, gardening and other preoccupations.  


"Elaine Randell's poetry is about people, that is herself and the lives of those around her. The personal and the words are set in context, in the houses and streets and countryside we inhabit, we move through. [. . .] In her sequences ‘Watching women with children', 'Six pieces from the sauna' and 'Hard to Place', like Charles Reznikoff's Testimonies, people speak for themselves and their words are respected. And at the root of this respect is the heart, the base-line we work from, the qualities of love we choose, value or deny. The love for ourselves and for others. But though the heart is always at the centre of her work it never indulges in the vanities of egotism. The unique ego is out to lunch, on the shelf where it belongs. What matters is both what truly happens in the heart and what's out there, what the other people are saying and doing, even what the creatures and plants are saying and doing. That quality of carefulness." (Lee Harwood)

"Her subject is often the quiet (and not so quiet) desperation of the people she helps. […] What elevates the dramatic monologues above raw emotion to real art is Randell's ear for the way language reveals character. Randell sees no contradiction in being a social worker who writes; on the contrary, she says 'The skills are the same — listening, picking things up about people from small details.' She has virtually created a new genre — the case history as fable." (Jane Hardy, The Guardian)


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