Peter Riley - Due North



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Peter Riley - Due North

Published March 2015. Paperback, 78pp, 9.21 x 6.14ins, £9.95 / $18
ISBN 9781848613942 [Download a PDF of the introduction to this book here.]
Due North is a poem in twelve chapters concerned with human movement northwards or out in the quest for work, subsistence, settlement and gratification, and in danger of getting trapped in various enclosures, including thought-traps. The cast includes migrant workers, returning soldiers, children growing up,  and population movements such as the early 19th Century descent on the northern manufacturing districts from demographic disaster zones, with my awareness of my own ancestry among the displaced Irish of Manchester and West Yorkshire. Woven into this are various artistic, poetical, cultural and instinctive ventures to traverse cold and emptiness, limit and futility, in the hope of attaining the metaphor of lasting warmth. Its pattern is that of a long sequence of beginnings, some of which reach their conclusions, usually elsewhere in the text, some of which don’t. The textual mode is literal and lyrical, to posit the value of these two forces in sustaining hope. 
“…it is a moving poem with a lot of your life in it. You slip by so many nets. Nobody else is writing this.” — Kelvin Corcoran
From reviews of The Ascent of Kinder Scout —
“Riley’s language here and throughout is characterised by a metaphorical openness which demands significant engagement from the reader in their navigation of the textual landscape the poet has created, yet that openness is also a richness which provokes creative and associative thought of the very kind from which the poem itself is woven.”
—David Clarke, Sabotage Reviews
“This is a beautifully haunting book which places our very personal sense of the ‘now’ in which we live against a ‘then’ in which historical moments took place.”
Ian Brinton, Tears in the Fence
“Peter Riley’s superb The Ascent of Kinder Scout was the winner by a mile. Riley once described Roger Langley’s work as ‘a poetry in favour of the world’; the same phrase could be applied to him, in spades. Hints that this is the first sequence of a book in preparation, provisionally titled North, make us thoroughly excited.”
—John Clegg, report on London Review Bookshop’s ‘Poetry Pick of the Year, 2014’

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