The Day Hospital
Across one day in London, twelve elderly men and women sit in flats, walk, or wait, and speak about their histories, their hopes, their loves, their disappointments and griefs - and above all seek to express who they are and what their life has been. Most are immigrants - Irish, West Indian, Polish, Italian, and German, struggling with a feeling of rootlessness. Drawn from Sally Read's experiences as a community psychiatric nurse in central London, these twelve monologues are the voices of schizophrenia, dementia, depression, and anxiety. Authentic and moving, they form a vivid portrait of the capital - its richness and its sadnesses, its waves of immigration, and its living witness to the devastating effects of World War II. Four of the voices are Jewish refugees who arrived in London as children, leaving parents to die in Nazi-occupied Europe. Candid and vivid, these monologues make us privy to entire lives through a poetic voice that is at once brutally realistic, and beautifully realised. Above all, these poems give marvellous expression to people whose speech, memory, and coherence is often marred by illness. The result is a stunning insight into other people's stories, and how we may come to measure our own.
- Paperback | 64 pages
- 138 x 216 x 5mm | 113.4g
- 15 Feb 2013
- Bloodaxe Books Ltd
- Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
Read defines herself by her risks...violence and elegance walk hand in hand - her style is not unlike that of Plath's middle period. There is real pleasure in the disparity between her light lyric touch and the menacing and /or visceral description she frequently employs; she disarmed this reader and defied the expectation. -- Kathryn Gray * Magma *
About Sally Read
Sally Read was born in Suffolk in 1971. She trained and worked as a psychiatric nurse in London while completing a BA with the Open University, and went on to earn her MA at the University of South Dakota, USA. She received an Eric Gregory Award in 2001. Her three poetry collections with Bloodaxe are The Point of Splitting (2005), which was shortlisted for the Jerwood-Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, Broken Sleep (2009) and The Day Hospital (2012). The Poetry Archive released her audio CD Sally Read reading from her poems in 2010. Her poems have appeared in several anthologies, including Roddy Lumsden's Identity Parade (Bloodaxe Books, 2010), The Picador Book of Love Poems (2011), and Poems of the Decade (Forward Publishing, 2011). A selected poems in Italian, Punto Di Rottura, translated by Loredana Magazzeni and Andrea Sirotti, was published by La Vita Felice in 2012. Sally Read also writes articles, many of which have appeared in The Tablet, and she has recently translated the spiritual diary of the Blessed Maria Crocifissa Curcio into English for the Carmelite Missionary Sisters of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus. She is poet in residence at the Hermitage of the Three Holy Hierarchs. Her two books, Night's Bright Darkness (2016), the story of her conversion to Catholicism, and Annunciation: A Call to Faith in a Broken World (2018), are published by Ignatius Press. She is a fellow of the Institute of Critical and Creative Writing at Birmingham City University. Sally Read is based in Santa Marinella, Rome, and in Bungay, Suffolk.