Dirt

William Letford

Carcanet Collection  

Billy Letford’s Dirt revels in the fallow, the tainted, the off , and the unloved. The poems embrace a good life stitched together with bad circumstances, bungled chances, missed callings. Whether loitering on the street corner, ‘poackets ful eh ma fingers’, or stumbling from a bar ‘like a monkey in the jungle of traffic, stinking, wild and free’, the characters in Letford’s poems deliver one thing in spades: heart. ‘On Friday I visit my seventy-seven-year-old granny. She’s smoking a joint. It’s not a surprise.’ Letford’s words are lightly worn yet carefully measured; they move between English and Scots, lyrical and concrete, accumulating what the poet has described as an array of textures. Resisting modernity’s unearthly glare, it is a life with grain, with grit, ‘rotten with wonder’, that Letford seeks. The poems dig for a grace within dirt’s humble endurance. ‘There’s dignity there. Lay yourself open.’

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Subjects: Literature, Poetry

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Billy Letford’s Dirt revels in the fallow, the tainted, the off , and the unloved. The poems embrace a good life stitched together with bad circumstances, bungled chances, missed callings. Whether loitering on the street corner, ‘poackets ful eh ma fingers’, or stumbling from a bar ‘like a monkey in the jungle of traffic, stinking, wild and free’, the characters in Letford’s poems deliver one thing in spades: heart. ‘On Friday I visit my seventy-seven-year-old granny. She’s smoking a joint. It’s not a surprise.’ Letford’s words are lightly worn yet carefully measured; they move between English and Scots, lyrical and concrete, accumulating what the poet has described as an array of textures. Resisting modernity’s unearthly glare, it is a life with grain, with grit, ‘rotten with wonder’, that Letford seeks. The poems dig for a grace within dirt’s humble endurance. ‘There’s dignity there. Lay yourself open.’

  • Author: William Letford
  • Publisher: Carcanet
  • ISBN: 9781784102005

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