Touched — Ian Marriott
Published March 2022–advanced copies available now
In the initial sequence of this pamphlet, and following short lyrics, the writer explores the experience of living with long-term, and severe mental states. There is no safe haven of medical “pathology” here, but an urgent rite of passage for the damaged and conflicted soul. A form of modern Purgatory – escaping the grasping jaws of Inferno, to find itself stumbling towards a rarefied, yet earthy, Paradiso.
Ian Marriott’s marvellous poems inhabit rather than observe nature — in fact they do both — but are as much concerned with the human condition. They work in the area of what Hopkins called instress. The voice is calm, contained and precise, as when he watches a Pond Skater, “So perilous / this thin meniscus – / six legs spread out” . The poems too seem to tremble on the water of their vision.
Ian Marriott has been writing poems for over 20 years. Part of his internal process is that personal experience is often refracted, directly or indirectly, through the natural world. Much of his life has been immersed in nature, from working as a woodsman or climber, to spending time in some of the more remote areas of the world. This has included three years living in Antarctica, guiding scientists on remote field projects for the British Antarctic Survey. On returning from Antarctica, Ian did an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, under the careful guidance of Denise Riley and George Szirtes. In recent years, Ian has re-trained as a homeopath and divides his time between writing, homeopathy, and the outdoors.
Ian’s award winning debut collection, The Hollow Bone, is also available from Cinnamon Press.