Almanacs: a mythic scrapbook, bag of cats, a one-man band...Jen Hadfield's Almanacs is concerned with lists, rules and archetypes and what they don't account for. It takes as its subjects the Tarot, the lore of Full Moons, weather myths and travellers' tales. The book's central sequence, Lorelei's Lore, is a road movie in poems, set in the north of Scotland: Ultima Thule, hijacked by elusive sirens and Harrier jets. There's the ruthless Lorelei, gorgeous Ghosty who's given up on everything except the Road, and Skerryman, patron saint of bad weather and absence-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder. It's obsessed with yearning, like the two seas separated by the tip of Shetland 'metres apart/and desperate for each other.' Lorelei's Lore wonders 'what's beautiful?' (tarmac? sheep carcasses? sunburn?) and 'where's your native home?'
'A quick mind abroad alone in the ever-changing natural landscape. The language country-rooted, specific, of clear observation: a sophisticated, refreshing country brew. There are many memorable images in the described coquettish dance of nature's primal forces. This is an excellent collection - Jen Hadfield is a whole and committed poet' - tom leonard 'A zestful poet of the road, a beat poet of the upper latitudes, Jen Hadfield conjures poems and prose-poems of great spirit and imaginative daring from the northern landscapes. Lively, youthful and full of the joy of language, Almanacs is the most refreshing debut for ages' - kathleen Jamie
Jen Hadfield was born in Cheshire in 1978. She won an Eric Gregory Award in 2003 and was given a Scottish Arts Council Writer's Bursary in 2002 to help her complete her first collection. She graduated with distinction from her Masters in Creative Writing at the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde. Jen has dual citizenship with Canada, where she is currently making a year last as long as she can: writing and travelling from the East to the West to the North Coasts and trying to beat her grandmother at poker.