By David Henningham

A haunting experimental novel set on the Essex coast during the Cold War.

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Kittiwake : a Foulness poem

Let's take a tour of the book, starting with Kittiwake and the poetry that begins several of the chapters.

I've long been interested in the idea of poetry being embedded in novels. A way of setting the tone, or marking the passage of time. There are so many possibilites. This video, including a snippet from my Phoenix FM interview, expands on this process with Kittiwake as an example.

I knew kittiwakes had to begin the novel. Their name is meaningless - it comes from the sound they make. In a way, they named themselves. I wanted to use their word like the word "hwæt" that opens Old English stories: Listen! Or as Seamus Heaney translated it: So...  

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