BOOK REVIEW


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Digging Up Paradise: Potatoes, People and Poetry in the Garden of England
by Sarah Salway
Paperback; 160pp; 203×203 mm; 978-0-9926485-6-5; June 2014; Cultured Llama; £12

This is a book that is unique and engaging and Sarah Salway’s poetry that accompanies her text about a trip around some of the gardens and sites in Kent is direct and evocative. From The Shell Grotto in Margate, which is accompanied by the poem Mystery, to The Great Comp Garden and its attendant poem The Life of an Amateur, and on to Canterbury Cathedral Gardens and the poem Winter.  This is a trip that is a real pleasure to share and beyond the poetry there is no shortage of pictures or text bringing a personal perspective to many of the places visited. In her poem A Change of Air Salway writes,

You’d be sure to notice the gasworks first,
worry how close the garden sits,
until you learn this is why it was built,

Here is a poet who is capable of creating a sense of place in both her narrative and her poetry.