Penelope Shuttle has made her home in Cornwall since 1970 and the county’s mercurial
weather and rich
history are continuing sources of inspiration. So too is the personal and artistic
union Shuttle shared with her
husband, the poet Peter Redgrove, until his untimely death in 2003. The fruitful
nature of their relationship
is celebrated in her poetry and in the work they accomplished together, most notably
in the ground breaking
feminist studies on menstruation, ‘The Wise Wound’, and its sequel, ‘Alchemy for
“For me it is the way the poem breathes that gives it form"
Will You Walk a Little Faster?
By Penelope Shuttle. Published by Bloodaxe Books, May 2017
Cornwall Contemporary Poetry Festival
Will be held in Falmouth, from Thursday 22
to Sunday 25 November 2018
Penelope Shuttle has made her home in Cornwall
since 1970 and the county’s mercurial weather and
rich history are continuing sources of inspiration.
| Site Map | Site Update 06.10.18
‘Will You Walk a Little Faster?’ is Penelope Shuttle’s first new book-length collection
since her Bloodaxe
retrospective, ‘Unsent: New and Selected Poems 1980-2012’, and was published on her
Penelope Shuttle’s new collection explores cities (London,
Bristol) on foot and via inward exploration, drawing on
architecture, history and personal memory. These are poems
drawn from the flipside of experience, undermining and
rebuilding syntax in order to precipitate language, and, in the
main, abjuring punctuation. The poems also engage with
inward exploration where both active and meditative thinking
seek a vulnerable equilibrium; poems more interested in
framing questions than arriving at answers.
Back in 2005 Penelope attended a Study Day at Tate Britain which focused on the Gallery’s
exhibition, Turner, Whistler, Monet. She made some notes, filed them and promptly
forgot about them.
A few years later they came to light in a notebook. Suddenly she found herself writing
about Monet in London.
Monet was a man with a very hearty appetite. Penelope had gone to the Study Day on
her own, but more usually
visit places with friends, or with her daughter. In one of the poems Penelope was
accompanied by her Great
Aunt Wave, and it is 1955. The common thread of the pamphlet are visits she made
and those experiences she
encountered. Sissinghurst, Paris, Lapland, Galway, Wales, and Rome, are places explored.
A set of travelling
poems capturing a sense of the energy she felt at each different locale.
Four portions of everything on the menu for M’sieur Monet!
By Penelope Shuttle. Published by Indigo Dreams Publishing, August 2016
Penelope Shuttle & John Greening
Nine Arches Press
Indigo Dreams Publishing
“Although my ‘Unsent: New and Selected Poems’ stretches over thirty two years I remain
no wiser as to how poems
get themselves written. Since I began writing in my teens, nothing has so enthralled
me as poetry; before my first
attempts at writing, reading poetry had thrown a similar glamour over me, as it continues
to do. Words are made of
the breath of life, its essence, and they land on the page still breathing. That,
I think, is the mystery and the surprise,
for me, and then follows the hard work.” - Penelope Shuttle
“It falls on to the open page through some kind magic"
Will You Walk a Little Faster? review by The Observer
Will You Walk a Little Faster? - review by Kate Kellaway, The Observer, 2 July 2017
“Penelope Shuttle need not walk any faster – as this, her 14th collection, demonstrates.
It is the gentle pace
that captivates in her poems. And what a phenomenal poet she is (she has recently
celebrated her 70th birthday).
She has an unbossy, contemplative, unmistakable voice. She leads you quietly and
helps you see things –
London especially – afresh. There is nothing stale about the way she writes, although
she is thinking about
what it means to be older. She reflects on the city, its present moment and history
– its bones. The past is there,
almost palpable, and the dead, too – only just beyond touch and sight. She salutes
London while resisting its
metropolitan speed. Once part of a celebrated working duo with her late husband,
the poet Peter Redgrove,
his absence is strong enough to be a presence here. This is a volume that combines
sorrow with an oddball
wryness – an unusual mix. Shuttle implausibly casts herself as a relic, and in a
comically sympathetic poem
set in Waitrose, Balham, measures her time against the nonstop pace of the supermarket.”
- Kate Kellaway
“Reading poetry. My grandfather had a shop - he sold prams and bikes, but he was
also an unofficial pawn-broker
so when times were hard between the wars people would bring a box of stuff and he'd
give them a couple of quid,
and it would often have old anthologies and old school books in and I would sit in
my grandfather's house and read
them. It's where I first came across Keats, Edward Thomas and poets like that.” -
“Your journey into poetry, what started it?”
Alyson Hallet from Raceme Magazine asks the questions
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David Higham Associates, 7th Floor, Waverley House, 7–12 Noel Street, London W1F
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.davidhigham.co.uk
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Click on the YouTube link below to find recordings of Penelope reading her poetry.