In 2008, HappenStance began publishing book-length collections and the very first book was D A Prince’s Nearly the Happy Hour.
Six years later, here is the poet’s second collection, the East Midlands Book Award winner for 2015. And this time in hardback—a beautiful volume to handle and read.
The poems here are graceful and investigative: they relish the space between a journey’s beginning and its destination, an opportunity to catch the world off-guard.
Those readers already familiar with D A Prince’s understated style, careful wit, and precise, lyrical phrasing will have high expectations. They won’t be disappointed. Common Ground is uncommonly good.
‘His poems have been aired on BBC radio’
—contributor’s note, 2013
I bring them in: the sheets,
line-fresh and flecked with apple blossom,
creased to a map of the wind; handkerchiefs—
white, tissue-thin—clutching the air’s green scent
(a grassy nose, hard gooseberries,
an undertow of nettles); and the shirts
crackle-hard, defiantly dry,
to argue with the iron.
My mother made the fire work twice over,
loading her kitchen line each night, trapping
the coal’s last heat in pillowslips before
next morning’s mirror-test for damp, its faint
frail breath misting the glass. Between us
we know all there is to know about airing.