Poems from throughout the year, but with a special emphasis on Christmas and winter.
Though unquestioningly devout, she's refreshingly unorthodox, irreverent, forthright.
R V Bailey
Excellent and engaging poems. William OxleyMore info →
A collection of poems, arranged in five sections: Energy; Other lives; On being a woman; Open air; and the Christmas story.
Six months after this book was published, Alwyn was invited to take over as Managing Editor of Oversteps. For more information, click on the image of the book cover.More info →
Alwyn Marriage presents a vision of the Church as the priesthood of all believers, and argues that unless we take seriously the doctrine that all Christians are called to be priests, there is little future for the Church. She demonstrates how this inclusive vision was the basis of the Old Testament concept of God's chosen people, was restored through Jesus' calling of the first disciples and the mission of the early Church, and has been a recurring theme through reform movements ever since. For more information, click on the image of the book cover.More info →
Rapeseed follows the story of Samantha, a bright young academic, investigating the psychology of the children of rape. However, Sam has a secret, and flashbacks throughout the novel explore how this affected her upbringing. With a serial rapist on the loose and Sam's own search for her father becoming more desperate, her personal and professional lives begin to overlap. Various new contacts enter Sam's life as her doubts about her work and her detective efforts increase, until she eventually finds herself in horrifying danger. Does anyone love her enough to save her from herself? ‘Rapeseed’ was shortlisted in the Cinnamon Novel Award, 2011.
An admirer of Alwyn Marriage’s poetry, I was very interested to go to the launch of her novel, Rapeseed, in York. It was clear from her presentation and reading that the book was meticulously researched and beautifully written.
The novel concerns Sam, a young woman researcher into the children resulting from rape and whether they might share certain characteristics. From the outset we learn that Sam also has a personal interest in the subject as her own mother was raped and she herself falls into the category of the ‘rapeseed’ of the title. Her mother never discussed this with her and the narrative, which becomes increasingly tense and gripping, is interspersed with diary entries from childhood onwards in which Sam expresses a desire to find her father.
The personal (and there is a very well-written sub plot of a long-running love affair which contrasts beautifully with the ugliness and violence of rape) becomes inseparable from the academic and the researcher keeps her own family history a secret from her professor as well as from the governor of Wandsworth Prison where she is given access to files, including that of her own father.
Without wishing to give away the plot, I found myself caught up in the narrative and anxious for the main character who puts herself in real danger when she finally puts the personal before the academic and secretly arranges to meet her mother’s rapist in a lonely spot.
I can highly recommend this book which is a real page-turner and also an intelligent investigation into rape and its wide-ranging consequences. The characterisation and dialogue are superb and the reader’s interest is captured and sustained by a fast-moving narrative. Carole Bromley
This collection of poems brings to life women who, though they lived centuries ago, shared many of the hopes, thoughts and emotions that we experience today. A variety of formal and free verse styles of poetry is used to celebrate the love, courage and occasional defiance of real women. The book was published on 20 April 2017 by Indigo Dreams and was launched in Bergen in June 2017 at an international conference about the lives and writings of mediaeval women. For more information, click on the image of the book cover.More info →
Pandora’s Pandemic is a vivid and personal account of Covid-19 in real time, in poems written actually as it happened. When Covid-19 swept across the world, it took everyone by surprise. Debilitating illness, unprecedented lockdowns and tragic deaths soon followed. And then the questions arose – how long would the devastation last and would anyone survive? Alwyn Marriage contracted Covid-19 early in the pandemic and that is where this moving collection starts.
In these vivid poems, Alwyn tracks the course of her own illness and recovery, the death of her brother and the gradual dawning of new hope. Above all, she asks what we have learnt from this pandemic, and whether the world will ever be the same again. This means that, unusually for a poetry book, because it tells the story of Covid-19, you can read Pandora’s Pandemic like a novel, not knowing what the next twist will be. This is poetry that grips you, may make you cry, but will also warm your heart. One reader wrote: The poems are wonderful. You have captured our universal experience of the pandemic, rather as the young war poets did ... It's a huge achievement.
For more information on Pandora's Pandemic, endorsements and unsolicited responses, click on the image of the book cover.
There is an interview with Greg Freeman about Pandora's Pandemic in Write out Loud, July 2021
Review by Sue Wallace-Shaddad in London Grip, November 2021.
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Possibly a Pomegranate celebrates womankind. From ancient history to the modern day, women stride through its pages. Sometimes they dazzle us with their humour and creativity – too often overlooked by patriarchal contemporaries. At other times, their fate moves us to tears.
How rare it is to read a collection so full of calm wisdom, of a lifetime’s experiences and investigations marshalled with a clear eye for what matters and a well-honed gift for finding the words and forms to share them. This celebration of women ranges from girlhood memories and the tenderness of parenthood to the intimacies and aggravations of later years, from insight into lives in different cultures to a roll call of remarkable women through the ages in which Pope Joan rubs shoulders with Jane Austen. These are satisfying and enriching poems. Alasdair Paterson, Uncut Poets
An assured exploration of womanhood, with poems as abundant as the fruits in the pomegranate, resonant with love, birth, death, achievement, happiness and heartbreak. Small, unnoticed moments are brought into focus and held still enough to touch. Marriage turns her sympathetic and good humoured gaze on Sappho, Cleopatra, Lot's wife, Heloise, Hildegard, Mother Julian, Grace Darling, Rosa Parkes as well as her own life, creating a rich panoply of women. Maggie Butt, poet and novelist
Review by Pat Edwards in London Grip, September 2022.
Review by Mandy Pannett in Tears in the Fence, October 2022.
Review by Carla Scarano D'Antonio in Write out Loud, November 2022.
Review by Dilys Wood in Artemis, November 2022.
Review by Emma Lee in The Journal, November 2022.
Review by Sue Kindon in The High Window, Spring 2023.
To order a copy, please use the "Contact Alwyn" link.More info →