All - Steel Traveller
Pamela Gillilan - Poet
Pamela Gillilan, one of the finest English poets of her generation, began to write in earnest in her 60s, when the death of her husband David inspired a series of moving elegies that won her national acclaim. Her first book That Winter (her “belated but brilliant debut”) was published by Bloodaxe in 1986, and was subsequently short-listed for the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, as the UK's Best First Collection.
Before her death in 2001, she produced three further collections of poems: All-Steel Traveller, The Turnspit Dog and The Rashomon Syndrome, all published by Bloodaxe, and all encapsulating the recurring themes of her work: nature, animals, travel, love, loss, grief and its aftermath; subjects which are interwoven into insightful, philosophical memoirs of a 20th century life.
Sadly, all four titles are now listed as "out of print" but her work continues to inspire, frequently appearing in anthologies and academic study collections. And copies are still available. Having acquired the remaining discontinued stock from Bloodaxe, we are able to offer two of Pamela Gillilan's books: All-Steel Traveller (1994) and The Rashamon Syndrome (published in 1998, to coincide with the author's 80th birthday).
All-Steel Traveller refers to the Morris Oxford car, a robust and reliable post-war vehicle, used here as an emblem of the author's own grit and mettle; her courage in the face of life's adversities, from war to widowhood.
The sale of the books will help to keep Pamela's name her work and her inspirational poetry alive and in the public eye.
"Pamela Gillilan possessed a rare combination of wit and warmth. She was clear-minded [and] passionate about poetic technique. Her vivid, unsentimental and beautifully crafted explorations of loss and grief won her national recognition and outstanding reviews" Helen Dunmore, The Guardian."Poems of long experience, of a well-rounded personality, who has seen how life works, how people are, how she is herself, and who has survived with strength, wit and compassion"- R.V. Bailey.
One of her most requested poems is Four Years - which can be found in the All-Steel Traveller
When you died
all the doors banged shut.
After two years, inch by inch,
they creep open.
Now I can relish
small flares of desire;
begin to believe as you did
things come right.
I tell myself that you
escaped the slow declension of old age
leaving me to indulge
this wintry flowering.
But I know
it's not like that at all.