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The Black Spring Press Group

Dancing Under A Bloodless Moon

Dancing Under A Bloodless Moon

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By David Hale

Winner of the 2018 International Beverly Prize for Literature

Introducing the reader to a cast of dogs, bears, pigs and poets, Dancing under a Bloodless Moon moves back and forward through time and space, visiting a hill-fort in Wiltshire, as well as Glasgow, Poznan, Cape Town and the Gloucestershire countryside the poet knows well. Wry, surreal and full of speculation about what might or might not have happened at particular moments in time, many of these poems focus on animals and are rooted in rural England, while others deal with urban concerns, with the plight of the marginal, their detachment and despair.

Born in Prestwick, Ayrshire, David Hale has lived in Greece, London, Oxfordshire, Kent and Bristol, but now divides his time between Cornwall and Gloucestershire. His first pamphlet The Last Walking Stick Factory was published in 2011 by Happenstance; his second, In Bedlam's Wood, won Templar's pamphlet competition. A third pamphlet is due from Hedgehog Press in summer 2020. He has had work published in a range of magazines and anthologies, most recently in Gutter, The High Window and The North. He teaches refugees and asylum seekers English in Gloucester, and grows vegetables for a retreat centre near Stroud. He also looks after a couple of welsh cobs on a part time basis. Dancing Under a Bloodless Moon is his first full collection, and won Eyewear's Beverly Prize in 2018.

"David Hale’s wonderfully cinematic narratives in Dancing under a Bloodless Moon are works of lucid and searching invention. But beyond their drama and
bright visual sharpness, Hale’s vital gift to us is his determination always to give himself up to his subject. It is not only that he conjures each poem’s world so vividly but that he is moved by it, and moves us in turn. As he writes in his key opening poem ‘Memory’, “I am painting from memory, and someone else / is moving my hand.” — Jane Draycott

"This collection is alive with the breadth of David Hale’s sympathies
and interests, not to mention his sheer relish for the textures and
the tastes of language. Each poem is a vivid self-coherent world, those sourced by reading no less than those made from personal experience. Underneath them all runs a stream of memory that is not simply his own but reaches back through European history – one that, you feel, concerns us all." — Philip Gross


A reading by David to celebrate the launch:

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