Alison Lock - Poet, Writer

'Like a gentle voice in your ear, these poems speak of love 
and life and pain and war with words so precisely-chosen 
they will make you tremble' - Laura Sheridan.

Reviews

Maysun and the Wingfish (2016) MothersMilkBooks


There's a lovely review of Maysun and the Wingfish from Our Book Reviews Online.

Here's an excerpt:

'In Maysun and the Wingfish, Alison Lock has conjured up an extraordinary world - one in which fish can fly, trees can trap people, and eco-systems change almost overnight by the passing of the planet Ares. The people living there are, not surprisingly, struggling to survive, and it's only by a change in their thinking and moving forward through cooperation that they'll survive.

This isn't though just a book preaching about the dangers of ecological disasters. There are certain magical or fairy-tale elements to it - the dancing flying fish who respond to Maysun's song or the Ruba trees which snare victims in their sticky goo - and most importantly a good story-line following the adventures of Maysun and Barco, a Peakerfolk boy who in his stumbling way helps to bring about reconciliation between at least some of the members of each population.
I'm not sure what age group I'd recommend it for - some of the words would suggest an older readership of maybe 10+, but I think younger children would enjoy it being read to them, and even adults may appreciate this fantasy adventure.'


And a 5* one on Amazon:

Wow! Just finished reading Maysun and the Wingfish by Alison Lock - I couldn't put it down and read it in almost one sitting...but what I really want to know now is what happens next? The book is beautifully written, as I would expect having read Alison's poetry collections previously, and so I found myself torn between savouring the prose and rushing to follow the twists and turns of the plot. Alison Lock has created an incredible fantasy world with Maysun making a perilous journey to once again establish harmony. to her world. The book has a strong female lead, which is refreshing, but also features another prominent character , this time a boy. I think the book would appeal to a large audience ranging from 10 years to a 100years and I shall take great pleasure in sharing it with year 6 (10- 11 years) students next week. It is an absolute delight to read - that rare combination of complete originality, prose to die for & a plot that keeps you turning the pages!


There are others - do take a look here.


Beyond Wings (2015) Indigo Dreams Publishing

Reviews of Beyond Wings


Caterpillar Poetry


'Alison Lock's beautiful and finely crafted Beyond Wings rings with the strangely strident subtlety of a Philip Glass symphony.  A kaleidoscope of ecology and the search for inner peace, it casts an eye both across the vast trajectories of natural history and life, and on the foibles of human behaviour and emotional fallibility'. Simon Zonenblick



The Poetry Shed 

'In Beyond Wings, Alison Lock doesn?t merely reveal her versions of the world, she walks us through them. Indeed, with each poem I read, I was conscious of her steps and via the immediacy of tone and image she employs, at times I felt I was accompanying her on her journeys. This is quite a feat to pull off for any poet, and, with one so adept at bringing landscapes and wildlife to life so vividly, it?s a joy to walk beside her.' Mark Connors


Sentinel Literary Review - 'Alison Lock has a sure grasp of poetic forms and techniques and there is a richness of detail, stunning in its simplicity, and a love of language in all its wealth and subtleties.' Mandy Pannett.


Emma Lee blogspot  - 'The human condition is firmly linked to nature, which, closely observed, can offer us lessons in dealing with obstacles and problems. Alison Lock shows a knowledge of words worn lightly, choosing familiar vocabulary to introduce and communicate ideas whilst also being mindful of the potential interpretations of each word chosen.' Emma Lee.


Review in Reach 205  by Bernard M Jackson. 'Prepare to meet an artist who paints with word and phrase, and combines subtlety of description with a charming sensitivity of presentation.' Bernard Jackson.


Amazon reviews. 'Beyond Wings, Alison Lock's second poetry collection, sees her flexing her poetic muscles and experimenting with a wide range of forms, styles and themes: from concrete poetry to rhyming stanzas; from travelogue to religious experience. She handles this diverse challenge with skill and insight, and the variety makes for a collection that often surprises and never grows stale. She is perhaps at her very best in delicate, evocative nature poetry (Oystercatchers) and in bringing out the human significance of objects (The Sundial, Her Watch). Overall, this is an impressive and rewarding collection, full of deft use of language and vivid images.' Tim Taylor.



Reviews from feedback forms, Cleckheaton Literature Festival 2015 - re my Life Writing workshop:

(Came to Martyn Bedford, Who-ology, Justina Robson, Joanne Harris and Alison Lock) Brilliant, diverse workshops and authors.  Female 25-34

(Andy Kershaw and Alison Lock) Inspirational and professional both. It is the water for a year. Very professional. Female 45-54


A Slither of Air (2011)

from 

http://www.indigodreamsbookshop.com/#/alison-lock/4549826196

Review on Amazon: 'Full of subtle twists and delicate juxtaposition, even the poetry tackling difficult subjects has an airy, uplifting quality.' 

Short Stories

 A collection of short stories, Above the Parapet, in paperback and e-book.

Sabotage Review  - http://sabotagereviews.com/2013/09/23/above-the-parapet-by-alison-lock/

'..it?s a series of evocative, emotional vignettes about a variety of (mostly) interesting characters, told with painstaking, utterly engaging attention to detail.'

Reviews by Iain Pattison

Ethereal, oppressive, playful, savage, chilling and haunting - Alison Lock's short stories are an unsettling journey into the unknown. Each weaves a magical and mesmerizing spell, each keeps the reader tense and unsure in a world that seems to shimmer between reality and ominous fantasy - some teasing and whimsical with a gleeful, misanthropic Roald Dahl humour, others more sinister and threatening.
This 20-strong collection certainly impresses but it's a far from easy read, and not just because of the undercurrents of darkness. The tales - although lyrical and beguiling - often seem more like poetry than prose, challenging readers to bring their own interpretations and meanings to the sparse, cryptic storytelling. I liked many of the narratives - in particular Dancing With Sylphs, The Inventions of Mr Pitikus, Ashes for Roses and Erthenta but found others less satisfying as I yearned to have more explained to me; to have to do less guesswork. And that's the reason why I've given it 4 stars and not 5.
Above The Parapet won't appeal to everyone, but it's definitely worth checking out as an intriguing showcase for a talented writer with a unique, powerful and fearless voice.
5 star reviews:

  'This collection has a strong Eco-message. But the learning and the enlightenment is so far removed from the `Go Thou and Feel Bad About Thy Way Of Life.' Alison has a wicked sense of humour - no better displayed than in `Poetic Licence' where a local postman takes the moral high ground - far, far above us all (and didn't we always suspect that this kind of thing occurs...?)


`Above the Parapet' achieves an unusual balance - subtle and witty for those who are familiar with Alison's previous work - and true, pretty, genius eco-enlightenment for those of us who have only just discovered the Talent Of Lock.

Her stories have an uncanny knack of imprinting themselves upon your brain. But in a positive and uplifting way. Read 'Above the Parapet' and especially 'The Mission'... and I defy you to think of a local village or town sponsored event in the same, 'same old' light..

Single Stories

 'Swarm' and 'Where the Blue Line Fades' in Sentinel Champions #10

Swarm and Where the Blue Line Fades won both 1st and 2nd prize in the Sentinel short story competition: judged by Adnan Mamutovic. These are his comments:

The first prize goes to 'Swarm', because it manages to tell a large story through attention to small things. Everyday work of a family becomes a metonym for the mundane lives of a larger population. It is highly suggestive and simple. It gives a sense of both personal intimacies and historical urgency.

The second prize goes to 'Where the Blue Line Fades'. This story takes place at a threshold for the characters. It holds back a great deal of detail and thus creates a sense of the forgetting of the past, while at the same time the memory of it is quite potent and important.

www.sentinelpoetry.org.uk/champions/catalogue/10.html

'Run Boy Run' in Sentinel Champions #7.

'Erthenta' Momaya Annual Review

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Momaya-Annual-Review-2012-Heat/dp/1480116874/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362043803&sr=8-1

 'Apple Tree' - Onward Anthology I

''Eggshell' - Onward Anthology II

'The Cemetery Bus' - Journeys and Places, York St John University 2010

  

REVIEW of The Apple Tree

I love the subtly of this piece, which doesn't spell out events but allows the reader space to imagine them.
A beautiful and powerful story of loss.

 by Shirley Golden 

 

I was Poet-in-Residence for the Holmfirth Arts Festival 2012 and performed a long poem, "eye of the heron' for the launch of the 2013 festival with musician Robin Bowles, and visual artist Richard Raby. 

Eye of the Heron - commissioned poem for Holmfirth Arts Festival 2013

Links to Anthologies

Soul Feathers - An Anthology to aid the work of Macmillan Cancer support - includes poems from Carol Ann Duffy, Leonard Cohen, Maya Angelou, Seamus Heaney, Bob Dylan and many more. 

http://www.indigodreamsbookshop.com/#/soul-feathers/4546958297

http://rhinoanthology.wordpress.com/

http://www.mothersmilkbooks.com/

Heart Shoots http://www.indigodreamsbookshop.com/#/macmillan-cancer/4567736428