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My thanks are due to the editors of the following magazines in which a number of these poems were first published: Agenda, Birdsuit, PN Review, Scintilla and Stand. ‘Snowdrop’ first appeared in The Way You Say the World, a celebration for Anne Stevenson, edited by John Lucas and Matt Simpson and published by Shoestring Press. ‘The Touch’ first appeared in Soul Feathers, an anthology published in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support by Indigo Dreams. ‘Harebell’ was commissioned by Carol Ann Duffy for her anthology, Answering Back, published by Picador. ‘Two Photographs’ was commissioned by Jemma Montagu and Lucy Montgomery in memory of their mother, Sheila Pearson, and read at her funeral. ‘Outside’ was commissioned by David Hart as one of the Waiting Room Poems to hang in doctor’s surgeries and hospital waiting rooms. ‘The Calm’ was written for Tristram Robson, who played at Frances’s funeral. Tristram built the only copy of the Lawes Harp, an Irish double harp from the time of William Lawes, that can actually be played. It is now in the National Harp Museum in Kilkenny. When Tristram was diagnosed with a brain tumour, he married his partner, Anne, and set himself to build a second copy of the Lawes Harp because, as Anne said, the first copy was only ninety-seven percent perfect. ‘The Action’ was written in memory of my brother-in-law, Alan Hawke, who played in the Durham Coastal League. When he moved to Northamptonshire, he coached the lads in his local village and took them to the County Championship. ‘Cyclamen’ first appeared in an anthology from the Ledbury Poetry Festival.


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