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An interrogative collection of astonishing power make up this haunting portrait of place, from the TS Eliot and Forward Prize shortlisted poet, Fiona Sampson

Coleshill, a nineteenth-century model village on the borders of Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, is a microcosm of contemporary rural life. It includes organic dairy herds, prairie fields, community-owned windmills, lovingly-tended vegetable gardens, lamping for hares, a shoot, a Peace Fete, a Neolithic hill fort, a nursery school, a pub and just about the same number of inhabitants – two hundred, give or take a newborn – that it had in the Domesday book.

At the same time its countryside still offers our best chance of observing the natural world. Three different species of ladybird co-exist on a house wall, and the first lapwings return; a spring shifting in the limestone water-table floods the lane, and buzzards nest in the beech trees on Kings Hill.

Coleshill explores the village as both community and place. Coleshill follows the cycle of a year and creates a meditative portrait of real life in the country, bringing the people living there to life.


Coleshill finds Fiona Sampson enduring a term of trial, its rural setting made menacing by present threat, old terrors and the larger unravelling of the environment

Sean O'Brien, Independent

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    March 15, 2013

    Chatto & Windus

    80 pages

    RRP $29.99

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  • EBook


    March 7, 2013

    Vintage Digital

    80 pages

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Also by Fiona Sampson

The Catch
Beyond the Lyric


The Necessary Aptitude
The Horseman's Word
Charles Bukowski
O Westport In The Light Of Asia Minor
In Doctor No's Garden
The Asylum Dance
My Alexandria
Young Eliot
Division Street
The Poets' Daughters
Speak, Old Parrot
Strange Meetings
New Selected Poems
Beyond the Lyric
The Mara Crossing
Echoes of Memory
Profit and Loss
A Hundred Doors