> Skip to content
  • Published: 7 March 2013
  • ISBN: 9781448138678
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 80


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

Deep in limestone country, at the corner of Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, lies the village of Coleshill.

This haunting new collection from Fiona Sampson is a portrait of place, both real and imaginary; a dreamscape with its roots deep in the local soil.

The poems hum with an evocative music of their own: there are hymns of the orchards, verses for walkers, songs for bees. These are slices of life and states of mind; poems of grief, fears and maledictions, but also of renewal, resurrections and the promise of spring.

Coleshill emerges as a "parish of sun / and shade"; its darkness and light perfectly balanced. From the T.S. Eliot and Forward Prize shortlisted poet comes a deep, interrogative collection of astonishing clarity and power.

  • Published: 7 March 2013
  • ISBN: 9781448138678
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 80

About the author

Fiona Sampson

Fiona Sampson is a poet, who has been shortlisted twice for the T.S. Eliot Prize and Forward Prizes. She has received a Cholmondeley Award, the Newdigate Prize, the Zlaten Prsten (Macedonia), Writer’s Awards from the Arts Councils of England and of Wales, and from the Society of Authors, and is a Fellow and Council Member of the Royal Society of Literature. She works as a critic and editor, and contributes regularly to the Guardian, IrishTimes, SundayTimes, Independent and the Times Literary Supplement. In 2017 she was awarded an MBE for services to Literature and the Literary Community.

Also by Fiona Sampson

See all

Praise for Coleshill

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

In this sumptuous collection, haunted by fear and a surefooted, hard-won joy, Fiona Sampson celebrates that elusive and most endangered thing: a meaningful sense of place. Reading Coleshill, we are reminded of an essential community with the land, and with all our good neighbours, animals and humans

John Burnside

These poems of place, often troublingly dark, are sui generis in the way they use what's to hand to explore what's hidden. Fiona Sampson's technical subtlety is everywhere in evidence and her emotional range is startling. Coleshill is a book of rare power and depth.

David Harsent

This is Sampson's poetic masterpiece, and a landmark book. She creates intimacy of place through a chamber music of the natural and made worlds, honed observations and epiphanic ‘instrusions’. With its layering of history and presence, Coleshill is a major contribution to the literature of the local.

John Kinsella

A richly rewarding and thematically coherent work, written with an avid attention to light effects, atmosphere, and the natural world.

Suzi Feay, Independent on Sunday

A genuinely through-composed work, one poem opening secretly into another as the imagination endures a period of threat, when the reasonable assurances of ordinary civil life are removed by a sense that anything might happen, or that it already is happening. Given the material, the poet's touch is miraculously light.

John Burnside, Guardian

Related titles