Goose Fair Night
Poems by Kathy Pimlott
With an introduction by Clare Pollard
Goose Fair Night is a generous, jellied feast of a book, full of sharp-eyed yet tender details about friendship, family and familiarity. Pimlott ranges around the country and through the centuries to offer her warmly incisive take on living and loving in a gorgeous, unstable world.
The poems plunge us into the Midlands, bustling central London, seaside scenes, questionable pots of jam, and the captivating worldview of Pimlott’s grandmother Enid. This is a book to make your mouth water and your heart swell.
Paperback ISBN 978-1-910139-35-6
Publication date: 17th March 2016
Page count: 36
Price: £6.50 (paperback) / £4.25 (ebook)
- You can read an interview with Kathy on Words Unlimited, where she discusses her late start in poetry, jelly-making and how she assembled her pamphlet.
- You can read an article about Goose Fair Night, along with a sample poem set in Loughborough, on Maria Taylor’s website Commonplace
‘Goose Fair Night is rich in quintessentially British observation, all the more electrifying for its understatement. It is quirky in the best possible way, and endearing for its celebrations of egg sandwiches, mushy peas, and stocking runs. Sharply attuned to the music of overheard speech, this découpage of postwar living is delicately arranged and convincing for its pitch-perfect juxtapositions.’ – Robert Peake, Huffington Post
‘There’s a familiarity and unpretentious air in Kathy’s Nottingham-ness, even when her poems aren’t specifically about Nottingham, her words feel like home – comforting and warm – like the moment I step out onto the platform at Nottingham station from a moment away.’ – Safiya W, Oh Such A Primadonna
‘Goose Fair Night is a juicy and vibrant collection of poems in which Kathy Pimlott’s insightful observations of family, age, work and life in the Midlands are brought to us wrapped in flavours, scents and feelings.’ – Louise Essex, Cuckoo Reviews
‘Kathy Pimlott is someone you’d want on a crime scene because she notices things, and the final, possibly autobiographical, poem in the collection gives us clues as to how this observant nature has come about. Left alone for five minutes, the child in the poem is asked to ‘look for five unusual things’ in the parent’s absence and Pimlott supplies dense, delicious details of what might be invisible to others on a seemingly ordinary ‘back street of workshops and offices’.’ – Josephine Corcoran, Sphinx Reviews
‘I specially like the Enid poems. Enid is unforgettable, like all the best grandmothers. There are 6 Enid poems in this pamphlet of 22, spread out through the rest. Even their titles are irresistible. Here – be tantalised:
Enid and the Peas
Enid and the Toad
Enid and Elizabeth
Enid and the Handsome Devil
Enid and the Present Dangers
Enid and Me
The last of these is, as you might guess, a kind of culmination. Our grannies say stuff to us when we are small – they give us details from their real lives. Without us, who will ever remember? ‘ – Helena Nelson, Sphinx Reviews
‘I first met Kathy Pimlott ten years ago, when she was just starting as a poet and attending my Beginners Class at The City Lit. Even then her talent stood out – like the pots of jam in her poem ‘Preserving’, her delicious and meticulously-made poems can seem deceptively domestic before you notice the astringency. […] Seeing these particular poems gathered together in Goose Fair Night, it strikes me that perhaps it is Kathy’s female working-class sensibility that so appeals to me – there is something brave, gleeful, “mardy” and defiantly unsnobby about her poetry.’ — Clare Pollard in her introduction to the book
About the poet
Kathy Pimlott was born in Nottingham, in the shadow of Player’s cigarette factory, but has spent her adult life in London, the last 35 years in Seven Dials. She has had a rag-bag career in social work, community activism, television and arts development and now works on community-led public realm projects. Having abandoned poetry in her early 20s, she took up reading and writing again about ten years ago. Her work has been published in magazines and anthologies, including the Emma Press’s Best Friends Forever (ed. Amy Key). In 2015, she was one of the Poetry Trust’s Aldeburgh Eight.
You can read more about her on her website.