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The Emma Press


The Bell Tower

The Bell Tower


The Bell Tower is a collection of poems by Pamela Crowe. Cover by Amy Louise Evans.

Sea drags me out. No, not sea, you.

Voluble force back and forth;

you don’t even know

you’re doing it.


Each time, arms stretched,

legs coathangered, I stick man

to the shore,

land gasping, lungs to fill;

I stand still looking back,

so inland, more inland this time.

You cannot get me now.


Drying, that takes weeks.

Wind ribbons to my face

and lifts my greening hair; on safe skin a dress

that buffers, tip-taps my tapered frame. I Flag.


It’s warm though

and the breeze is fine by me, this sexless wind

that doesn’t want me – just strides out my seaborne stare

and carols round like flossing saline

till you come in once more.


– ‘Sea’

Page count: 36

Publication date: 26 May 2022

Paperback ISBN: 9781912915996

GTIN: 9781912915996 SKU: 9781912915996-1 Categories: , ,

Pamela Crowe

Pamela Crowe is an artist and writer based in Leeds. Her practice focuses on words and how we say them, on text, voice and performance. Her work has been shortlisted for the 2019 Bridport Poetry Prize, longlisted in the 2020 National Poetry Competition, and published in The Poetry Society’s Poetry News. The Bell Tower is her first book.


Acerbic, precise and very funny, Pamela Crowe’s poems explore home life and relationships in a delightfully forthright voice. Secret frustrations and anxieties are aired and private fantasies brought into the light, as odes blur into diatribes and psychodramas become love poems.

Woven throughout The Bell Tower is a love of Jane Austen, Sylvia Plath, Wendy Cope and – above all – Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones. These are fierce, acutely observed poems that give weight to domestic minutiae and put words to helpless howls into the abyss.

Praise for The Bell Tower

“What strikes me about these poems is their willingness to inhabit anger. The title The Bell Tower refers, say the notes, to the poet’s ‘space of my own with a great view from which to shout across the landscape.’ (An echo of Plath’s The Bell Jar is lurking — though instead of entrapment, the bell tower represents empowerment). Pamela Crowe names her subject in the opening poem, subtitled ‘I (or anger)’. Here, she muses on how her neighbour ‘probably would not want me/ with three kids and an anger problem’. This naming invites the anger into the frame, and signals to the reader that the speaker, while angry, is in control. From here, I felt able to enjoy and relate to that rage: from a poem titled ‘Cloudcunt’ to her use of expletives throughout.” – Georgia Gildea, Sphinx Review

“Both emotional and humorous, I really enjoyed this collection and would love to read more of Crowe’s work.” – Hayley, Bookseller

“Crowe’s poetry is fierce and damning, witty and melodic – an ode to being a woman.” – @pourawayyouth

Additional information

Dimensions 19.8 × 12.9 × .5 cm

Pamphlet, eBook

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