“With consummate mastery of language and a vast sweep of reference Hannah Stone ranges from the demotic to the theological to the technically specific. Surrounded by acutely observed animal presences, she forages for spiritual and sensual truths amongst bramble, root and blossom, and leaps gracefully from ancient figures of divinity to contemporary holiday-makers. This is a collection that continually opens up new delights.”
Amina Alyal – Associate Principal Lecturer in English Leeds Trinity University
“These poems draw you in with a subtle magnetism to lead you across wide ranging territories: familiar and alien, contemporary and antique, natural and urban, foreign and domestic; with a penetrating intensity for detail reminiscent of Elizabeth Bishop and Mary Oliver. Lodestone is a collection underpinned by the credo ‘…sight makes sense of shape.’”
Bob Beagie – poet, playwright and SeniorLecturer in Creative Writing at Teeside University
“Just as a lodestone is composed of many parts, these tightly-worked poems are the meeting place of many compass points. Hannah makes fresh connections, marrying history with the present, the northern hemisphere with the south, Islam with Christianity, myth with the meticulously-observed mundane, colloquial language with the formal. These marriages are not always happy but they are often thought-provoking and surprising.
Self-Portrait, With Machete magpies the haunting words and photograph of a jihadist with a disembodied head and places it alongside paintings of biblical beheadings. In Time and Motion Study, the narrator who cannot tell a chough from a crow, meets a fisherman who is from the old world. What will happen if he doesn’t fetch his lobster pots in time is left poignantly unsaid. Meanwhile, despite the concerns of humans, the natural world continues regardless, just as in the globalised Ataturk Airport where, ‘outside the sunset does its stuff without fuss’. Nature’s cruelty is most memorable in All In A Day which culminates in a cat eating the testicles of a castrated calf. Yet within the book’s depicted world of human conflicts, healing powers are found in the hedgerow and in the slow thriving of the orphaned lamb. Yes, despite its forays into other lands, its farmland and seascapes make this a very British book.
Indulge in the warm bath of this subtle and well-formed collection and you may experience an epiphany but, just as in the poem of the same name, look out not for thunderclaps but for cranberry-scented steam.”
Becky Cherryman – writer, facilitator and performer