Martyn Crucefix

Guest Poet: Martyn Crucefix

Martyn Crucefix's recent publications are Cargo of Limbs (Hercules Editions, 2019), These Numbered Days, translations of the poems of Peter Huchel (Shearsman, 2019) and The Lovely Disciplines (Seren, 2017). O. at the Edge of the Gorge, was also published by Guillemot Press in 2017. Martyn has translated the Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus by Rainer Maria Rilke and the Daodejing - a new version in English (Enitharmon, 2016). He blogs regularly on poetry, translation and teaching at

Linda Saunders

Guest Poet: Linda Saunders

Linda Saunders' poetry has been widely published in magazines and anthologies, including, early on, New Women Poets from Bloodaxe. Following a pamphlet, her first full-length collection was short-listed for the Jerwood/Aldeburgh Prize. She will be reading from her third, a new book published by Worple Press in April. As a fine-arts journalist and editor, Linda was shortlisted for the BP Arts Journalist of the Year award, and in her poetry, as Philip Gross has written 'she applies words to subtle experiences as a painter might use paint'. Carrie Etter has also written that: 'Saunders shows the world cherished by our watchfulness, life lived in rapt attention.'

26th May 2016, The Swan Hotel, 1 Church Street, Bradford on Avon, BA15 1LN

"The important thing is getting people to think." So said one member of our eclectic and talented Words & Ears audience last night - and there was certainly much to think about, from Linda Saunders' eloquent musings on what it is to listen (to America, in a phone call; to the stone in a sculptor's workshop; to the silence beyond sound), to Martyn Crucefix's theme that 'language is inadequate', and that the message of profound oneness inherent in Daodejing - for which he has just produced a new version in English - begins to be lost as soon as language starts to define it. There were some interesting touching points between the two poets' readings - and not only that both have been published by Worple Press - Martyn's thoughts on 'the uncarved block of wood' finding echoes in Linda's uncarved block of stone, and the implied listening of Martyn's Reclining Figure - Angles mirroring the hearing and mis-hearing weaving its way through Linda's new collection, A Touch on the Remote.
Both poets, and our excellent open-mic readers, took us on journeys across the continents and to the desert fringes of early-onset Alzheimer's. And, giving us plenty more to think about was the neat juxtaposition of Martyn's assertion that 'Real power is female, it rises from beneath' with Jinny Fisher's poem about the alarmingly overt gender stereotyping imprinted - literally - on our little ones via words and slogans on their clothing (and thanks, Rachael - great double act!).
Huge thanks to all who contributed - their words, and their ears. I'm told (often - thank you) how excellent Words & Ears is - it is you who make it so.