“Authors, Visionaries, Dreamweavers…” South West Shadow Poet, Hay Brunsdon lets Shake the Dust in on her all time Poetry Heroes…

“I think my real poetry heroine was a dreadful substitute Geography teacher I had in year 9, her mundane lesson about the horrific distress and admin caused by earthquakes bored me into writing my first poem. It was called ‘Grit in me Eye’ and she was so incensed that she forced me to read it out in front of the class. About five out of thirty pupils cackled appreciatively and the rest looked disgusted and/or horrified; I knew I was onto a winner.

These days I mainly write pretty filthy poems exploring a full inventory of my romantic peccadilloes. I glean great inspiration from the TV programmes Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace and Julia Davis’ Nighty Night. 

However, when I’m not embarrassing myself by performing bad taste poems, I find myself incredibly influenced by Laurie Lee. I also live in a small village near Stroud and enjoy writing poems inspired by the beautiful, sensual language found in Cider with Rosie. My favourite passage is:

“I remember, too, the light on the slopes. Long shadows in tufts and hollows, with cattle, brilliant as painted china, treading their echoing shapes. Bees blew like cake-crumbs through the golden air, white butterflies like sugared wafers, and when it wasn’t raining a diamond dust took over which veiled and yet magnified all things.”

His use of contract and microscopic detail kneads your senses like well-fondled dough, and his words roll off the tongue like cheese down a hill. I find it haunting and mellowing at the same time. I like to sit on Minchinhampton common and scribble odes about stoned Cotswold walls, bluebells in Standish woods and Stroud Farmers Market, until my parents tell me, “to stop being such a damned hippy and to come in for my tea.”

Other writers/dreamweavers I find particularly inspiring are H E Bates, Adam Horowitz and the delicately crafted vignettes by Kevin McCloud – y’know in Grand Designs, that moment of tension when an expensive piece of glass arrive on site and Kev starts sensually exclaiming about the ‘dialogue between the architecture and the landscape.’ Now that, my friend, is poetry in motion.”


Check out Hay Brunsdon’s Wesbite here!