Lloyd Robson: from ‘Powhatan’

Lloyd Robson introduction:

Chris Torrance and his poetry have had a significant influence on me.
back in the 1990s i regularly attended his ‘Adventures in Creative Writing’ class at the University of Wales, Cardiff. it was an evening class, mostly for locals. sometimes Chris would crash at my place, afterwards; and i would visit him, up in the Neath Valley. we spent many hours talking, reading out loud, worrying the bones of poetry, and trying to find a precision of thought through language, while also having a laugh.
Chris was very generous with his time, his consideration, his knowledge, and imagination. his input was intrinsic to the developmental leap my writing went through at that time, but he never tried to influence me to write like him, however much i enjoyed his poetry. he did, however, introduce me to several other poets whose opinions i still trust to this day. he was a good judge of writers’ intentions.
ah, Chris: you Ezra Pound of Pontneddfechan, you Charles Olson of Ystradfellte, you Ginsberg of Glynmercher Isaf; a library of a man; a considered thinker and speaker; a magnificent teacher and poet; a rarity, and inspiration.

i haven’t written a ‘proper’ poem in several years – bits and bobs and rough drafts but nothing that was given the full treatment. after i’d absorbed the news of Chris’ death i thought, “well if i can’t put in some proper effort, in his hono(u)r, then i really should go fuck myself.”
so here it is – or the start of it, anyway. it’s shaping up to be a poem of place (specifically, my current ‘home’ on Powhatan Avenue, between the Elizabeth and Lafayette Rivers). the poem is still a work in progress and i expect it to be significantly longer when it’s done – there’s still a lot of territory to cover. i aim to include geology, history, lore, and language – all elements that interested Chris, and appeared in his poetry. would he have liked this poem? dunno, but he would’ve encouraged me, regardless.

my knowledge of local, native languages is nonexistent. my research is still ongoing. if my use of these words is in any way offensive, inappropriate, disrespectful, or downright inaccurate, please let me know. no harm intended.


To Read the Poem: from ‘Powhatan’


lloyd robson is a Welsh poet, prose writer, text artist, journalist, and broadcaster, but most of the time he ain’t. he is responsible for the books city&poems (blackhat, Cardiff, 1994), edge territory (blackhat, Cardiff, 1995), letter from sissi (blackhat, Cardiff, 1997), cardiff cut (Parthian, Cardigan, 2001), bbboing! & associated weirdness (Parthian, Cardigan, 2003), and Oh Dad! A Search for Robert Mitchum (Parthian, Cardigan, 2008). also, the sense of city road ffoto-poetry montage (blackhat, Cardiff, 2000). he lives in Virginia, USA, with the American poet Catherine Fletcher.



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