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Friday, 2 March 2007

Poem by Julia Casterton

Eyewear is featuring a poem by Julia Casterton, the much loved poet and creative writing tutor, who died last Saturday in London.
Julia (pictured) was born in 1952 in Nottingham where she grew up. She studied at Essex University and worked as a creative writing tutor at the City Literature Institute since 1981, at The Poetry School, and also had a twenty year association with Ambit magazine. A winner of the Poetry Business pamphlet competition in 1990, her first full collection The Doves of Finesterre (2004) won the Jerwood Aldeburgh Prize in 2004. Her books on writing include Writing Poetry: A Practical Guide (The Crowood Press, 2005) and Creative Writing: A Practical Guide (Palgrave MacMillan, 2005).

Julia was one of the most striking, electric, intriguing and engaged people I have ever met. Brilliant. Sympathetic. Critical. Funny. Kind. She was instantly compelling. I taught with her on a shared course at London Metropolitan University last year, and she also read for my Oxfam series, summer 2006. She was a fine poet. This is a great loss.


Blood Oranges

I halve and squeeze them for my breakfast,
their lovely egg and bacon red and yellow,
and see my own blood and my bone marrow
on the six glass hospital slides
like sunrises. “Oh, beautiful,”
I said to the doctor who’d take it
so gently from my hip-bone. “Yes,”
she replied. “Even more so when it’s magnified.”

We sit in the bare ward, waiting,
sunrise after sunrise waiting in my bones.

poem by Julia Casterton
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