A Creative Writing PhD student at Leeds Trinity University has published a poetry pamphlet collection - including a long sequence of poems about one of the oldest women beheaded by Henry VIII.
Edwin Stockdale included the poems about Lady Margaret Pole in his new collection, The Glower of the Sun, published by award-winning, independent publisher Red Squirrel Press. Two events were held to officially launch the collection, at the country's oldest library, The Literary and Philosophical Library in Newcastle, and at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh.
Edwin researched and wrote the sequence for his Master's in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham. He said: "I chose this topic because I found Lady Margaret Pole a fascinating figure. She was one of only two women in the sixteenth century who was made a countess in her own right. Her life was one of violence and shifting fortunes. What I most enjoyed writing about was filling in the gaps of her story to access the small, intimate, personal moments of history."
As well as the poems about Lady Margaret, Edwin's pamphlet also includes poems about Mary Shelley and Lady Jane Grey. He's currently researching Richard III and the Princes in the Tower for his PhD and is writing a new poetry collection about them, which has already been accepted for publication by Red Squirrel Press.
Dr Amina Alyal is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Leeds Trinity University and one of Edwin's PhD supervisors.
She said: "Chilled as champagne and vivid as jewels, these poems evoke the lives of historical women meditatively, probing the brutality, the isolation and the sheer lived immediacy of their experiences. The glimpses are concrete, taut and musical, the voice restrained and sharply observant. Reading these poems is like a meditative foray into inner worlds as refreshing as they are austere, leaving a lingering sense of having visited somewhere vibrantly experienced and bravely faced."
Luke Kennard, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham and award-winning poet and novelist, wrote the following endorsement on the back of The Glower of the Sun:
"Stockdale writes with striking economy and terrifying clarity. The Glower of the Sun demonstrates his power to change focus subtly from a thought to a single, arresting image, a colour; from the interior to the natural world. A powerful collection culminates in 'The Passion of Lady Margaret Pole', a sequence of heart-breaking tenderness and historical insight, bringing the often-overlooked Countess to imagistic life. An unmissable new pamphlet from one of the country's most promising talents."
Edwin's debut pamphlet Aventurine was published by Red Squirrel Press in 2014. The Glower of the Sun is available to purchase for &pound;6.00 fromRed Squirrel Press.