|by Steve Rudd
(2016) 9 in x 6 in., pbk.,
Fish Town is Steve Rudd’s sixth collection of poetry and his first in the Humber Sound series. The "Fish Town” in question being Hull, of course, his place of birth, his hometown, and the site where he first saw the light of day, in a prefab in Sweet Dews Grove, off Newbridge Road, in 1955. Despite being born completely naked, and unable to walk or talk, he eventually overcame these difficulties and began writing poetry at school. Fortunately, none of that early work survives.
The main part of this book sees a series of thematically linked poems examining the author’s now-distant relationship with the East Riding (although he does still live in Yorkshire). The themes in question are mainly nostaliga, love, and loss, for places as much as people - in fact, in some cases, even more so. He points out that he believes strongly that each one of us makes up our own reality on the hoof, so his Hull might not be the same as your Hull, although of all the places he has lived, Hull is actually likely to be the one with the most common ground and shared experience. And it is a city which deserves its love songs.
The second section of the book is inspired by his love of old English, Anglo Saxon and old Norse poetry and sagas, and ends with two linked cycles of poems, Nocturnes and Maggots, which represent some of his more recent work