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This review is taken from PN Review 35, Volume 10 Number 3, January - February 1984.

YOUNG 'ACCOMPLISHMENT' A Rumoured City, New Poets from Hull, edited by Douglas Dunn (Bloodaxe) £3.50
The Younger Irish Poets, edited by Gerald Dawe (Blackstaff Press) £4.95
Trio Poetry 3, Johnston Kirkpatrick, Peter McDonald, Trevor McMahon, (Blackstaff Press) £3.95
Hard Lines, edited by Ian Dury (Faber and Faber) £1.95

I must admit to opening Douglas Dunn's anthology A Rumoured City, New Poets from Hull with more than solely literary interest. Part of my childhood was spent in Hull and I still possess a postcard of the splendid - brooding/alert, ascetic/sensual - portrait of the young Andrew Marvell which hangs in the Ferens Art Gallery. And my adolescence was spent twenty miles away on the coast of Holderness; as Philip Larkin writes in his foreword to this anthology: 'Behind Hull is the plain of Holderness, lonelier and lonelier, and after that the birds and lights of Spurn Head, and then the sea. One can go ten years without seeing these things, yet they are always there, giving Hull the air of having its face half-turned towards distance and silence, and what lies beyond them'. I can assent to all of that.

Of the poets gathered here it is Genny Rahtz who best conveys a sense of that landscape; '. . . waterways/whose tides leave their bloom/to silt the docks . . .' and


Recognition of debris
And the smell of dry-popping seaweeds . . .
We leave them lying in ant-sand
And crouch over pebbles
To subtract the odd piece
Of wet colour.


Frank Redpath, born in 1927 and rather older than the other contributors, also catches much of the area's strange combination of openness (the wide, flat land) and privacy (life as it ...


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