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The English River


Virginia Astley has been a much-admired songwriter and musician since the 1980s, known for her engaging lyrics as well as for her melodious style. Now her other two passions take centre stage in this book: poetry and the River Thames.

Growing up from the river’s upper reaches, Astley has returned to the Thames, working for a summer as an assistant lock-keeper, and walking its length to record and respond to its landscapes, river life and river folk as a poet and photographer.

Her pamphlet The Curative Harp won Ireland’s Fool for Poetry chapbook competition in 2015 and was published by Southword. The English River is her first book-length poetry collection, showing many new sides to this multi-talented artist: as poet, nature writer, storyteller and photographer.

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