Robyn Bolam's new collection, Hyem, explores what and who makes us feel at home. Both people, and creatures – from whales off Kaikoura in New Zealand, New Forest cicadas, fish in the Thames, wrens, robins and starlings, to a climbing fox – face challenges to find homes where they can thrive. Hyem lets you walk London streets with Dickens or share the last moments of a 17th-century helmsman, whose final home is Stockholm's Vasa museum. A wolves' valley becomes home to surfers and a high voltage laboratory turns into a creative home for a poet. Hyem (home in Geordie) is also about growing up on Tyneside, loving a place through changes and celebrating those who preserve its history and spirit.
Hyem is Robyn Bolam's first book of poetry since her retrospective New Wings: Poems 1977-2007, which included work from two earlier collections, The Peepshow Girl (1989) and Raiding the Borders (1996).
‘There is calm acceptance of mystery; there is precise observation… and carefully sustained metaphor…and in all of this, there is the poet's trust in her own perceptions, which are at once worldly and otherworldly.’ – Lavinia Greenlaw & Alan Jenkins, PBS Bulletin, on New Wings
‘The new poems pulse with determined affirmation and renewal… humour and lush detail merge with…poems of unusual intelligence and historical sensitivity.’ – Todd Swift, Poetry Review, on New Wings
‘Compelling and accomplished...a poet of unusual talent.’ – Bernard O’Donoghue, Times Literary Supplement, on The Peepshow Girl