Summer / Break

Richie McCaffery


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Shoestring Press
22 June 2022
ISBN: 9781915553034
70 pages

From the publisher

In Summer 2018, Richie McCaffery and his long-term partner moved from Ghent, Belgium to Northumberland, settling a year later in the old market town of Alnwick. At first they were happy, adjusting to a part of the world they both knew well already. However, Covid and ‘self-isolation’ cast a shadow over their domestic contentment and in Summer 2021, McCaffery’s partner left unexpectedly. This collection is the account of before, during and after a life-changing breakup.

‘I tend to think of [McCaffery] as a modern, Northumbrian Wordsworth: full of bucolic non-whimsy and human insight […] after two collections [he] is increasingly assured, in an unobtrusive voice all his own […] [he] has developed a knack for leaving it up to us to find the parallels in his tempered, pithy and frequently memorable poems’ – Rory Waterman, PN Review

‘Richie McCaffery’s [work] leaves you with a sense of experiencing something much greater than you might have thought possible in such a light package. […] There is no suggestion of jam-packing too much in. The art is in a straight-talking narration, close to matter-of-fact but judiciously highlit when it really counts. […] From the flex in the nib of a family fountain-pen to the thought of a beard likened to biro scratchings, this poet makes confident marks and turns phrases of accuracy and wisdom.’ – Ian Stephen, Northwords Now

‘I really like these meticulous, direct poems. And one thing I’m struck by is the surprises: just when I think I know where I am – because this poet’s excellent, in very few words, at conjuring scene and cast – he pulls the rug from under me, and reveals something unexpected, and deep.’ – Charlotte Gann, Sphinx