While reading through Andrew James Murray’s newly published collection of poetry Heading North I was particularly struck by his poem, Woman in a Café.
Inspired by the memory of a woman who used to come into the café he frequented during his lunch break while working in Manchester, her fingerless mittened hands clutch bunched plastic bags while two worlds converge if only briefly but forever remembered.
Re-printed with permission.
“I am a northern guy. I have lived the whole of my life in the north west of England. I feel northern. It is in my accent. It is in my attitude. It is in my preferences: my favorite season is winter…”
Thus begins Andrew James Murray in the Forward of his new collection of poems, Heading North.
This idea of ‘northern-ness’ in a non-American context intrigued me.
A mere 35 miles west of Manchester where Andrew resides lies the infamous town of Liverpool. I never thought of The Beatles as being ‘northern’.
And yet, thinking on this further, it begins to fall into place – this marriage of blue-collar work ethic to the arts and education; a gritty, earthy element evident in both (he)artists’ life-work.
Damp, dark mists surround day-to-day living in the North, where cold light slants in mysterious angles. This is where Andrew draws inspiration. Continue reading