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A quiet gathering - David Scott

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A quiet gathering
David Scott
Paperback / softback
Bloodaxe Books
UK Publication Date

'David Scott belongs firmly to the long tradition of parson-poets that goes back at least as far as George Herbert... For all their reticence, there is a compassion in these poems and a sense of propriety' - Norman Nicholson.Springing from ordinary events, or a picture, or an aspect of the priestly life, David Scott's beautifully restrained poems work up the detail into a moment of significance. They are rooted in an English culture which is found not only in locality, but also in understatement, and the sideways look. But his poetry has wider reverberations, exploring spirituality and ways of praying as well as momentary glimpses of meaning caught in everyday life.David Scott won the National Poetry Competition in 1978, and he was awarded the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize for his first book A Quiet Gathering, which is illustrated by Graham Arnold of the Brotherhood of Ruralists.

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David Scott was born in 1947 in Cambridge. He was educated at Solihull School, and studied Theology at Durham and then at Cuddesdon College near Oxford. He spent two years as a curate in Harlow, and then became School Chaplain at Haberdashers' Aske's School, Elstree, where he taught religious education. He was vicar of Torpenhow and Allhallows in Cumbria for eleven years, and from 1991 until his recent retirement he was Rector of St Lawrence with St Swithun in Winchester, Warden of the Diocesan School of Spirituality and an Honorary Canon of Winchester Cathedral. He now lives in Kendal. In 1978 David Scott won the Sunday Times/BBC national poetry competition with his poem 'Kirkwall Auction Mart'. A Quiet Gathering, his first book of poems, was published by Bloodaxe Books in 1984, and won him the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize in 1986. His second collection, Playing for England (Bloodaxe Books, 1989) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Both books were illustrated by Graham Arnold of the Brotherhood of Ruralists. The poems from the two collections were republished with new work in David Scott's Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 1998), and followed by Piecing Together in 2005. His latest book, Beyond the Drift (Bloodaxe Books, 2014), draws on his four previous Bloodaxe titles, with the addition of a whole collection of new poems. David Scott's collection of poems for children, How Does It Feel? was published by Blackie in 1989. He has also written several plays for the National Youth Music Theatre with Jeremy James Taylor. These include Captain Stirrick, which was staged at the National Theatre's Cottesloe Theatre in 1981; and Bendigo Boswell, which was commissioned by the BBC and screened in 1983. Jack Spratt VC was performed in the 1986 London International Opera Festival, and Les Petits Rats was performed at the Edinburgh International Festival and Sadlers Wells in 1988. He has written four religious books, Moments of Prayer (SPCK, 1997), Building Common Faith (Canterbury Press, 1997), Sacred Tongues (SPCK, 2001) and The Private Prayers of Lancelot Andrewes (SPCK, 2002).

'He is interested in the humble epiphanies associated with weathered objects and places: he seizes on the apparently insignificant but his sensual expansions are religious in tone. Quietly Scott's poems look out beyond themselves.' - George Szirtes, Critical Quarterly

'Immaculate poems - full of gentle, contemplative intelligence and a tenacious modesty - scrupulous, affectionate.' - John Mole, Encounter.

'David Scott writes poems plain as pleasure: a pleasure in perception of the world, a pleasure in being human - There is one poem in this fine collection that really lets all the weather in, the epic and panoptic "Skelling Michael: A Pilgrimage" - the terrors of faith are made real and electric but, importantly, they are made human.' - David Morley, PN Review

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