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Baldwin’s Catholic Geese | Bloodaxe Books
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Keith Hutson

Baldwin’s Catholic Geese

Keith Hutson

Publication Date : 21 Feb 2019

ISBN: 9781780374550

Pages: 65
Size :216 x 138mm
Rights: World

Keith Hutson’s debut collection, Baldwin’s Catholic Geese, looks at the delight and heartbreak of being human through the lens of beloved music hall and variety stars like Hylda Baker and Frankie Howerd, as well as less celebrated, now long-forgotten acts of the past: The Bryn Pugh Sponge Dancers, Macauley’s Leaping Infants, Willy Netta’s Singing Jockeys, and many more.

Hutson’s vividly realised portraits bring back to life a whole cast of the extraordinary characters who have entertained us for over two centuries. Comedy is brought into sharp relief by hardship. His Baldwin’s Catholic Geese is a social history chronicle in poems, focusing on what it means for all of us who have to make the most of our luck – the good, the bad, and the bizarre.

Keith Hutson has written for Coronation Street and for many well-known comedians. He has published two poetry pamphlets, Routines (2016) and Troupers (2018).

‘Keith Hutson’s debut collection Baldwin’s Catholic Geese is a hugely entertaining celebration of British musical hall and variety artists… It’s a book about art and entertainment, audiences and theatres, the bizarre and the brave…’ – Andy Croft, Morning Star

'Harmonising rhyme-light symmetrical structures with naturally stressed vocal patterns, Hutson’s lines accommodate terse description, slogans, moments of pathos, pregnant pauses, comic punchlines – all the brilliant patter, but in a voice that resists exaggeration. The collection delivers the comedy and oddity its title promises, but amounts to very much more than a novelty act. It’s a commemoration.' - Carol Rumens, Poem of the Week, Guardian.com [on Baldwin's Catholic Geese]

‘… a tonic – a fizzing celebrant of often unremembered lives... There’s more than artistry to Keith Hutson’s peerless volume.’ – Steve Whitaker, The Yorkshire Times [on Baldwin’s Catholic Geese]

'This is the poet as portraitist, as raconteur, as a teller of fables. The music hall poems in particular - like flickering magic lanterns - are full of wit and pathos.' – Michael Symmons Roberts

‘These poems illuminate something timeless about ambition and the human spirit. Keith Hutson is a wonderful talent – his hardworking, technically-assured poems arrive all of a piece centre-stage.’ – Carol Ann Duffy, on Troupers

 

Keith Hutson: The Audience (i.m. Les Dawson 1931–1993)

Keith Hutson reads and introduces his poem ‘The Audience’ about Les Dawson, one of the many comedians he worked with before moving from comedy script writing to poetry. He reads a wider selection of poems from Baldwin’s Catholic Geese in another video [https://vimeo.com/316325714]. Neil Astley filmed Keith Hutson at his home in Halifax, West Yorkshire, on 9 February 2019.

 

Keith Hutson: Hylda (for Hylda Baker 1909–1986)

Keith Hutson reads and introduces his poem ‘Hylda’ about the rise and fall of comedienne Hylda Baker, familiar to television audiences as the mouthy proprietress of Pledge’s Pickle Factory on ITV. He reads a wider selection of poems from Baldwin’s Catholic Geese in another video [https://vimeo.com/316325714]. Neil Astley filmed Keith Hutson at his home in Halifax, West Yorkshire, on 9 February 2019.

 

Keith Hutson: Accept No Imitations (i.m. J.D. Plummer 1846–1901)

Keith Hutson reads and introduces his poem ‘Accept No Imitations’ about J.D. Plummer, a resourceful Victorian impresario whose final tragic fate was beyond his control. He reads a wider selection of poems from Baldwin’s Catholic Geese in another video [https://vimeo.com/316325714]. Neil Astley filmed Keith Hutson at his home in Halifax, West Yorkshire, on 9 February 2019.

 

Keith Hutson: Glasgow Empire

Keith Hutson reads and introduces his poem ‘Glasgow Empire’ about the notorious theatre where even the most famous comedians were booed off the stage. He reads a wider selection of poems from Baldwin’s Catholic Geese in another video [https://vimeo.com/316325714]. Neil Astley filmed Keith Hutson at his home in Halifax, West Yorkshire, on 9 February 2019.

 

Keith Hutson: Baldwin’s Catholic Geese

Keith Hutson reads and introduces a selection of poems from Baldwin’s Catholic Geese: ‘Double Act’, ‘Bad Impresario’ (i.m. William Paul 1820–1882), ‘Accept No Imitations’ (i.m. J D Plummer 1846–1901), ‘Coming On Strong’ (i.m. Joan Rhodes 1921–2010), ‘Out from Under’ (i.m. Kate Cheval 1832–1847), ‘Eleven, plus’ (for Freddie Parrot-Face Davies), ‘Confidence Trick’ (i.m. Felicitous Bob Franklin 1831–1878), ‘Hylda’ (for Hylda Baker, 1909–1986), ‘Engagement’ (for George Formby, 1904–1961), ‘Dun Roamin’’ (i.m. Gerald Butterworth 1857–1919), ‘Glasgow Empire’, ‘Caretaker’, ‘Roughage’ (i.m. Bombastus Furioso c. 1820), ‘The Audience’ (i.m. Les Dawson, 1931–1993), ‘Zazel, The Shooting Star! (i.m. Rosa Richter 1862–1922), ‘Le Petomane’ (i.m. Joseph Pujol 1857–1945), ‘Beyond Belief’ (i.m. Sid Field 1904–1950), ‘Chanteur’ (i.m. Charles Aznavour 1924–2018), ‘Soul Mates’ (i.m. Arthur Rickett d.1883), and ‘That’s Your Lot (i.m. Tubby Turner 1882–1947). Neil Astley filmed Keith Hutson at his home in Halifax, West Yorkshire, on 9 February 2019.


 

  

Related News & Publicity

Poetry Events


Keith Hutson readings

Keith Hutson readings

Keith Hutson readings in Urmston Library, Manchester (20 June), Ledbury (12 July - with Carol Ann Duffy) & London (18 July - with Hannah Lowe)

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