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).
'Robyn Bolam’s Hyem is a carefully constructed collection of poems that are scrupulously crafted and rooted in authentic experience. The images are well observed and to the point, yet frequently resonate beyond the circumstances that have inspired them. It’s a collection that allows you to feel and makes you think. It is one also to which you can return with renewed pleasure.' - David Cooke, The High Window
‘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