Poetry launch in Downham

William Alderson
William Alderson

Local poet William Alderson has just had a collection of poetry published.

A Moment of Disbelief; poems on war, terrorism and refugees has already been described as “a compelling collection, at once forceful and subtle” and “a convincing and unequivocal condemnation of war and its exploitative and inhumane consequences”.

The collection will be launched at the West Norfolk Deaf Association’s Old Bookshop, 8 High Street, Downham at 2pm on Sunday, September 3 (doors open at 1.30pm). The event is free, and William will be accompanied by the local songwriter and musician Marshlander.

Anyone buying A Moment of Disbelief at the launch will also get a free postcard of ‘The Military Solution’, an additional new poem by William set and printed by him by hand.

William worked in BBC Television News for 25 years, was one of the founders of King’s Lynn Stop the War, and also successfully campaigned for two Kosovan refugees to remain in the UK.

He said: “This is a collection dedicated to Dritan and Ilir Dauti, and I am particularly proud to have it published.

“It brings together nearly 40 years of experience of how conflicts are portrayed, and how this can differ from the reality for people who live through them. It is a collection that I feel is particularly needed at this time.”

He added: “After all, we are still remembering the Great War of 100 years ago, and the hope that it would be ‘the war to end all wars’.

“However, not only was that hope not realised, but we have seen increasing steps towards the massive involvement of civilians as casualties of war, and now the USA and North Korea are threatening to take us into an even greater crisis.”

Last year William won a commission to write Somewhere Else, a 15-minute poem for two voices, for the Future Floodlands event in Peterborough. More recently, his 418-line poem, May Days, was published by the online journal counterfire.org, the first poem the journal had ever published.

He has had poems published in more than 20 magazines, including Norfolk-based The Rialto, several anthologies, and online, including as YouTube videos.

This was his first solo collection, and it is published by Poetry Salzburg, which is based at the University of Salzburg in Austria, and has a strong reputation for its English language poetry.

“I had expected to get a few rejections before being accepted, but I hit the mark straight off. Poetry Salzburg even allowed me to add some new poems, so the collection extends right up to the Manchester bombing,” he said.

A Moment of Disbelief costs £7 (plus p&p) from the publisher at http://www.poetrysalzburg.com/disbelief.htm or William Alderson at http://williamalderson.wixsite.com/williamalderson/moment-of-disbelief.