Funded by an Arts Council Grants for the Arts Award, Blaze a Vanishing and
The Tall Skies is Alan Morrison’s fifth poetry collection, and his third with Waterloo Press. The Tall Skies is a far-ranging outing into aspects of the social, cultural and literary history of Sweden. There are poem-appreciations of such Swedish luminaries as Emanuel Swedenborg, John Bauer, Alfred Nobel and Ingmar Bergman. But Morrison’s primary focus is on the leading autodidactic talents of Swedish early twentieth century ‘proletarian literature’: Dan Andersson, Ivar-Lo Johansson, Harry and Moa Martinson. The vast, unspoilt Swedish landscape is celebrated; as is the egalitarian social ethic of Sweden’s classless society. The eponymous second part of the book throws a torch-light over Britain past and present, ever arrested in a stalemate between instincts of progressivism, and a change-resistant ‘island mentality’. Contemporary England is viewed as a germinal for social stigma projected as a sacrificial common mythology to help camouflage the true agents of austerity. The title sequence charts the ‘shadow lineage’ of British ‘proletarian’ literature, from the 18th to mid-20th century, via a dialectical materialist précis of the history of publishing as a class struggle for monopolies of reputation and posterity. This theme is the mortise from which both parts of the book dovetail; as is a concurrent focus on pre-suffrage female luminaries such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Annie Besant —the latter two, posthumous figureheads for legion forgotten working-class women campaigners.

A new massively extended version of the part-title poem from Alan's last collection, Blaze a Vanishing/ The Tall Skies (Waterloo Press, Jan 2013), is now available as an exclusive ebook, Blaze a Vanishing - Revisited (Caparison, Nov 2013), for free download from World Literature Today. This new extended version of the long poem was commissioned by Jeanetta Calhoun Mish for her guest editorship of the 'Working-Class Literature' edition of WLT (Nov 2013), America's flagship journal for international literature (founded in 1927 as Books Abroad). Click here to visit the WLT website and click on 'Web Exclusive Content E-BOOK: “Blaze a Vanishing” by Alan Morrison' on the Contents List to download your free copy, or click on the cover image right
to go directly to Alan's ebook page. Much of the new material relating to forgotten or neglected historical working-class poets which informs
Alan's new version is courtesy of Ian Petticrew's gerald-massey.org.uk and Nottingham Trent University's Labouring-Class Writers Project (ed. John Goodridge).

Order here

Inland UK
£12.50 including p&p

...the title poem [is] hugely ambitious, compendious and effective. Miltonic is
not too strong a word!
Mike Quille, The Communist Review

...may well be the most significant Swedish-based work to be published since
Bloodaxe brought out its collection of Tomas Transtroemer’s poems in translation Poetry Express

...a remarkable achievement. There is an intention to highlight writers of proletarian origin whom many readers will not have heard of... I am unaware of any other attempt to do this so the book is likely to have originality of theme on its side. But it also has originality of style. I think it important to acknowledge the... architechtonics... If readers can tune into the purpose of the style they should be able to hear what I think I can hear, which is the unique music of his own voice. And that, these days, is a quality in sadly short supply. Norman Buller

Blaze a Vanishing crackles
with all the enthusiasm and excitement of a trail-
blazing journey into the unknown bardic outback.
The Tall Skies (De Höga
Himlarna) completes this important collection
Gwilym Williams, Poet-in-Residence