Angela Topping

Angela Topping has published eight collections and four pamphlets, all with reputable publishers, the most recent being The Five Petals of Elderflower (Red Squirrel Press, 2016). Her solo collection for children, The New Generation, was published by Salt in 2010. Her poems have appeared in over 100 anthologies, and in prestigious magazines including Poetry Review, The North and The Dark Horse. They have been set for A level, won several first prizes, and featured on BBC Radio’s Poetry Please. In 2014, her collaborative exhibition with Maria Walker, The Lightfoot Letters, featured at StAnza. Angela is a former writer in residence at Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden. She blogs at angelatopping.wordpress.com.

Woman (Angela) smiling at camera against a background of foliage

Dave Topping

Events

In Touch with the Past »

A digital installation of commissioned poems on Cypriot artefacts from the Bridges Collection

Thu 7 March - Sun 10 March | 10:00 - 22:00 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Level 2 Foyer

Poem

Another Tide

Another Place by Anthony Gormley at Crosby Beach

His metal men, barnacled and lichened
stand firm on the beach. I’ve touched them,
marvelled at their beautiful limbs, the penis, 
the proud bones of the feet. Each made the same
but changed by different encounters with the sea. 
I’ve stood beside them, posed for photographs. 

Today, they were dark dots in the spring tide
as the Irish Sea battered them, beating the Mersey
into coffee-coloured spray, thick with silt. 
Salt spurted at walkers, the bitter wind
drove fingers to whiteness. The hundred
iron men appeared and disappeared, unmoved. 

Do they look out, across the river
back to an Ireland they left on a harvest ticket,
riding the sea fourth class, saving every penny
to send home? Long before the famines, 
they crossed backwards and forwards as if
the sea were nothing more than a road of water.

Blight came and hunger followed:
Fever, famine, emigration, deportation.
Tides recede, salt dries on rusted faces.
History’s hard stories are still told here.
Had they tongues to sing, they would voice
a hundred songs of yearning for home.

 

Angela Topping

 

From Not A Drop (Beautiful Dragons, 2016)