Archive for August 18, 2020

Making tracks erased in the blue wastelands of Thatcher

Posted in Uncategorized on August 18, 2020 by antonyowen
black and white road sky man

Photo by David McEachan on Pexels.com

I don’t post reviews on here and this is not a book review more of an observation of something positive happening in the changing landscape of working class expressionist writing in the UK. A new pamphlet by Katy Wareham-Morris brings a poignant perspective of Morris as a daughter of a Longbridge factory worker in her childhood before it closed. It has a congruous warmth amongst the Soviet-esque and machismo factory setting of the Rover plant where Morris incorporates a prosaic account of prose in how a factory produces childhoods as much as car parts. The affection for her father as the main protagonist of this work is tangible but Morris does not add saccharin to these reminiscences she adds all the dirt and duty a factory demands. A factory man is not the man we see as out father, the necessary primal worker to survive in a male dominated environment amongst the ruthlessness of commercial versus blue-collar pressures sum up to a malfunction of inevitable destiny our industries faced in the Thatcher years. The cold table charts of data that Morris intersperses are not designed to be poetic but as close to a data sheet of alternative information of what a factory is to a person that works there and the families that become the sum of the breadwinners parts. This is an impressive and experimental work by Morris taking some risks given that the inhabited domain of what is still largely a male domain has to be a credible piece of work regardless of whether the author is male or not. I think given a wider platform this work could have been expanded on in more detail but the abruptness of it’s ending actually strengthens the work as it feels like the lack of an ending or conclusion only amplifies the fate of what factories like Longbridge suffered in sudden demise and ending. I think Morris is at her strongest when she does not hold back as she is at her most unique and affective when she presents the truth as it is and not as we would like to think of it. One of the most exciting young poets writing today Morris is definitely one to look out for as this is early days in a long and exciting future in gritty subjects she has covered from fresh perspectives at feminism, sex and relationships and motherhood.