Fields of War: Chrys Salt & Brian Johnstone

Appeared: Saturday March 29th

As part of the First World War Commemorations Chrys Salt and Brian Johnstone join forces to offer a moving programme of poetry, prose, film and music  evoking war and the losses of war from Flanders to Iraq – from the Blitz to Bosnia.

Brian reads from his collections The Book of Belongings (Arc, 2009) and Dry Stone Work (Arc May 2014) looking at aspects of both World Wars, and touching on  more recent conflicts including The Falklands and Yugoslavia.

Brian Johnstone brings his poetic eye to bear on war and its consequences in this centenary year. ‘Brian Johnstone’s poems establish their own presence, leaving room for mystery and lyricism to emerge with a convincing uniqueness’ Douglas Dunn

Chrys reads from her collection Home Front/Front Line (Roncadora.2013). A dialogue with her son, then a Territorial Army paratrooper who was mobilised to Iraq in 2003 and spent five months in action.  Her poems are interposed with extracts from his letters from the front.

‘(Home Front/Front Line)... is a brave, beautiful and a deeply unsettling way of looking again at long-familiar events, as though the mother of Wilfred Owen or Edward Thomas had kept a verse diary during the First World War’ Andy Croft, Morning Star.