David Batten
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Charting winter journeys, travelling to funerals and to the anniversary of a young death, David Batten reflects on loss in its many guises. Facing grief with a meticulous attention, whether it strikes in close family or political reality, Winterreis touches on truths as urgent now as when Willhelm Muller wrote his own Winterreise, a poetry cycle with which Batten resonates and echoes, or when Franz Schubert composed his song cycle of the same name, based on Muller' s poems. The poems here become an "assembly of the omens encountered while wandering in contemporary Europe. . . " and a commemoration of those making music and poetry, who too often die young. Poignant, cathartic and ultimately life-affirming, this is considered poetry written with grace.
David Batten studied history and ideology at Hull College and Hull University, where he took his Master' s degree, and also played back row for Hull & East Riding RFC, before rejoining family in Gwynedd, teaching at Coleg Meirion Dwyfor, then working in community development in North Wales. His debut collection Transhumance was published in 2016; a pamphlet, Storme Passage in 2017; followed by Untergang in 2018, all published by Cinnamon Press. His first prose work, Rotterdam, is part autobiography, part philosophical reflection. He now lives in the Aveyron in southern France.