Today's poem is "The Elements"
from The School of Night

Bloodaxe Books

Anne Rouse was born in Washington DC and grew up in Virginia. After reading History at the University of London, she worked as a general and psychiatric nurse, and became active in trade unionism as a NUPE steward. Since becoming a freelance writer, she has had many residencies, and now lives in Hastings. She has published three collections with Bloodaxe, Sunset Grill (1993) and Timing (1997) — both Poetry Book Society Recommendations — and The School of Night (2003). She reads a selection of poems from all these books on Poetry Quartets 9 (British Council/Bloodaxe Books, 2003).

About The School of Night:

"Anne Rouse's poems are watchful and amused, sardonic and appalled. They are also in the best sense political: the big picture of our whole society informs her miniatures of city life where dossers and shopping jostle for attention alongside love and death."
—Ruth Padel & Sean O'Brien, PBS Bulletin

"A sure touch with the rackety underworld, a spare precision and a lyrical elegance . . . there is no doubt about the quiet strength of her voice."
—Linda France, Poetry Review

"Rouse, an American, writes, mostly about London, with such convinced skewing of the expected angles, and with such precise anger and sympathy, that one is inclined to believe her as well as to admire the poems."
—Sean O'Brien, Sunday Times

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