Originally from Stoke-on-Trent, Tim Craven is completing an AHRC-funded PhD at the University of Edinburgh. He has a BSc in neuroscience from the University of Manchester and a poetry MFA from Syracuse University. Over the past year, Tim was the inaugural writer-in-residence at the Isle of Harris Distillery, had work commissioned for Talbot Rice Gallery’s exhibition, Trading Zone, and was a visiting fellow at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, TX. He is a creative writing tutor at SUISS.
Lake Effect is Tim Craven’s first pamphlet.
“Tim Craven’s spirituality is physical, anatomical [bone, blood, lymph, the pineal gland]. To read him is to feel the weight of the body, its thereness and its imminent vanishing. Even his shadows are heavy. The rituals of traveling or doing nightshift work are prayers, a reckoning of the damages and an “embrace of the absence”. I find in these poems an energy and a vehemence that gives off the light and heat we need in dark, cold places. And they are made with an exactitude and grace. An impressive entrance.”
“From the lyrical and questing ‘Neuroanatomy practical’ to the rollicking, plangent ‘Moby Dick’, this pamphlet combines speculative energy with vivid concreteness. This debut from Craven is ‘as perfect / as a racehorse or a fresh layer of frost.’”
“This chapbook is a triumph of understated wonder. The speakers range from rueful to proud, from amused to melancholy, and yet are all united by their ability to find hope and solace in the textures of the world.”
Smaller than you imagined.
More like your idea of a dog’s.
You cup it softly. Your thumb fidgets
over the fissure of a temporal lobe.
You lift it up to the side of your head
and picture your own firing in there –
If you were to lob it against the wall,
would it crumble or shatter
or liquefy or combust or bounce
back into your hands, intact?
When she (sixty-six, Caucasian, lymphoma)
donated it to science, was this the promised
afterlife? You consider biting into it
as you would a peach – and, were it not
for the bleach-like stench of toxic preservative,
In ten years’ time you will think
what a privilege it was to hold that brain,
brim-filled with tomato soup recipes and original sin
and the smells of late summer and oboe lessons
and self-taught Italian and the night sky:
The Plough, The Great Bear, The Big Dipper.