The Soil Never Sleeps, published Jan. 2018

by Adam Horovitz on December 1, 2017

My new book, and my second full collection of poems, The Soil Never Sleeps, will be released on January 6th 2018 by Palewell Press. It is currently available to pre-order here at £1 less than cover price. It has been exquisitely illustrated by Jo Sanders, whose drawings also grace my previous book, A Thousand Laurie Lees.

The book, which originated as a commission from the Pasture-fed Livestock Association to write about pasture farming, and humanity’s relationship with landscape and animals, follows four farms across four seasons and closes with an unflinching look at the ethics and politics of farming.

I stayed on each of the farms I visited, from the Yorkshire Dales to Cornwall, Kent to the Black Mountains, for a few days each season, and became involved with the work of the farm, walked the landscape with the farmers and got to know the animals on the farms. The voices of the farmers have inevitably found their way into the poems I’ve written, as have the very definite personalities of the animals I encountered.

Statements from the back cover of The Soil Never Sleeps.

image (c) Jo Sanders

“Personal journal and public statement, lyric observation and prospectus for radical care of the land, this is life-writing in a fundamental sense. Like Ted Hughes’ Moortown or Sean Borodale’s Bee Journal, it is grounded in living the life, and doing the work, day by day, of a place. Unsentimental, many-angled, this is poetry to think with, not to lecture readers but ‘to open them / to the seeds of ideas’ that the earth sorely needs.” Philip Gross

“At the heart of this undertaking is a willingness to learn, to be instructed, so as to understand more closely how people live and work and manage in their particular circumstances. The poems are learning in practice; and as the writer learns, and, with all the sensuous presence he can muster, sets down his gains in understanding, so we too, reading, learn. Adam Horovitz’s  poems persuade you that something vital is at stake. His learning leads to this: there are better ways and worse of farming the land, more and less humane ways of owning and rearing animals. Truth is, we can’t afford to get it wrong much longer.” David Constantine


The image directly above is (c) Jo Sanders

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Glenys Houghton December 1, 2017 at 9:29 pm

Can’t wait to purchase a copy.
Adam’s sensitivity to nature is sure to prove
a powerful reminder to us all
that our duty to nurture it is a serious
The future of our very existence depends on it.

Billy Mills January 2, 2018 at 11:04 am

Do you think the publishers would be interested in a review?

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