Alice Allen was born in London and grew up in Jersey in the Channel Islands. She lives in the UK with her husband and two children. Alice has an MPhil in Creative Writing from the University of South Wales and a degree in English from Cambridge University. Alice is published in several literary magazines and anthologies and in 2014 won the Flambard Poetry Prize.
‘Alice Allen spent her formative years in Jersey, and her poems are imbued with its landscape, language and people. The particular focus of Daylight of Seagulls is the occupation of the island during WWII and the bravery of its citizens in the face of invasion. But Allen’s poems offer more than a history retold – they are compassionate, lyrical, inventive, often taking on voices of ordinary men and women who’ve remained unheard. She unearths the island’s secrets and sets them in front of us – treasures from a bygone world. This is a beautiful debut from a poet who understands how to evoke the potency of place.’ Tamar Yoseloff
‘Like the granite of the islands, this collection glitters with facets, sharp-edged glints of many lives. Good writing of place is also about time; addressing a difficult history, these poems show how the past, especially the unspoken, lives in the present tense.’
Alison Mace has written poetry all her life, more extensively since abandoning full-time teaching. She has three adult daughters. She lives in the Forest of Dean, but spent the whole of her working life in Yorkshire, whose speech rhythms echo in her work.
‘A welcome full first collection from Alison Mace. Poems about family relationships, and by implication love and loss, are delicately and minutely observed and felt. She writes fearlessly on ageing and death, but these are not mournful poems – rather they are truthful and moving. Mace is skilled in sustained verse form and also subtle in her use of it, as, for example, rhymes and half-rhymes which make their impact within lines as surely as they do when they appear as line endings. Included is a long novelistic sequence set in New England – an absorbing tour de force commemorating the long life of her American aunt.’
Joy Howard, Editor, Grey Hen Press
‘Alison Mace’s poems are fluent, unfussy and convincing. Though technically adept – unerring for example in her occasional subtle use of rhyme – ‘art disguises art’, as she exposes strong emotion, human frailty and (equally often) compensating generosity. She faces up to ‘all-eclipsing pain’, including her mother’s suicide when Mace was only eight, approaching tragedy with instinctive openness and sensitivity.’
Dilys Wood, Convenor, Second Light Poets.