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Prodigal
Mariscat Press
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Prodigal explores the rural family and love and tensions that surround it. In many ways this is Jim Carruth's most personal collection to date, with moving elegies for his mother and grandmother.

 


Whether by means of a harvest scene painted over, or the advent of a diesel tractor, these poems vividly evoke a rural past being constantly subsumed by the present. They are personalised and enriched by the skill with which, from 'the thick scent and myth of early childhood' to heart-stopping instances of love and loss in old age, Jim Carruth captures familial loyalties bound not just by the passage of time but toa specific locality. Hand in hand with their warmth and insight go the humanity and dignity with which he invests his subjects and engages our feelings.
- Stewart Conn


 
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Rider at the Crossing
Happenstance press
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jim carruth is from Renfrewshire. An acclaimed chapbook author, he has acquired a reputation as Scotland's leading rural poet, a man who brings farm and field together in lyric mode.

Rider at the Crossing is somewhat different from previous writing. The poems are wide-ranging and often unsettling. Perspectives shift rapidly, from local to global. At their heart is a man reflecting on life and mortality, a person who has—in more than one sense—reached a crossing.

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Working the Hill
Mariscat Press
ISBN 978 0 946588 58 9
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Working the Hill looks at the life time commitment of the agricultural communities to their vocation. It is the fifth cycle of an ongoing longer sequence following on from previous collections such as High Auchensale and Bovine Pastoral.

"Jim Carruth's poems are pared and unsentimental, as if through exposure to the seasons and western weather of the Renfrewshire hills. I can't think of any other living poet who writes from such experienced wisdom and hands-on familiarity with agriculture, livestock, and the men and women who work the land. Carruth's poetry is important to a Scotland which defines itself in literature too much as an urban nation."
Douglas Dunn

"These poems are rooted in an intense, sensuous intimacy with the land— and especially with the people who work that land—re-created in worked language that has a hard-won, unmistakeable authenticity."
Liz Lochhead

Grace Notes 1959
Dreadful Night Press 2010
ISBN: 978-0-9549257-5-8
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Grace Notes 1959 is Jim Carruth’s personal response to four classic and ground breaking jazz albums half a century after they were first released.

The sequence captures an essence of the radical innovation and challenge to form provided on albums by Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Dave Brubeck, and Charles Mingus. It also explores the difficult social period they were created in, and looks more generally at individual freedoms – that ongoing search for the space for us all to stand up, find our own voice and let it be heard.

"Grace Notes is visual poetry that breathes, it’s a beautiful and accomplished tribute not just to those who made 1959 such a special year in jazz but to the creativity itself, its disciplines and its riffs"

Richard Price

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Cowpit Yowe
Ludovic Press, 2008
ISBN 978-0-9556716-6-0
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"There seems to be a natural parallel between the poetry and the "fields" - seed-bed and sowing, measuring and harvesting, and a sense of both activities, well before Virgil, bringing the poet and farmer together. Jim Carruth does this convincingly, an if at times there seems a forced determination to draw a very ancient poetry into the orbit of modern writing. This is no bad thing: a good concrete poem can be a good poem. The grand old theme of the fight between order and fertility is hung out to dry with some eclat."

Edwin Morgan

"The experiment of these poems insists on the rural, and its wonderful to see the world of Hesiod through eyes brightened by modernist inventions. The poems are delightful individually and cumulatively. they are not all tinged with elegy:like Morgan's poems, they swim insistently in the present, towards the future."

Michael Schmidt

"Jim Carruth's poems add to the literature of a county of saints, planned economies, shipyards and light engineering, by bringing the reader back to the rural, to the fascination of the tangled mess of set aside"

Richard Price

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Baxter’s old ram sang the blues
Ludovic Press, 2007
ISBN 978-0-9553716-3-9
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“Jim Carruth has written a modern parable, beautifully illustrated by Barbara Robertson. Like the best parables, it makes you think, makes you look at yourself and the world you live in; and ask questions about it. As the bible may put it: may those who read it, understand.”
Richard Holloway

“The commerce of folk tales back and forward across the Atlantic has for a long time been productive of vivid and racy poems and song. Jim Carruth’s book marries the old Scottish tradition of a beast fable to the “blues” of its theme, a stinging critique of modern society. The sharp accompanying linocuts by Barbara Robertson add their own depth to this striking and attractive volume”
Edwin Morgan

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High Auchensale
Ludovic Press 2006
ISBN 0-9541957-7-9
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A return to a family farm leads to a renewed exploration of the importance of family and community as the farm faces up to new threats and an uncertain future.

“Subtle, true, rich in earthy detail, the poems in High Auchensale form a fond but unsentimental record of a farming world that may not be around much longer. In two short collections Jim Carruthhas established the kind of distinctive voice that some poets struggle to achieve in a lifetime.”
James Robertson

“To follow the success of Bovine Pastoral was not going to be easy. With High Auchensale Jim Carruth has succeeded beyond my highest expectations”
Duncan Glen

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Bovine Pastoral
Ludovic Press 2004
ISBN 0-9541957-4-4
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A powerful sequence of poems that captures the challenge facing the rural community in which he lives

“Bovine Pastoral is a breath of fresh air from the authentic voice of the countryside”
The Herald

“A wealth of visual imagery in this memorable first collection”
Sphinx

“A strikingly imaginative poem sequence”
Stewart Conn

“This is a haunting and highly original collection of poems”
Val Thornton

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Latest Publications
Working the Hill
Working the Hill
Grace Notes 1959
Cowpit