A Year of Nature Poems


A Year in Nature Poems‘ offers a calendar year of poems from Joseph Coelho. In painstaking detail, he examines one feature specific to each month. Each subject is introduced with a story, an influence. In January, he shares a seventeenth century Irish legend of warring starlings. Then the poem unfolds, dramatic, explicit and entrancing- ‘their wings have beaten cold into existence’.  

Kelly Louise Judd’s illustrations are both seasonally photographic, and reminiscent of the silhouette forms of Jane Ray. They elevate Joseph Coelho’s visual images to something almost ethereal.

Joseph Coelho employs a range of devices cleverly in his works, including lists (March- daffodils) or metaphor (August- scrumping in the nuns’ garden with ‘guilty knees’ and watching ‘disciples‘.)

There is also a deep nostalgia, not only for the poet’s childhood, and memories, but for something threatened. In February’s focus upon amphibians- ‘We’ve diminished their numbers,/ filled in their forest eyes.’ 

A Year of Nature Poems‘ is an outstanding book, one we urge you to read and cherish.

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A Year of Nature Poems

Joseph Coelho, Kelly Louise Judd

(Wide Eyed Editions)

 ‘A Year of Nature Poems’ examines a specific feature of each passing calendar month. Yet Joseph Coelho’s creation is so much more than a Hallmark card. In April, he investigates rain showers. He considers how these are affected by climate change- ‘the rain was always welcome/ each drop a cold thrill/ that relaxed and washed away.’  In June, he shares a recollection of a baby’s birth during the summer solstice.
Joseph Coelho writes curiously and determinedly. HIs poems are not Gainsborough sweet, but peppered with conscience and warning. He demonstrates a vision of and connection to the natural world. We see a little brighter thanks to his verbal images so that our senses are piqued.
Kelly Louise Judd’s pictures accessorise these beautiful verses in a natural, unobtrusive, endorsing way. As with his other titles,from No Longer Alone to Luna Loves Library Day, Joseph Coelho’s writing is tight and effective. His descriptions are specific to every month. Therefore his observations create a fresh delight.
A Year of Nature Poems‘ is rich, varied, enquiring and special.


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