About Leaving

“Ian Glass writes compellingly and beautifully about real life, with all its knots and twists and unexpected turns. He has an instinctive feel for a poem’s texture, its grain and the planed faces as well at what lies beneath the veneer, and has the measure of how the ordinary transforms itself through finding shape in language. These poems are clear, tender, often moving – but do not assume that they lack heft in their gentleness of approach. As Glass himself notes in the closing poem, ‘all that will remain is light’ – these poems are not afraid to throw their beam of searchlight clarity and bring intense experiences of loss and recovery into focus.”
Jane Commane

“I found these remarkable poems intensely moving. They chart a process of huge loss and the road to recovery. Each individual poem is a small gem and the writing is so beautifully controlled that what I took from the collection in the end was a sense of hope. A really strong first collection. I loved it.”
Carole Bromley

About Leaving is very quiet and very precise.

ISBN: 978-1-9161096-1-2
36 pages
R.R.P. £6.50

A sample poem from About Leaving may be found below.

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The Day You Left 

Walking from one empty room
to another, filled with silence

after the harsh clatter
of diesel and last words,

and dust drifting in circles,
sunlit, but always falling.

With the clock ticking towards home-time.

With the sofa you chose
moved to where I had wanted it.

Somewhere between making a cup of tea
and finding your pencilled note:

bras should be hand-washed

is where the falling stopped,
is where I started.


About Leaving by Ian Glass was mentioned by Michael Marks Award 2020 judge Kei Miller as one of the pamphlets that made ‘a kind of longlist’ for that year’s record-entry award. A video of the award ceremony can be enjoyed here, with the longlist comments towards 1hr 20 mins in.

“[…]He concentrates on absences and reminders: telling details of daily life made poignant by circumstance, or mundane things that emotion and events have transformed into pregnant symbols. The scale is small, the language low-key, concerned with such things as a “shining hour” spent “drinking milk, / watching children’s television”, and the more poignant for it.[…]”

William Wootten, TLS, full review here.

"This deceptively simple pamphlet poignantly explores the process of coming to terms with the departure and, later,  death of a loved one. Glass's poems move through sparse spaces of domestic absence [...] Carrying the weight of love and loss, these poems offer hope of a new found strength. [...]"

Poetry Book SocietySpring Bulletin 2020

"The theme of finding strength in a family and creating a safe place for children, even those who grow up and leave, to return to is as strong as the notion of leaving. The poems benefit from a programmer’s precision with language, but also offer texture and an openness of interpretation. They start in personal experience but open out into a universal concern: the effect on children of a parent’s absence and a desire to ensure home feels welcome. For all its apparent lightness, “About Leaving”, probes the intense experience of loss and recovery with honesty and concern."
Emma Lee, full review here.

"Ian Glass’s surname is perfect for his poetry. In ‘About Leaving’, the writing is as sharp and clear as glass, creating a frame — a window — through which to look at emptiness, departure and loss. [...]
By writing around leaving — by skirting the edges of grief — Glass communicates these experiences and feelings in a way which embodies them. Here are poems about states of being at once as empty — and full — of reflections as glass."
Isabelle Thompson, Sphinx/OPOI (One Point of Interest), the full review 'Writing around loss: concision, transference and understatement' here.

"[...] It is such details of syntax and diction that are a key strength in this collection. The poems are plain on the surface, letting the emotional intensity of the events and responses they describe come through unembarrassed by poetic expression, aided by care and attention."
"[...] See again the clarity and directness of the writing. ‘Absent’ is in fact a pantoum, so its clarity, preserved throughout its length, is a mark of skill as well as disposition. [...]"
Stephen PayneSabotage Reviews, full review here.

“[…] These are deftly crafted and controlled poems that speak of shock, emptiness
and the weight of being a parent under difficult circumstances, and at the same time
they are tender and hopeful poems that speak to the reader of humanity, the difficult
paths that life takes us on and how we can endure and emerge transformed. […]”

Julia Webb, Under the Radar 26, review online here.

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