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Claire Dyer is a published, prize-winning poet. She is Chairperson of Reading Writers and gives solo and group poetry readings around the UK. She lives outside Reading.
What happens if you fall in love with the wrong person? Rose knows only too well the exhilaration and devastation of loving a married man. So she watches with a keen eye as Eve - her closest companion, the granddaughter she never had - meets Myles, the new tenant in her downstairs flat. Quietly and softly and against the backdrop of their own unsatisfactory marriages, Myles and Eve fall in love and, as they try to have the perfect affair like Rose did before them, they come to learn about the pain of lost opportunities, to decide whether it is ever better to follow your head or your heart, to know what it is to be torn between love and duty.
Paddington station, nine a.m., rush hour. As the crowds ebb and flow, time suddenly stands still for two people: Fern and Elliott, ex-lovers who parted twenty-five years before and never expected to see each other again. But here they are, face to face, and the connection is as powerful as it was the day they first met. Their lives have moved on - to marriage, children and divorce - yet neither has stopped regretting the day that drove them apart. Fern gives Elliott her number and they tentatively arrange to meet again that evening when both will be travelling back through the station. And, as the day ticks on, and the memories resurface, both Fern and Elliott reflect on the past. As their emotions go round in circles, so does the Paddington clock, counting down the minutes to eight p.m. - and the moment the future is in their hands.
Every ending starts with a beginning; every beginning, an end. Boyd and Vita have been separated for six years when Boyd asks if he can move back into the house they still own, bringing with him his twenty-seven-year-old girlfriend, Honey. Of course Vita agrees: enough water has travelled under enough bridges since her marriage to Boyd ended and she is totally over him; nothing can touch her now. Boyd and Honey move in and everyone is happy, or so it seems. However, all three are keeping secrets.
Whether focusing in on catching fish off a pier, learning to speak Bird at night school, riding towards inspiration on horseback or thinking about manatees, the poems in Claire Dyer's second collection offer a slantwise look at some of the experiences, both real and imagined, that can shape our lives. Influenced by Elizabeth Bishop and the Morpho butterfly, the pieces in Interference Effects shift and alter depending on the reader's viewing angle. Infused by the colour blue, they compare a farmer harvesting to a recipe for Victoria sponge; show boys learning to swim as another is buried at sea; tell of a heart that's left at a checkout as a curator's assistant gives hers in for safekeeping. These pairings search for definition and meaning whilst acknowledging the beauty and strength in never actually being able to capture either.
Paddington Station, 9:00 Uhr morgens. Im Gedrange der Reisenden steht die Zeit fur zwei Menschen plotzlich still: Fern und Elliott, einst Liebende, doch seit funfundzwanzig Jahren getrennt. Nie hatten sie erwartet, sich wiederzusehen, nie hatten sie erwartet, dass es sie so beruhren wurde. Obwohl ihr Leben weiterging, sie heirateten und Kinder bekamen, horte keiner der beiden auf, den Tag zu bereuen, der sie auseinanderbrachte. Sie verabreden sich fur den Abend, wenn der Ruckweg sie wieder zum Bahnhof fuhrt. Es wird der Moment sein, in dem sie ihr Morgen wieder in der Hand haben.
Eleven Rooms, Claire Dyer's first collection, explores contradictions inherent in ideas of the permanent. The poems hold on to what's transient: the moment of a girl on the back of a boy's motorbike - a moment with no start and no end, the exquisite pain of watching children grow up and away, the flex and flux of relationships, and what death takes from us. In these poems, houses and rooms embody this paradox: they are stripped of furniture, demolished and replaced. Yet the idea of the house lives on, while what happened within its walls remains unalterable fact. Claire Dyer's poems tell of an intimate quest for equilibrium in a world constantly tilting: they find joy in the journey, adventure, acceptance and affection for things past; they remind us that although the sand slips through our fingers, we hold it warm and dry a while.