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Lewis, Brian (ed), The Footing (Sheffield: Longbarrow Press, 2013).

The Footing is an anthology of specially commissioned poems on the theme of walking.

City, country and coast (and the spaces in between) are the settings for these journeys; here, the act of walking is, by turns, exploratory, destructive, restorative, defiant, contemplative and devotional. The poems and sequences in The Footing are The Strait (Angelina Ayers), Tithes (James Caruth), From a St Juliot to Beyond a Beeny (Mark Goodwin), Flights and Traverses (Rob Hindle), Three Night Walks (Andrew Hirst), Death and the Gallant (Chris Jones) and Breach (Fay Musselwhite).

Two earlier walking-themed Longbarrow publications – Matthew Clegg’s 2008 sequence Edgelands (now available in his first full collection West North East) and James Caruth’s long poem Dark Peak (also 2008) – provided the inspiration for the project. The paths taken in The Footing offer new perspectives on landscape, history and memory; each poem and sequence is marked by the unscreened, the unplanned, the unexpected. As Rebecca Solnit says in her book Wanderlust: A History of Walking, ‘every walker is a guard on patrol to protect the ineffable…’

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