Stephen’s third poetry collection is The Blue Tree (Indigo Dreams 2019). A prize-winning and widely published poet, he is the author of two previous collections, The Sisyphus Dog (Worple 2014), and Desire Lines (Arrowhead 2010), as well as two pamphlets – and a needle case of poems.
Read two FRP Interviews with Stephen on ‘a kind of Chinese whisper‘ and ‘The Blue Tree‘.
His own website is www.stephenboycepoetry.com
His poetry has appeared in Magma; Ink, Sweat & Tears; The Frogmore Papers; Smith’s Knoll, and The Fenland Reed among others, and in a number of anthologies including The Book of Love and Loss; Map; The Tree Line, and Fifty Ways to Fly. Stephen is co-founder and current chair of Winchester Poetry Festival and lives in north Dorset.
“Fundamentally I think poetry is an attempt to decipher mystery, to decode what is beneath the surface of knowing… Poets are like listeners in the next room – attempting to make sense of something barely perceived, a kind of Chinese whisper.”
Views and reviews
To read a poem by Stephen Boyce is to step into a physical location – with landscapes rendered in tactile detail, trees in particular coming as vividly alive as people. Whether drawing on present experience, memory, visual art or reading, he makes it real, in a seamless weave of thought, perception and emotion.
These poems are exquisitely crafted, woven together with subtle cadences, half rhymes, delicious details, unexpected similes. Yet beneath their elegance and grace lies a deeply felt humanity, a passion and gratitude for nature, landscape, enduring love, that is all the more profound for being understated and beautifully contained.
The poems of Stephen Boyce have an enviable assurance: clear, well crafted, and precise, they have an air of knowing where they are going, and invariably find their destination in an elegant closure. He is a master of the simple but telling phrase.
These poems have such a delicacy and beauty, and collectively a sense of quiet mystery… a lovely collection and one that’s going to invite many re-readings.
These poems are ‘natural’ not just in the sense that they describe nature, but also in the sense that insights emerge naturally, and they are natural also in their concerns with an everyday world treated without pretension, literary or other – and yet the half-rhymes and the cadences are all unobtrusively there at work. There’s a joy in that.
These are wonderfully detailed yet universal poems. Moments of revelation through tiny incidents, little daily observations, sensual perceptions, open into wide perspectives seen from the corner of an eye, or rein attention back in on an awareness of self, or a lover, a place or a moment in time.