Sarah Miller is a poet, playwright and theatre deviser with over thirty plays produced and whose poetry can be found carved on stone at Channelside Haven, Barrow-in-Furness. She has facilitated workshops from South Cumbria to West Africa and worked as a theatre director, writer-in-residence and dramaturg, collaborating with communities, visual artists, dance companies and sonic improvisers. Sarah is featured in digital composers Hugs Bison's film Besides and, with pre-recorded poems, 'virtually' appeared on their B-Side the Seaside tour.
Melanie Rees is a poet, author and playwright whose play Drowning Aristotle won the City Life Best of Manchester play award. She co-founded the Pavilion Theatre Company and was Drama Co-ordinator for the Salford Young Person's University. Born and bred in Salford, her work has recently been anthologised in Salford Stories [Bridge House], a collection honouring Shelagh Delaney. An Associate Lecturer at the University of Salford, trained counsellor and award-winning SEN teacher, she has taught and lived in Australia, India, Israel, Poland and the USA.

Selkie Singing at the Passing Place by Sarah Miller & Melanie Rees
Selkie Singing at the Passing Place
[Sarah Miller & Melanie Rees]
adult poetry
ISBN 978-0-9576639-5-4 | 92pp | 2015
rrp £8.99 | ebook £5.99

Flapjack Press
Central Books

RUNNER UP Best Collaborative Work, Saboteur Awards 2015

Sarah and Melanie met when they shared a big white house on an island, next to a passing place. They waded out, sang selkie songs to a seal they named Sir Douglas, shared stories, poems, wine and secrets, and decided to create something together.
This is their potent and poetic debut collection.

Includes a Foreword by Gerry Potter.

"This is a collection to enjoy slowly, piece by piece, like the very finest chocolates - and then, because it's better than chocolates, to enjoy and appreciate again and again." - Cathy Bryant, poet & editor of Best of Manchester Poets

"Rees and Miller depict our awkward, impossible world using believable voices that complement each other, summoning up lovers, relatives and totemic birds to capture the idiocy / wonder / terror of life." - copland smith, poet

"Love and joy are the predominant emotions: these are positive poems with their feet planted on the ground and their heads in the air." - Steven Waling, poet & reviewer

"From Sydney to Scotland via Salford and Barrow-in-Furness, Melanie and Sarah transport the reader to strange yet recognisable worlds." - Rosie Garland, poet, novelist & March Violet

Sarah performing 'Dead Ends' at Evidently, Salford.

The Hard Nature of Crows
from Selkie Singing at the Passing Place © Sarah Miller, 2015

They have the hard nature of crows,
dark hooded shapes
pecking over the wasteland,
squawking at any
that wander
onto their territory,
plucking out eyes,
ripping flesh,
blackening the sky of whole estates.
I try not to judge them,
but I have seen their claws -
sharpened knives,
bragging the air
like stuttering semi-automatics.
They have tarred and feathered their nests.
They have made their own bombs.
I know they can't help it,
they are just following their nature
and nature is hard;
stray chicks are vulnerable,
easy prey,
picked off
in ragged acts of aggression.
I know it's not their fault
they have the hard nature of crows,
but I know how they earned their collective name.
Yes, I know why they call them a murder.

Cover photo by Melanie Rees, design by Brink.

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