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Poetry & Art

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Poetry and Painting

Shadow Cast by Mountains


More details :

  • ISBN: 978 1 910237 33 5 (hardback)

  • Published 2017

  • Price £15.00 + postage

  • 212 pages

  • Illustrated with 17 original paintings

Also by Patrick Howse:

The Road Taken

About this Book:

‘Even when you're far away from a place like Baghdad, Baghdad comes to you
Patrick began writing Shadow Cast By Mountains while covering the Iraq War for the BBC, but the poems are not restricted to descriptions of that conflict.

Patrick cites Edward Thomas - who was killed fighting in the First World War - as a major inspiration.

“I regard the book as a single, extended narrative which tells the story of the world I was born into, my war experiences, how they changed me, and the world that emerged from the wreckage.”

“The poems in the collection are almost all coloured by Iraq and other conflicts, and in that respect Edward Thomas has been a huge influence on me,” he says.

“But most of my poems are not ‘about’ the Iraq War – I’m not trying to be Wilfred Owen, much as I admire him. I’m more interested in the impacts of war on me and on the world around me than in writing descriptions of the action.”

John Simpson, the BBC’s World Affairs Editor has written a foreword for the book.“This kind of work in places like Baghdad takes its toll,” he says. “Patrick has found an elegant way of coping with the strain: he has turned it into poetry”.

The book is illustrated with field sketches by the author, and with paintings by his partner, the German artist Inge Schlaile, who paints under the work-name Schlinge.

Patrick will be reading extracts from his book at a number of events around the country.

To read more of Patrick's poetry and writing see: http://patrickhowse.co.uk/
Cover painting Shadow Cast by Mountains, Inge Schlaile

About the Author:

Patrick Howse grew up in Lancashire and worked as a journalist for 25 years. He began his career in Manchester, then moved to London before covering conflicts in Northern Ireland and the Middle East. 

Between 2004 and 2009 he was bureau chief for the BBC in Baghdad.

He now works as a writer, and trains conflict journalists from major international news organisations. He divides his time between Kent and Germany, where he has found joy, inspiration and sanctuary among the landscapes and people of Bavaria. He holds dual UK and Irish citizenship.


"Patrick I got your book today. I opened it at random at Mrs MacDonald Visits Her Father, tried to read it aloud to my wife and choked before the end. It is a beautifully accomplished poem. I almost daren’t read any more. I want to savour this one." January 2018.

Event at Gloucester Cathedral Wordfest, 6-8 July 2018

In commemoration of the centenary of the Armistice in 1918, events on 8 July will focus on peace and reconciliation, including readings from Ivor Gurney and Edward Thomas. Patrick Howse who covered the Iraq War for the BBC between 2003 and 2009 will read from his new book of poems. Poetry helped him come to terms with his experiences in Iraq, and to put them into a wider context.
Born into a world still reeling from the effects of war - both his grandfather and father had at one time earned a living killing Germans. Patrick came to realise that the wars of the twentieth century had coloured his whole life.
Shadow Cast By Mountains: A Poetic Response to Iraq and War is a collection of poetry that grew out of the Iraq war: it tells the story of the world he was born into; his war and how it changed him; and the world that emerged from the wreckage.







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