Hilary Llewellyn-Williams is one of the most renowned poets of her generation in Wales. The Little Hours: New and Selected Poems features poems from her earliest as well as her new work. Fully immersed in the natural world, her ‘Tree Calendar’ poems are composed in a richly pagan context: cycles of nature as reflected in the seasons which “reaffirm a mystical link between trees and language”. ‘Book of Shadows’, Llewellyn-Williams’ sequence on Renaissance monk/magician Giordano Bruno, is similarly invested in the mystical and in history, and in the heretical, the subverting or challenging of societal norms. ‘The Little Hours’, a new sequence, continues her interest in the spiritual and historical through a group of poems inspired by the medieval Benedictine day.
In additional to powerful poem sequences, The Little Hours also includes fine lyric poems about family, domestic life, nature, the primacy of physical place, and the environment. Llewellyn-Williams was an early poet of the environment, which informs both whole poems and her startling and vivid imagery. Her response to nature is always profound and passionate, from immersion in the landscape to the particularity of raising a bat. This new volume will remind admirers of Llewellyn-Williams’s many strengths and beauties, and will win a new generation of readers, and of new admirers.