From the East: Sixty Huntingdonshire Codices

John Greening

Renard Press

Paperback with flaps


ISBN: 9781804471098


Publication date: 8 April 2024

Rights: World



In over twenty poetry collections since 1982, John Greening has explored subjects as varied as Egypt, Captain Scott, WWI, classical music, Ben Jonson and Heathrow airport, but he has kept returning to the landscape of a quintessentially English (and technically non-existent) county. His well-received Huntingdonshire Eclogues of the late 1980s were followed a decade later by Huntingdonshire Nocturnes and, another ten more years after that, the Huntingdonshire Elegies.

On a cold Boxing Day walk in 2017, while the ferocious storm, the ‘Beast from the East’ prowled the land, his Huntingdonshire Codices began to come together, and what had been a trilogy turned into a quartet.

Formed of sixty fifteen-line stanzas, this haunting and consistently entertaining collection can be read like a journal, tracking lines of thought through time and space, painting detailed, witty and moving pictures of a countryside and life that lie unchanged, even through periods of great upheaval – political, ecological and cultural.

‘A poet whose unbounded curiosity has taken him through the wide (and often conflicted) world with a passion for details that root his work in place.’ — Jay Parini (on The Interpretation of Owls)

John Greening

John Greening is recipient of several major prizes and a Cholmondeley Award. Beyond the many collections represented in The Interpretation of Owls: Selected Poems 1977–2022 (ed. Gardner), he has produced anthologies and editions of major poets. Having lived in Egypt, Scotland and New Jersey, he and his family have settled in East Anglia.

 Author portrait © Adrian Bullers