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Francis Boutle, 2016
A memoir of pilgrimage and marriage.
Praise for Baggage
When she is walking the pilgrimage route of The Camino Victoria Field meets the figure of Mercury (the messenger); there is nothing fanciful about the encounter. It has an authentic and down-to-earth magic to it, which exemplifies the nature of her book. She meets many other pilgrims along the way, and brings them all vividly into our view. As she recounts her journey, she also tells the story of her marriage and divorce.
She weaves these two accounts into a living tapestry of her life: here is the numinous, the sexual, the spiritual, the poetic, the humorous, the sorrowful. Her writing possesses those qualities drawn from the four functions of human experience, working in harmony, which Jung distinguishes as needful for wholeness – feeling, intellect, intuition, sensation.
In our secular times, the ancient Camino – or pilgrims’ way – across northern Spain has become increasingly popular. That fact alone reveals that something else is going on in what is supposedly a secular age. But the genius of Victoria Field’s engaging, intimate, painfully honest and often moving account of her own ‘mid-life muddle’ of a pilgrimage rests in how in Baggage, past, present and future combine spiritually and creatively.
How does anyone survive the ending of a marriage? In Baggage, both Victoria Field’s sense of wonder and awareness of loss continually fascinate. She packs her bag and joins hundreds of other pilgrims, but only a poet could depict so acutely how a marriage fails. Tough, lyrical, devastating, Baggage is a courageous achievement.
I am delighted to have a poem in this new anthology:
And to have contributed a chapter co-written with long-standing friend and colleague Graham Hartill in this fascinating new book:
Waterloo Press, Hove, 2013
Winner of the Holyer an Gof Award for Poetry & Drama 2014
I have contributed some poems to this thought-provoking book on using labyrinths in universities. Book will be available mid-May 2016
I was privileged to be part of the Barts QMU Stylus Research Project. Their full report is now available from the National Institute for Health Research – April 2016
Links to articles by others
The Rise of the Medical Humanities by Belinda Jack -Times Higher Education, 22 January 2015
A good account of the current thinking on Medical Humanities and compares and contrasts the novel and poetry.