A section of this collage was highly commended in the Liquorice Fish Competition 2015


The poem: ‘Dresses ‘was Shortlisted for the Plough Prize 2006 and Published in Aspire  Magazine 2009


 The poem: ‘A Triolet of Dance’ was published by Agenda Magazine 2015


 The Poem: ‘A Ghost of You’ was published by Agenda 2017


 The collage was part of my final dissertation in the MA in Creative writing at Swansea University which gained distinction.

                                                                     ~ ~

The title of the collage interrogates the’ I’ and the ‘You’: ‘I’ the writer or memoirist, and ‘You’ the reader. It contains every address and place I have lived in through the use of a Mesostic, which is used as a guide to the collage as each address is numbered. The collage is in a scrambled chronological order as a true order of time might bore the reader with too much sense of simultaneousness, as what I discovered about the world and human nature developed at different times of my life. This collage is a combination of diagrams and form, from found poetry and personal letters, haibun, several haiku and prose poetry. The content is loosely based on love and hate. Love for animals permeates the collage.. Anarchism, anti-war, Animal Rights, all draw from my previous activist background. Interspersed are early childhood memories which left me baffled by the way I thought in my youth. Also, attraction and repulsion of men, ex-lovers, the notion of love and romance in general. A going away from and returning. I begin with the 5th address, a happy time in my life, recalling a car registration number from 50 years ago. I move to bad experiences of love in the 13th Address then back to childhood memories of animals and mother and teen years in the 4th Address. The collage continues in this seemingly haphazard way, but is loosely controlled by the memories from a red notebook. My ideal reader would read the whole of the collage at one sitting to enjoy the flow and variety and then re-read by referring to the notes at the end for further enlightenment and a deeper understanding.







My parents always loved to dance,

when they were young and free.

Like many lovers, met by chance,

because they always loved to dance –

across the crowded floor, a glance,

that spoke their love eternally.

My parents always loved to dance,

when they were young and free.




Their love was loud and boldly spoken,

the years danced by so fast

and though my father’s lungs were stricken

their love was loud and boldly spoken.

And then my mother’s heart was broken

the day my father breathed his last.

Their love was loud and boldly spoken,

the years danced by so fast.







for Nicola


sitting in a Taverna / waiting for my food & frappé // I felt your aura /spectre / presence/(non) phantasm // you were sitting across from me / smiling (not) / retinas cloudy like ouzo / a glass of retsina in your hand / raised towards me in a Yiammas // your haze of golden hair fluffed about your face /  lit by the sun // this place wasn’t one of those we frequented together // Sunday walks & Taverna lunches were the norm // but( not) here // suddenly / the world has lost / its contours //


then I had an image of your b(ones) you used / utilised to walk / nestling / nesting/ sting sting the I’s / in a coffin in the British Cemetery // symmetry/ & the hallucination / illusion / vision //

dissipated / evaporated / vapour / I’s pour with tears //


The great thing about this slim, A4 format book is that you can turn to any page in it and find something to delight, intrigue or engage you - for instance, where else can you find a cow illustrated in words positioned opposite an apt haiku?
This is an unusual miscellany of poetry. prose and other forms mostly written by the author herself but also including some significant words from significant others. These illuminate or resonate with Wendy Holborow's own changing attitudes to major themes of love and hate, adding to this rich tapestry of ideas and emotions, mischief and mockery. But one minor quibble - I would have preferred to have been able to access the notes positioned at the end of the book on the relevant pages so as to easily determine exactly who had written what.
As implied by the title "I address you: a collage", the writings and diagrams are randomly arranged. They are largely autobiographical in nature, ranging from childhood memories to major influences on the author's life such as relationships, her passion for animals, activism and travels and most are fun or thought-provoking to read thanks to the author's insightful and sometimes comical observations and her consistently skillful treatment of language and form.

Anonymous Amazon Reader

'I Address You: A Collage' by Wendy Holborow teases memory whose echoes croon throughout a maze of cunningly crafted experimental poetic forms. It is an adventurous read that embraces the reader and urges them forward; some poems such as 'A Triolet of Dance' are sharp and fleeting, poignant in their brevity and others linger on the tongue, tortured by remembrance that age instills, and, likewise, withdraws, such as in 'Fourth Address (Part 1)'.

Wendy Holborow's competence as a poet and editor is evident in this stunningly peculiar poetry collection. The collection is stippled with epigrammatic and terse poems that are separated from the main collection; it is presented as a scrapbook of disjointed thoughts that through continuous reading create an unabridged picture. The poetry collection never simple describes a place but rather the emotions that hesitates within the confines of that place's shadow. Once started it is remarkably difficult to put this book down. Indeed, I fell asleep rereading poems into the early hours of the morning.

The collection introduces lines that stick between the teeth ("In the ebullience of youth I wove a daisy chain around my heart...") and haunt the heart of all hardened romantics ("My parents always loved to dance, when they were young and free.") but her wit and intelligence bestows the poems with a giddiness and buoyancy of a young woman reveling in the mystery and challenges of life. 'I Address You: A Collage' is a sensationally devastating read for all poetry enthusiasts. I thoroughly recommend this book!

By RheaSeren on 27 May 2017