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How to Make a Woman Out of Water , the title poem of Charles Bennett's new collection, his first since the highly-acclaimed Wintergreen , is full of magic and supple music. Beguilingly simple and approachable, these poems speak with the fluid voice of water. Vivid explorations of water's depth, linked to the dark release of deep sleep, culminate in the collection's central sequence: as one of a pair of lovers falls asleep on a beach, the other muses on the seascape, on lives that flourish on the littoral, and the nature of love itself. The poems in this collection are charged with power and grace, yet lightened by Bennett's wry sense of humour. Lithe and strongly flowing, How to Make a Woman Out of Water gives a pure pulse of clarity and drive, that runs through the whole collection.
Charles Bennett was born in 1954 in the North West of England. He left school at 16 and worked in a variety of office jobs. In 1984 he attended London University and was awarded scholarship to study at the University of Massachussetts, where he was mentored by Joseph Brodsky and Amy Clampitt. He returned to the UK and continued his studies, culminating in a Doctorate on Seamus Heaney. He taught English and Drama for several years before working in Literature Development. He has been the virtual poet in residence for the National Library of the Blind and recently received a substantial award from the Arts Council. His first collection Wintergreen was published by Headland in 2002. Married, he lives and works in Herefordshire where, for a number of years, he was director of the Ledbury Poetry Festival before leaving to pursue a career as a creative writing tutor at various Universities in the region.