Borrowed Landscapes, Peter Scupham's first book since his acclaimed Collected Poems of 2002, explores a hinterland of enchantment and nightmare, a landscape whose contours reach back to Shakespeare's England by way of two world wars and a coming of age shaped by the Suez crisis and the Cold War. The barbarities of the twentieth century haunt the shadows; there is comfort in the graces of domestic life, in friendships and long memories, in cats and gardens and eccentricities. A sequence of poems honours the life of a scholarly father-in-law who fought in the Great War. In a parallel autobiographical sequence, 'Playtime in a Cold City', three undergraduate years in the 1950s become a touchstone for a lost pastoral, before the 'fields of youth' fade to memory, 'the lit faces of dead friends, /laughing'. Generous, witty and shrewd, Borrowed Landscapes affirms Scupham's belief that when a 'murderous crew' of sorcerer's apprentices 'turn is to was', there is 'only a pen to turn was to is'.
Peter Scupham was born in Liverpool in 1933 and studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He co-founded The Mandeville Press and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Carcanet publish his Collected Poems (2002), his Selected Poems (1999) and several collections of his poems. He has also published previous books with Oxford University Press and Anvil. He now lives in Norfolk where he runs a catalogue book business.