Daylight of Seagulls
Daylight of Seagulls
Daylight of Seagulls is Alice’s first full collection of poetry and is set in Jersey during the Nazi occupation. Drawing on archival sources, present day interviews, local war-time folklore and fragments of her own Jersey family history, as well as using elements of the local Jèrriais language, the poems explore the experience of the local population and those of other nationalities brought to the islands during the occupation.
Daylight of Seagulls is published by The High Window Press and was completed with support from ArtHouse Jersey.Buy
Reviews for Daylight of Seagulls
'Alice Allen’s first collection Daylight of Seagulls takes the occupation of Jersey during WW2 as its subject, but she weaves so much more....Children, mothers, fishermen, soldiers, beekeepers, divers, ordinary people. A whole island is here, and the poems swirl around the jagged coastline, haunt the lanes like sea fog.'
Louise Warren, Ink Sweat And Tears, March 2020Read full review
‘The poetic discovery of the hybrid-language spoken in Jersey in the 1940s, ‘Jerriais’, an old form of Norman French, Norse, Breton and Medieval Latin, is an irresistible gift to the poet, and in this collection, the musicality and almost-but-not-quite familiar sounds and diction are a joy. Take this, for example, with all the words for rocks, glossed for the first poem, ‘Gers Ey’, including ‘etchierviethe,’ for rock frequented by cormorants; ‘marmotchiethe’ for murmuring rocks; ‘sablionniethe’ for sandy rock, and ‘scoucherel’ for a skulking place. They are lovely in the ear and I defy the reader to be able to resist rolling them around the mouth.’
Ken Evans, The Manchester Review online, January 2020Read full review
‘Like the granite of the islands, this collection glitters with facets, sharp-edged glints of many lives. Good writing of place is also about time; addressing a difficult history, these poems show how the past, especially the unspoken, lives in the present tense.’
‘Alice Allen spent her formative years in Jersey, and her poems are imbued with its landscape, language and people. The particular focus of Daylight of Seagulls is the occupation of the island during WWII and the bravery of its citizens in the face of invasion. But Allen’s poems offer more than a history retold – they are compassionate, lyrical, inventive, often taking on voices of ordinary men and women who’ve remained unheard. She unearths the island’s secrets and sets them in front of us – treasures from a bygone world. This is a beautiful debut from a poet who understands how to evoke the potency of place.’