East Edge: Nightwalks with the Dead Poets of Tower Hamlets Chris McCabe



Headstones are sliding earthwards. An urban fox forages for slugs. A jogger disappears into a forest of sycamores as high-rise blocks glister with the last of the sun. Follow Chris McCabe into the nocturnal world of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park in search of the lost and forgotten poets of the East End. In The East Edge, McCabe leaves the safety of streetlights behind and walks in the footsteps of William Morris and W.G. Sebald through one of London’s most enigmatic Victorian cemeteries. Stealing through the shadows, McCabe discovers stories of maritime disasters and the war dead, veers off the path with contemporary poet Stephen Watts, and trawls the archives to uncover one of London’s overlooked mavericks, the career criminal-turned-poet William ‘Spring’ Onions. McCabe’s lyrical prose and trademark dark wit are interrupted by a ‘disembodied essay’, spoken by a poltergeist who has returned to haunt his master’s house. In this, the third instalment of McCabe’s journey through London’s Magnificent Seven, the stakes are raised as he places himself into the foreground of the cemetery as a performer. Can the burial grounds become a space for live theatre? Will the voices of the dead rise to meet the living? What ghosts emerge when darkness falls?

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ISBN: 9781908058683 Category: Tags: ,


Penned in the Margins