"Do you guess I have some intricate purpose?
Well I have.. for the April rain has, and the mica on the side of a rock has."
— Walt Whitman
Mica - a mineral. It glitters, like a crumb you want to pick up.
THE POEMS BY STUART LAYCOCK IN ZONE sympathetically
visit and revisit Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990’s, moving between places
of safety and war-torn regions.
Witnessing and experiencing shocks to the fabric of the lives of people young and old during a conflict in which humanity was painfully lost, the
poet recalls the burnt and bullet-holed emblems of life, broken bridges,
fear on the roads and precious moments of respite - not without some
Observing a cat in the ruins, seeing the wounded in hospital, or meeting
a boy without a smile, the poet travels in the wake of the fighting trying
to make sense of the worst that can befall.
This book contains photos, stills from video film taken by the author. The photo on the left of this page is of Stuart Laycock from the ID card carried in Bosnia, 1994.
‘This searing, deliberately underwritten collection....key to the overriding sense of dignified restraint is Laycock’s diction, as plain as everyday speech, often even less ornate than that...uniquely authentic and heartfelt.’
- Nick Cooke, London Grip
Stuart Laycock studied Classics at Cambridge, has written history books including
All the Countries We’ve Ever Invaded and has also been a writer in advertising
and marketing. Over a period of three years during the Bosnian War he took
part in seven aid missions to the country and he continued to visit Former
Yugoslavia on aid missions long after the war. His poem Grammar was shortlisted
for the Festival Poet of the Year Award at the 2015 Canterbury Festival. This is
his first published collection of poems.