CHAMBERS OF THE HEART: A Book of Poetry by Nick HUGHES
NEW RELEASE - OUT NOW
ISBN: 978-0-6457336-8-6 154pp 130x198mm
This collection of poems by Nick Hughes is diverse and inspiring. The poems range from powerful social insights to intense personal explorations to light-hearted tilts at the great and not so great in society. Many of the poems were written and first read to the Mount Lofty Rangers walking group as Nick Hughes explored the beautiful Adelaide Hills with them. And so, there are poems that sing with the joys and delights of nature. There are many sonnets in the collection and these poems display a developing enchantment and fascination with the form. The combination of lyrical musicality and rhythmic symmetry is by turns surprising and bewitching. Nick Hughes skilfully wrestles both personal subjects and wider social issues into the constraints of the sonnet and makes them flow naturally. Some of the later sonnets are deliberately regular, allowing the metre and rhyme to amplify the meanings. Many of the poems are deeply personal and revealing but that is the point of poetry: to express meanings in ways that reverberate within the hearts and minds of others; to find words whose beauty and truth can resonate in human souls. Not every poem in this collection does that of course – some of them just seek to make the reader chuckle a bit – but the variety and range of the collection is very entertaining.
Nick Hughes was born on Merseyside in the UK in 1949. After completing a degree in Drama and Sociology at Birmingham University he embarked on a career in theatre. He first arrived in Australia in 1973 and has worked as a stage manager, actor, director, artistic director, playwright, dramaturg, and arts administrator. He has written over 30 scripts in a wide variety of contexts; from being commissioned as a playwright to working alone to produce a finished play, to working in collaborative ways with youth and community groups. He has always been stimulated by the ways in which social contexts add layers of meaning to performance. He has taught a range of performance, writing and community theatre-based courses in several universities and colleges in Adelaide and Sydney. Between 1998 and 2022 he was Company Manager/CEO at Restless Dance Theatre in Adelaide, responsible for the financial, staffing, and administrative management of this pioneering dance company working with young people with and without disability. He worked with all the Artistic Directors of the company in that time. He has served on the Boards of several arts companies and as a funding peer for the Australia Council and for Arts South Australia. In 2021 he was awarded the Geoff Crowhurst Memorial Ruby Award for his outstanding contribution to community cultural development.