Ludlow poet Steve Griffiths will be signing copies of his new volume of poems ‘Weathereye: Selected Poems’ – the best of seven books published over 40 years – at Castle Bookshop in Ludlow from 12 noon to 2pm on Saturday, June 22. Though he was born and raised in Anglesey, his poetic connection to Shropshire can be traced back to a caravan parked in his mum’s garden in Whittington, one snowy Christmas night in 1977, when he wrote one of the first of many poems broadcast by BBC Radio 3. More recently, many of his Late Love Poems, which bring the book to a celebratory conclusion, are set in the landscapes of the Long Mynd and Ludlow. Readers may remember the Late Love Poems films, funded by Arts Council England and filmed mostly in Ludlow and the Mortimer Forest, and still available on YouTube. And ‘The Shelveian Event’ is a resounding evocation of the collision, at the site of the hamlet of Shelve near Corndon Hill, between the micro-continents of Avalonia and Baltica, when what became Shropshire was located close to Antarctica 50 million years ago, ‘on the edge of the geology / of Wales when it was submarine’ – as if it were yesterday.

But the book has a wider reach, across a huge range of themes and locations, taking in Anglesey, gritty urban Hackney, and with Spain as a powerful presence - three places that shaped his understanding of the world that made him. He describes that range as: ‘Growing up slowly. Growing up again. Poems of being alive and conscious. Perhaps above all, a long quest to understand what’s going on round here: the nature and fragilities of community against a backdrop of the deep changes that are shaping us and challenging our beliefs. Veins of loss, resistance to injustice, commemoration, self-questioning. Lived landscape, interrogated history. Learning how to celebrate and lament. The good fortune of the Late Love Poems. Learning, sometimes, a lightness of touch and a mischievous glint’.