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Ballad of Jamie Allan

Overview


Poetry. THE BALLAD OF JAMIE ALLAN recounts the true adventures of an eighteenth-century gypsy musician who lived on the English-Scottish Borders and died in Durham jail, serving a life sentence for stealing a horse. Though once patronized by dukes and earls, Allan lost their support as his wayward behavior began to exceed their own. Drawing on newspaper accounts and court depositions, Pickard brings the ballad tradition of stark reportage to life with his own genius for the form. Through the words of his cohorts...
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Overview


Poetry. THE BALLAD OF JAMIE ALLAN recounts the true adventures of an eighteenth-century gypsy musician who lived on the English-Scottish Borders and died in Durham jail, serving a life sentence for stealing a horse. Though once patronized by dukes and earls, Allan lost their support as his wayward behavior began to exceed their own. Drawing on newspaper accounts and court depositions, Pickard brings the ballad tradition of stark reportage to life with his own genius for the form. Through the words of his cohorts and contemporaries, Allan emerges as a spirit of the Borders, that wild and historically lawless region where rivers and fells set the stage for his captures and escapes.

Finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Drawing on a libretto he wrote for a folk-opera with composer John Harle, Pickard reimagines the life of famed 18th-century rogue Jamie Allan, a brilliant piper who haunted the English-Scottish border and died a thief in the Durham Lock Up. Enchanting and original; even for people who say they don't read poetry.


—Barbara Hoffert
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780978746742
  • Publisher: Flood Editions
  • Publication date: 1/1/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 120
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Tom Pickard, a Newcastle-born writer who left school at 14 and fell swiftly under the spell of American Beat poetry and poets, was not only present at the birth of the British Poetry Revival in 1965 but also is credited with leading the charge. He is the author of 10 books of poetry and prose.
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