Next Generation poet Hannah Lowe blends a cycle of poems with personal and historical archives to chart the 1947 journey of SS Ormonde, the first post-WW2 ship (followed within a year by the Almanzora and the more famous Empire Windrush) to carry significant numbers of immigrants from Jamaica to the UK. On board was the poet’s father; his daughter writes poignantly of his and his fellow passengers’ hopes and aspirations, and the issues they faced. Alongside poems written in voices ranging from a stowaway to a dressmaker to a schoolboy, are fragments of historical material giving real-life clues to this elusive episode. Designed to echo the look of the ship’s post-war literature, the front cover features a sticker of an Ormonde postcard. An essay by the author discusses her quest to find out more about this forgotten liner, while an introduction by historian Mike Phillips puts Lowe’s story into the wider context of black British immigration.
Ormonde by Hannah Lowe
Size: 36pp, W125 x H140mm, full colour throughout. First edition, limited to 300 copies, signed by the author. ISBN 9780957273825. Published 2014