Exeter alumnus Richard Fountaine (1965, PGCE) releases poetry collection Along the River: Poems 1960-2020
After the release of his novel, Tisala, in 2017, Exeter Alumnus Richard Fountaine (1965, PGCE) has recently released a book of poetry titled Along the River: Poems 1960-2020. Containing a selection of poems written across the span of sixty years, Fountaine explores a wide range of topics both personal and public. Relating to the centuries-old role and legacy of poetry in advanced societies, and to the individual journey of the author, Along the River encompasses the ‘teeming world of people’s experience of life.’
Whilst writing the book, Richard received both encouragement and support from Jeri Johnson (Emeritus Fellow in English) and other academics, as well as students. Two poems in the collection, ‘Windle’ and ‘Sleep’, are directly owing and related to Exeter College, encompassing themes of memory and connection. Fountaine describes the form of his poetry as ‘initially relatively traditional’, reminiscent, for Professor Emma Smith (Hertford Tutorial Fellow in English), of Thomas Hardy or Philip Larkin, whilst offering a new voice, linking older poetry with the more contemporary.
Along the River is fronted by a, perhaps controversial, essay discussing the historic role and achievement of poetry, and Fountaine’s wish for great things from the future of 21st century poetry. Discussing the decline in the importance of poetry, particularly for younger generations, Fountaine seeks to offer new ways forward for the progression and place of poetry, of which his collection is an encouraging example.