The Black Country by Liz Berry is a wonderful contemporary example of vernacular poetry. It goes beyond mere dialect to use the words as a way of conveying meaning and music. Elsewhere, the novels of the likes of James Kelman or Roddy Doyle use dialect to great effect in conveying working class life in Glasgow and Dublin. And Liz Berry does this in her poems about the Black Country and surrounds. To help us along, she even features translated words at the end of each poem.
Best of luck to Liz tonight at Forward Prize for first collection.
Here is Birmingham Roller. The video shows the dark side of the poem, in particular the musical way in which Liz Berry speaks.
Wench, yowm the colour of ower town:
wench/affectionate name for a female