Robert Edwards’ pedlar diaries are pure autobiography. In his poetry collections, explicit social anecdotes and the minutiae of personal relationships are rare, though not unknown. However, first person vignettes play a significant part in the lucid and candid prefaces and preambles that feature in most of his output.

‘I publish these books myself, for two reasons. First, to enjoy some control over their content and design. Second, in order to publish them at all, since no one else is prepared to.’ (Brighton Burble)

‘The word poetry does have an off-putting property … I prefer to call mine burble, without necessarily expecting anyone else to use the term – as if there were much danger of them doing so.’ (Brighton Burble)

‘We lived in a part of Sussex where the Weald meets the Ashdown Forest beacons. There were streams and deep ditches in the fields and woods … I admired London, particularly associating it with my father’s charming and eccentric brother Norman and Norman’s exotic wife the artist Carlotta Edwards.’ (Bridge Bluster)

‘I worked in a building on the Lambeth embankment, looking from my desk at the river. Then I worked in a Richmond riverside building for two years; and later for ten years in the Southwark riverside areas … and, during a year in Islington, drove to work over the bridges adjoining the City.’ (Bridge Bluster)

‘I remain perilously untutored in the botany.’ (Beech Blurt)

‘I would also like to thank … the independent booksellers who have sold my books, and the independent readers who have bought them.’ (Attitudes to Sussex)


Photo of author by Anne Clarke.