"Keep your face
always towards the sunshine –
and shadows will fall
Cherrie Taylor - Poetry
Cherrie was born in Cornwall and moved to West Sussex when aged five. The coast and seashore are important parts of her life. She was told that some of her first words were written in the sand!
She has enjoyed writing stories and poetry since childhood. In 2012 she studied Creative Writing with the Open University. Her influences are wide-ranging and her work has been published in magazines and anthologies. She has won prizes for her poetry and short stories.
Her poems always have a poignancy which, in the main, empathise with human concerns, often profoundly but at other times light-heartedly and she never shies away from tackling ‘difficult’ subjects by ensuring her researches are well-founded.
Stepping on Shadows' is her new collection of poems.
Stepping on Shadows
Cherrie is very pleased that her new collection of poetry was published this April. The collection takes the reader on a tender journey through life. Each poem contributing to the whole in its own unique way.
If you are looking to buy 'Stepping on Shadows'
For any purchases – through the link below – 20% of the cover price will be donated to West Sussex MIND: A mental health charity.
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Cover photo: 'Big Sky'
reproduced by kind permission of Jake Olson Studios
Stepping on Shadows
I am delighted that readers of my collection 'Stepping on Shadows' have given such positive reviews.
Scroll down to the Review page below.
Please contact me directly by email if you would like to give me a review.
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Stepping on Shadows
Cherrie’s poems are varied and wide-ranging in form and content. She can perfectly encapsulate a homely scene, then with a flick of the last line, set the poem off on a different path. Many of these poems linger long after they end, sending the reader on an imaginative journey of their own.
Rose Bray - Steyning
‘Cherrie’s poems are a delight. Evocative, visual, even when serious they are positive and life-affirming’
Bill Brennan, Director, Drip Action Theatre
Stepping on Shadows is a bold and imaginative collection of poems drawing on a variety of experiences most readers will relate to: the home, family life, erotic encounters, nostalgia for things past, but also loss and pain at the fragility of existence and reflection on the darker side of human beings. Cherrie Taylor takes risks with both content and form, and the result is an intimate and powerful collection, full of surprises and delights. I read this book with great enjoyment and will revisit it often!
Vicky Roupa, The Open University, Associate Lecturer
I thoroughly enjoyed Stepping on Shadows - a deeply personal, moving and, at times tongue in cheek selection of poetry.
I really enjoyed the emotions of memory with the first poem " When you came it was early Spring", Over time I dipped in, to find similarly enjoyable, powerful and, sometimes fun, poems and stories.
An impressive first collection.
Andy Davies, Arundel
'Stepping on Shadows' is full of engaging and poignant poems. Mysterious figures are observed through windows, daffodils are brought to Van Gogh in Arles, and a myna bird on Flannan Isle, harbours its secret. 'House of Torn Souls' is a quietly chilling sequence, all the more effective for what's been left out. Whether drawing inspiration from personal experience, historical events or fine art, Cherrie manifests her enjoyment of poetic form, her lively sense of humour, and her compassion for her fellow humans.
Penny Hope, tutor and poet. Berlin
I thoroughly enjoyed Stepping on Shadows, the new collection by Cherrie Taylor. It is a joy to read, especially out loud with a directness of language that eases the reader through its images, through its patterns and Cherrie’s signature repeats that are so beguiling. This is a very personal journey, one where the reader is made welcome at every turn.
And there is a certain English melancholy here, of something lost as suggested by the refrain-like ‘it’s not the same’ from Swinging Sixties – Sweaty Betty and encapsulated for me in the poem ‘a man stopped near his porch…’ which in so few words convey how our modern world can be so lonely, and yet urges us to connect.
But don’t be fooled these poems are some whimsical stroll through sunshine and bitter memories, they are unafraid to address deep trauma and loss, and do so with a quiet acceptance that makes this very much a ‘come back again’ collection.
Alan Bush; Chichester
Reading through this anthology, I was struck by the sheer diversity and range of Cherrie Taylor's themes and by the moods she invokes. Expect the unexpected. She can fill you with nostalgic longing for old-fashioned, newspaper-wrapped fish and chips in one poem, walk and talk with Vincent van Gogh in another, and see through the eyes of a mermaid, torn between the two different elements of land and sea. Cherrie writes with a seemingly effortless lightness and fluidity of touch, exposing both the disturbing, the poignant and the gently humorous aspects of our human natures and experiences. In poems such as I Bring You Daffodils and Mass Exodus, she shows this ability to write both with an observer's sense of outside detachment and yet also combine this with genuine compassion and tenderness towards the main characters. Perhaps my favourite poem is the Flaxen-Haired Child... which I saw with an almost cinematographic vividness of detail in my mind's eye.
Cosmo Goldsmith, West Sussex
This is one of the best poetry collections I have read – it covers a real mix of emotions including humour, sadness, regret. I also liked the kick in the final few lines of some of the poems especially in ‘Memento’ My favourite poem is Suppose – the lovely mixture of direct speech entwined with the science of planets gives this poem a very lively air!
However, I could go through the collection on by one and love something in them all especially those to do with children and family which all contain a tenderness which is something special!
Suffice to say that this reader enjoyed this collection very much and would recommend it thoroughly!
Rita O’Hare, Belfast
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Stepping on Shadows Cherrie has a great gift of imagination and a fantastic ability to evoke an ambience or a feeling.
I particularly enjoyed - It couldn't happen here; Not today; Broken; Party Piece; A candle burns in the room of rain.
And...What’s that got to do with the price of Chips? What a walk down memory lane that was as I remember Jacob's Ladder as well as the chip shop. I also enjoyed I bring you daffodils. And the Swinging Sixties, which evoked long-lost memories of days gone by. Cars, Confetti Ice and Mars Bars – created an ambiance and atmosphere where you felt you were actually walking on the glass and hearing the sounds.
Congratulations for a fantastic book.
Anne Scherk . Paris, France
Cherrie’s collection Stepping on Shadows seems to be both whimsical,
and realistic, but also, as Mandy Pannett remarks: “There is an immediacy about the writing.” that captivates. Cherrie is not afraid to “tell it as it is,”
Her discerning use of language creates worlds some of us never imagined
we might enter, like my favourite poem in this collection “If You Sit Very Still.”
Others resonate for different reasons, for example, “Opening the Secret Drawer” evokes people and the past in such a tender way, while “All Roads” has that slightly mischievous edge that one often discerns in Cherrie’s writing.
Congratulations Cherrie on a very readable collection.
Lyn C.Jennings Poet and writer (B Ed.Hons. MA. (Senior Lecturer (retired) at Universities of Middx (AC), Herts and Chichester)
Stepping on Shadows - what a wonderful collection of poems - varied, witty, wise and, at times, almost unbearably poignant. Hard to pick a favourite, but, I guess, ‘Flaxen-haired Child & Green-eyed Dog’ is mine, as it takes me straight back to childhood when days were long and one big adventure!
Congratulations Cherrie - I’m already looking forward to your next publication.
Ann Bates, Ferring
“Stepping on Shadows" by Cherrie Taylor is a collection - a plethora of poetry inspired by experiences of self, and intangible observations culled from various life sources. Each piece is unique with touches of mystery, lost opportunities, surprise and eternal longing. They are sometimes sad in message, but mainly sweet, loving, rich, warm, suggestive, happy, care-free and fragrant like the smell of earth after a rain.
Cherrie has a special gift of crafting vivid images spinning them together in the form of a spider’s silk web. These poems are not fleeting moments in time, but rather captured events (real & unreal) of the past and news of the impending future. She is a truly talented poet who has a grip on her creations, and who has not been jaded by other artists’ accomplishments. Her gift percolates to the surface with bubbling original enthusiasm.
One of my many favourites is “Broken” The poem is very well structured and set up, as the poet takes the reader on a journey from the questionable, to the known. Interpretation here, is in the mind of the reader. I relate to Broken because when I was a toddler, I had a china doll (Dudley) whom I loved, and took everywhere. Then later in life, he got accidentally thrown away …
I also really love: the visual - Looking Up at the Window; the imaginative - If You Sit Very Still and the historic - James - known as Jim.
Stefan Gnyś Hamilton, Ontario Canada Author: FIRST KILLS, The Illustrated Biography of Fighter Pilot Władysław Gnyś
Stepping on Shadows is a beautifully written book of poems - from start to finish. Cherrie Taylor captures the innocence of a child in Broken, sentimental attachment in Not Today, and profound sadness in A candle burns in the room of rain...
There is also a wonderfully playful and quirky side to some of her poems. The book is honest, relatable, introspective, and poignant. A must-read.
Stefanie W. Ontario Canada
Cherrie’s poetry engenders something in everyone. By that I mean it seeks out the humanity in us, with nostalgia, mystery and empathy. There are three poems which did this for me; Flaxen-haired Child and Green-eyed Dog; No One Interviewed the Bird; and What’s that got to do with the Price of chips?
And, of course, the title poem, Stepping on Shadows; loaded with love and anticipation...
Richard Wise, Worthing
I have read and re read Stepping on Shadows and will be reading again and again! I particularly liked 'Leaning Over the Bridge' which has a transcendent quality. The first poem in the collection 'When you came it was early spring' had the line, which stayed with me 'When when became then' - I imagine a poet could wait a lifetime and not get a line like that. In some ways I think I liked the slightly bizarre ones best of all - 'All Roads' and 'I bring you daffodils' are disturbing but work so well.
Then there were pieces that brought back memories, like 'Opening the Secret Drawer' made me remember having to go through my parent’s things after they had died and I saw what they had kept, precious to them, but sad some of it. It couldn’t happen here… (after Cavafy) had a particular resonance for me.
Then, what a shock, the chip shop in Pavilion Road! I used to go there with a friend on the way home by bike from school in Worthing. I remember those soggy little bags of chips. We used to eat the chips on the iron bridge and if a train came, we would sacrifice our worst chip and throw it at the driver.
Robert Simmons Wiltshire
This book’s superb cover design invites you to step inside and take a journey through a delightful and intriguing collection of poetry.
Several of the poems are based on Cherie’s personal reflections but many, particularly those relating to childhood, will strike a universal chord of emotions.
There are others such as 'What happiness is'; 'Mass Exodus' and 'No one interviewed the bird' that are drawn from, and provide a different take on, contemporary or historical events.
Cherrie illustrates the range of her poetry from the charming 'Arundel River Walk' to 'Memento' and 'The House of Torn Souls', which demonstrate that she is not afraid to tackle subjects that many would choose to leave alone.
All in all, this small book is a delightful, evocative, and at times thought provoking read.
Roger Shadbolt West Sussex Writers