Richard Froude is an up-and-coming British poet-novelist, an erstwhile Bristolian now living and working in Colorado, USA. Although adopted by an enthusiastic Denver poetry community, Froude still has a bit of the old West Country charm about him and makes the trek home regularly. He is the son of David and Christine Froude, the latter making recent national news as the new Archdeacon of Malmsebury, the first woman to be appointed to a senior clergy post in the Diocese of Bristol. Rather fittingly, the ancient town name of Brycgstow means “the place at the bridge” in old English – and it is such a bridge between old and new cultures, between the mother country and its bold new offspring, that provides a thematic span for much of Froude’s work.
All emigrants have crossing stories to tell and Froude found his literary voice after moving to the U.S. in 2002. While his formative years were spent in one of Britain’s large estuary cities, his authorial shaping came on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, first at Naropa’s Jack Kerouac School then at the University of Denver. During his studies Froude became interested in a new coterie of writers, including his enigmatic cross-genre namesake, Richard Brautigan, a writer out of the San Francisco renaissance that has not quite met the international renown that his work deserves. Brautigan’s writings are wildly imaginative stylistic amalgams that teeter gloriously between what can be declaratively known as poetry and prose, a precarious balance nurtured in Froude’s own work. This is further suggested by his interest in Charles Baudelaire, which resulted in an ambitious book of translation entitled Tarnished Mirrors (Muffled Cry Editions). Of course, Baudelaire’s hybrid prose-poems were highly influential for their time, leading to modernité and that ephemeral weaving of Art and experience. Richard Froude has mirrored such literary exuberance in contributions to his new community, curating a reading series at the Dikeou Collection in Denver and lending his editorial expertise to literary journals – Thuggery & Grace and the Denver Quarterly. He has since become a fellow of the University of Colorado School of Medicine and now provides palliative care to patients at UC hospital.
Still relatively young for a literary author, Richard Froude published his first full-length book, FABRIC (Horse Less Press), to some acclaim in 2010. Subtitled as Preludes to the Last American Book, the book is a mad but pleasing, soft-woven piece of cacophony. The ecritudinal thread is something of a binary stitch – the not quite acculturated strands that somehow manage to formulate some textile/tactile experience. Fellow Coloradan writer, Selah Saterstrom, a brilliant cross-genre weaver in her own right, describes it aptly as “the poetics of the divided tongue: in the space between multiple possibilities, (where) we are invited to trespass our own borders.” And it is on the border of bifurcated memory and meander where he comes to some truly impactful composite states – some with a tightening weave, others on the glorious precipice of unravel. It is writing where, as Megan Burns asserts in her poignant review of the work, “structure has the freedom to dance into disarray.”
Skylight Press is proud to publish a second such work, The Passenger, in early 2012. Portions of the work have appeared in various journals and sections previously published as limited edition pamphlets by Catfish Press and Candle Aria Press. We believe that this all-new collection will continue to raise the profile of this exciting author with a scope and span that will bridge both sides of the Atlantic.