One of the most exciting new voices which Hull's City of Culture has allowed us to hear so far...
The performance was lent a quiet dignity by local poet Vicky Foster, whose vocal performance toggled between honeyed intimacy and brittle radiophonic crackle.
Neil Mudd, The Morning Star
Vicky Foster’s poems are steeped in the right kind of nostalgia. Not the sentimental or sickly kind, but the kind that assault the senses with beauty and poise. Whether standing astride the North Sea, or wandering the Wolds looking for your lost heart, these words matter.
Ralph Dartford, A Firm Of Poets
Of course, there’s more to Hull’s poetry scene than the bard of the Brynmor Jones Library. Larkin himself helped to usher in a new generation in 1982, writing the lyrical foreword for the influential Douglas Dunn-edited anthology, A Rumoured City. In September, Rhodes will co-direct Contains Strong Language, a spoken word festival introducing yet more Hull voices. Dean Wilson, Joe Hakim and Vicky Foster, he hopes, could be the latest in a poetic lineage stretching back to Andrew Marvell.
This section also included this audience member's highlight of the evening, as Vicky Foster answered the frequently-asked question “Why do you live in Hull?” with a beautiful love poem to her oft-derided home city. Delivered in those broad vowels peculiar to the land of Airlie Birds and Robins, it expressed a sense of place and a pride in your roots more powerfully, surely, than anything anyone better known has written or said: who'd have thought references to the Hull Daily Mail, pattie and chips or “hands that placed rugby balls over muddy trylines” could prompt tears in the eyes of a coaldust-in-the-blood son of the West Riding? But then that's the power of words.
As well as providing seamless links between the poets, Vicky Foster treated us to her brilliant “Why I Love Where I Live”, a multi-generational journey through the psycho-geographical ley lines of our fair city, celebrating the unique blend of guts, compassion and resilience that makes our people what we are. Superb stuff.
Up next batting for Hull, Vicky Foster.…. she smashes it with poetry birds, pictures of parks and bundles of civic pride.
After just eighteen months Vicky Foster has developed into a voice of some note: her honesty and plain-spoken verse, coupled with a clear sense of pride in her roots, has made her stand out.
Her poems read like pages torn from a scrapbook, scattered with memories, yet acutely aware of change. Sat in Minerva Pub by the Humber, you can feel the sense of history, the presence of all those who have made this place their own: the poem ‘Why I love where I live’ connects the generations to this spot, then allows each life to spiral out into the city streets where it may.
In the poem ‘Smiggy’ – a tribute to a friend, the line ‘tumbling like carefree stigs’ jumps out from the page, immediately painting a picture of rag-tag teens, looking for a place to land. “Vicky, she holds the heart of the city”… I heard someone say after.