Writing in Cold Mountain Review in 2005, J D Ballam wrote:
…...If there is a single theme dominating the book, and it is certainly not ever-present, then it is of one of reminiscence.
…there is…almost always a sense of pleasure in the telling of a tale…however painful the recollection of the circumstances contained in that tale may be.
…it is a situation frequently repeated in Dress of Nettles, yet its unending diversity, its self-generating pace, keep it from ever becoming cloying or repetitive. Compare, for instance, the sensitivity of Clive Gilson's evocative Into the Walled Garden, which explores the loneliness of old age through the endless tasks of a gardener (with) Pat Earnshaw's poignant reworking of childhood's limited understanding of pride and frustrated dreams in In My Next Life I'll Have a Big House and Dogs and Music.
This book contains poetry, short stories and reviews…10 years worth of work both published and unpublished, collected together for the very first time (warts and all).
The pieces in this anthology are written very much on a human scale, with values and attainments shared in appreciation of the wider community.
Clive recently commented on this new publication:
This collection is a product of circumstance. Over the last ten years or so I have worked through the small hours with the everlasting support of my wife, Karen. Unfortunately, Karen is with us no more, having succumbed after a long illness to the ravages of cancer and its treatments, and so, propelled by the twin forces of vanity and gratitude for Karen’s support and forbearance, this collection stands.
As we do, so shall this book…gather dust, I mean, which is the only inevitability that any of us can ever face. It doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t find grounds for optimism even in the darkest of times. Maybe somewhere in all of this you will find your own optimism too. I certainly have.
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Clive was born in London in 1962 and fell in love with writing at age 11 when he was encouraged to submit a poem to a national UK competition by his English teacher, Bruce Ritchie. Since then Clive has written for magazines and newspapers, been shortlisted in a number of short story and poetry competitions, and worked as an editor and contributor to a number of periodicals and publishing projects.
Clive has written seven books, all of which have been published. they are:
Songs of Bliss
Into the Walled Garden
The Beast Within
Fancy and the Flutter
Lord of the North Wind
The Tender Kiss