The Chain Coral Chorus


by R.M. Francis

In 2020 R.M. Francis became Poet in Residence for the Black Country Geological Society.

This book is a record of his deep time explorations of the region and his unearthing of an everyday sublime and terrestrial animism.

This collection of poems, fieldnotes and essays tracks the layers of place with geological method, language and observation. 

"R. M. Francis drills down into the bedrock of the Black Country in a part academic, part poetic exploration of this region so fundamentally influenced by its geology, where the earth truly is the centre of the lived experience. Francis’s voice is earthy, sexual, guttural, coarse, and intent upon unleashing the spirit of the stones. The heady mix of the language of rocks and Black Country dialect is shamanic, unsettling and delicious. In the half-remembered phrases, half-known places, the reader hivvy-hovers between what is, what was and indeed what might be."
Emma Purshouse

"I can think of no better companion for a deep time wander through the Black Country than R.M. Francis. Infinitely curious, poetic and tender towards the landscape he loves, he re-imagines the region’s geology and history in fascinating new ways."
Liz Berry