While These Days, as Bryce notes is a landscape "of shiftless youth, rented flats, bread-and-butter jobs and millennial angst," Flynn's second collection Drives (2008) is a book of restless journeys, both real and imagined. In this collection a series of literary and historical figures also address 'drives' of more a Freudian nature, in what Flynn calls "Wikipedia poems" - "Everything you can fit into a sonnet about somebody’s life". In these poems, Baudelaire's mother reaches breaking point and Elizabeth Bishop's asthma finally takes away her breath. One of the most arresting things about Flynn's poetry is that she alludes to and borrows from a broad literary tradition from Chaucer to Wordsworth, yet she wears this learning lightly and utterly without pretention.
'The Furthest Distances I've Travelled', which can be heard on this Archive recording, begins with the lure of backpacking as the narrator declares: "Yes. This is how/to live. On the beaten track, the sherpa pass, between Krakow/and Zagreb", as if "in restlessness, in anony/mity: /was some kind of destiny", but ends far closer to home, where souvenirs are less exotic: (cinema stubs, notes on postits and "crushed valentines") before settling on the conclusion which once again opens the poem out to a much wider, un-mappable landscape: "that the furthest distances I've travelled/ have been those between people. And what survives/ of holidaying briefly in their lives."
On this Archive recording, Leontia Flynn's voice is warm and chatty between poems, yet the poems themselves are much more controlled in their delivery, emphasising the silences between words.
This recording was made on March 2nd 2009 at The Audio Workshop, London and was produced by Anne Rosenfeld.