Colin Hambrook grew up in a loving working-class family that moved from inner city London to the metropolitan suburbs. In a powerful series of poems, Hambrook recounts the story of the day the Jehovah’s Witnesses came to the door, his mother’s conversion, and his experience of growing up in a household dominated by millenarian beliefs, where the world was scheduled to end in 1975.
Hambrook charts his mother’s deterioration as she descended into psychosis and delusions, and was finally expelled from the JWs. She was institutionalised, given ECT, and went on to develop tardive dyskinesia, the so-called ‘Largactyl Shuffle’, caused by the psychoactive
drugs she was prescribed. At the heart of this uncompromising collection is a short memoir written in simple and stark language that contrasts powerfully with many of the hallucinatory poems.
A series of striking black and white drawings by Hambrook complement the texts, adding extra depth and dimension to this compelling collection. With echoes of William Blake, Ted Hughes, Spike Milligan and Jeanette Winterson, Knitting Time provides powerful insights into millenarian-ism, psychosis, and the bonds of love when they are tested by trauma and loss.