Around the Corner from Hope Street is a contemporary poetry collection by Gwyneth Box, written in English but set in Spain. Illustrated by the graphic artist Lance Tooks and with audio readings by the author herself, the poems are seen from the point of view of a single female narrator; they deal with themes of love, alienation and isolation, recovery and renewal, as well as demonstrating a keen observation of nature and the simple pleasures of daily life.
Read sequentially, the collection reveals a narrative thread with the poems progressing chronologically over a period of 15 months. The first poem - "On Breaking Up" - establishes a post-relationship setting, while the early pieces go on to show us a melancholy narrator holding on to talismans and mementoes but determined to keep going. Despite the autumnal atmosphere, even these early poems demonstrate a quirky outlook and a degree of optimism from a narrator whose very nature places her "just around the corner from Hope Street".
The optimism is more apparent later in the book as the year turns, and spring brings new glimpses of light and hope; then, when the intense summer heat of the Spanish capital relaxes, life - and love - can begin again for the narrator.
The pivotal poem "Beginnings" - described by the Speakeasy competition judge in 2007 as "such a gloriously positive poem [it] glows with happiness" - shows us a woman ready to start over, more integrated in her surroundings and willingly grasping the joy life offers.