Ask me to dance
Rose Gregory has suffered a devastating blow, a double bereavement from which months later she is still reeling. Sanctuary and rest are prescribed by her doctor.  But when she arrives at her refuge, a dank and decaying monastery, she finds it is not the haven promised.
Despite the veneer of calm contemplation, the monastery turns out to be a hotbed of intrigue and disharmony.  Rose witnesses bullying and cruelty and ultimately, in defense of the vulnerable, she turns to violence herself.
Sylvia Colley’s extraordinary understanding of a woman’s struggle to deal with grief – the denial, the anger, the loneliness is described without sentimentality.  A beautifully written and moving story.

Lights on Dark Water
Luigi goes out one morning and never returns. Without him Anna feels worthless, losing all sense of who she is. Only the fear of the darkness closing in drives her to attempt some kind of normality. But Gigi’s unseen presence is powerful and inhibits Anna from making a new life. Even her attraction to musician Greg feels like a betrayal. An encounter with a friend leads to a new teaching job, offering a chance to find herself. But the school is driven by fear and unsuspecting Anna is exploited by the manipulative headmaster and at the same time cruelly undermined by a jealous colleague. Now the fragile new life she’s building threatens to collapse, It is a chance meeting with a stranger who helps her to see that there are lights on dark water.

Readers reviews
Sylvia Colley writes so movingly about grief. This is a very good book’ ‘We are totally involved in Anna’s private emotions and her struggle to rebuild her life ,Sympathetically drawn characters and beautiful prose’ ‘I could not put this book down but it made me feel sad’ ‘An excellent book! Are staffrooms really like that?’ ‘I found this book very thought provoking. Sylvia Colley’s writing about grief and loss is heartfelt. The jealousies and backbiting in the staffroom were a revelation! I couldn’t put this book down.’ Writes Piers Plowright FRSL Writer and Broadcaster

From it's shock opening to its moving and tender close,this is a
remarkable first novel. Sylvia Colley has joined her poet's sensibility to a novelists ear and eye for bitter as well as the sweet small events of daily life. Totally engaging

Writes Piers Plowright FRSL Writer and Broadcaster

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It’s not what I wanted, though
Sylvia Colley, with her sharp ear and clear, compassionate, head, is a poet to pay attention to. In this lively collection she beautifully balances the comic and the tragic, small things and big things, the tender and the satirical, to write with great clarity about the triumphs and defeats of ordinary lives and about how the extraordinary can suddenly break in. I think that what makes Sylvia Colley’s work so worthwhile is that childlike sense of wonder she manages to keep whatever and the sense of humour with which she underpins it. Life, with her, even if ‘it’s not what we wanted’, is still immensely worth living.
Piers Plowright FRSL Writer and Broadcaster

There is much to admire in these poems.
Peter Porter FRSL Poet and Winner of the Forward prize



These poems are sometimes painful but never depressing with qualities of simplicity combined with a complexity that demand an imaginative response. A radio 4 Listener

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