A local poet has uncovered the mystery, history and beauty of Norfolk in his latest poetry collection – making some fascinating personal discoveries while writing the book.

Chris Emery, from Cromer, has spent the last 13 years making a home in north Norfolk, capturing its beauty in poems.

But while immersing himself in the county’s rich history for his new book, Modern Fog, the 60-year-old became intrigued by his own ancestry – being shocked to learn that he is not the first in his bloodline to settle in Cromer.

Growing up in north Manchester, Mr Emery knew of his Irish ancestors who had migrated across England in the 18th and 19th centuries, but did not expect to find traces of his family in Sheringham and Cromer.

It is believed that they had settled in the north Norfolk towns as boat builders.

North Norfolk News: Poet and publisher Chris Emery, 60, from CromerPoet and publisher Chris Emery, 60, from Cromer (Image: Chris Emery)

“It’s astonishing to find these links – the family I never knew I had – who left the coast of County Mayo in terrible circumstances and migrated here, where centuries later I too have found my home," he said.

“Perhaps my genes knew where they wanted to be and the sea was calling me.” 

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In 2012, his book The Departure - about leaving one life behind and settling on the Norfolk coast - was shortlisted for the East Anglian Book Awards.

Since then, he has been capturing Norfolk's animals, birds and landscapes in a series of musical poems which have become part of Modern Fog. 

“We are fortunate to have over 600 medieval churches in East Anglia and almost every community has at its heart some extraordinary treasure – if you really want to grasp Norfolk’s deep story, I suspect you need to understand this legacy," he said.

“My poetry is obsessed with travel, time and place, and the stories they contain range widely. Yet I am haunted by the majesty of Norfolk and that sense of finding somewhere that lives in your bones.”

Modern Fog, published by Arc Publications, is available from all good bookstores and online.