A Year of New Anthologies

Angela Topping

2019 has been a good year for new anthologies, and I am very grateful to all the editors who have selected my work to appear in their book. I have edited several anthologies myself, and I am well aware of how much work goes into them, and how time-consuming they are, from the exciting part of selection, to all the painstaking work with permissions, proof-reading, working with publishers and arranging launches.

Anthologies have changed during my writing career. At one time, they were only for the few and the famous, and were there to mark a particular fashion or press. Then Bloodaxe started their wonderful themed anthologies which are owned by anyone with a serious interest in poetry. Then there were those wonderful children’s anthologies put out by Macmillan, OUP, Wayland and others, which encouraged so many of us to write for our inner child, and which have all but…

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Poetry Collections – 2019

Poetry Collections – 2019

Something to look forward to

Burning Eye Books

We are delighted to confirm our first poetry collections for 2019. We are kicking off another vibrant year of diverse poetry representative of the UK and we’re very honoured to help these poets put work into the world. As ever, we have a bunch of debut collections for you, from experienced and fairly new poets.

In March, we have two debut collections from Bristol poet Stephen Lightbown: Only Air and Amuse Girl by Hannah Raymond-Cox.

April sees the return of Lydia Towsey with her second BE collection The English Disease.

May we have two newcomers, London poetry sensation Rachel Nwokoro will be introducing us to Little You and Bristol-grown poet and drag performer Grace Cohen will release Calling This Body Home.

June we celebrate the long career of spoken word legend and Hammer and Tongue founder Steve Larkin with OWN – Create Your Own Steve Larkin…

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Memo from customer relations, by Howard Timms

I am not a silent poet

Our target market, by a tiny margin,
of one million out of thirty three
chose an outline Brexit plan
at the proof-of-concept stage.
Delivery date is looming
but management is undecided
which product to supply.
Market research in 2017
showed buyers changing preferences
on suppliers and their products.
We therefore must, before despatch,
avoid abuse of buyers’ trust
by letting them choose between:
delivered but unfinished goods;
uncertain goods at unknown cost;
or cancellation of their order.

..

Howard Timms is a playwright, actor, and non-fiction editor whose dramas have been produced in the U.S., where he had ten years of immigrant experience, and the U.K. Now back in his home town of Cheltenham, he has an MA in creative and critical writing from the University of Gloucestershire, which added poetry to his creative activities.

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REVIEW: The Book of Hours by Lucy English

REVIEW: The Book of Hours by Lucy English

Burning Eye Books

by Deborah Harvey

It’s often noted how rare it is for a poet to straddle the gap between page and performance poetry successfully. Lucy English has managed to keep a foot firmly in both camps for many years, and with her new project The Book of Hours), she has added an extra genre, that of poetry film.

It’s an ingenious idea – a calendar of poems that re-imagine the illustrated psalter of mediaeval literature for a secular, 21st century readership/audience. Lucy is supported in this endeavour by her extensive knowledge of the both fields, coupled with a poetic voice that is especially well suited to the demands of poetry film.

For all that there are mentions of stained glass, doom paintings, sun dials and psalmicly panting sheep, the subject-matter of the poems is resolutely secular. Churches are places to be visited in a spirit of curiosity rather than…

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Thoughts on Poetry by Carolyn O’Connell

Vale Royal Writers' Group Blog

Poetry was a feature in the November meeting as Ruth and I will both be reading in the Elevenses slot in the Cheshire Literature Festival and that, together with Liz and other poets reading in the meeting, led to a discussion of the type of poetry written and accepted today.

I am only a new member of the group having lived in Cheshire for just a year and therefore I hope you forgive anything that might be unhelpful or known to other members.  Let me introduce myself, I am a poet, writing in this form rather than any other. Why?  Well I’ve always been interested in writing but it was only when disability due to a back injury reared its head that I was able to find the opportunity to write. I don’t have the back for novels – the hours needed at a desk are too much.  In 1996…

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The Quality of Mersey

Had the following poem in this anthology celebrating the river and its voices . It was inspired by Jon Gorman and edited by Barry Woods and is dedicated to the memory of the late Cheshire poet  Tonia Bevans.  Over 40 poets have poems in this celebratory anthology which was launched on National Poetry Day. Contact barrywwods221@hotmail.com for a copy £3.99 including postage.

Début
Carolyn O’ Connell

Your song beats beneath M60’s ring roads, Merseyway
bringing ballads of the Goyt and Tame, the colours
of long gone dyes, cloth woven, and the hint of heathers
held in water, murmurs from the moor’s high gorge.

Despite your ride beneath Stockport’s sixties concrete
here the drooping hands of urban trees catch your birth,
cradling you in industries track, concrete, rags of cotton
spun in the mills you and your daughters turned.

Your voice sings the strength of Mercia’s lost kings
Northumberland’s craving peaks and wild seas,
you hold strong the boundary trench between
Cheshire and Northumbria still.

Slim trace here of the anthems you’ll extol,
that rushing travellers hear – unmoved or
unheeding shoppers snub; Heaven’s Gift
begins its winding melody of life until

it rings abroad as your wide skirts dip the Atlantic
and Liverpool harmonizes your history with the sea  ©

 

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David Varley, On Reflection (September 2018)

Vale Royal Writers' Group Blog

Driven by long-burning feelings of guilt, I finally surrendered to the inevitable and volunteered to do the blog. But what to do? What could I possibly put here?

I decided it was time to lay out some reflections from a not-terribly-new-anymore member of VRWG, and consider what the group means to me and how it’s affected my approach to writing. I’m not sure how long I’ve been a member, but I dimly recall two summer parties and (through the alcohol fog) two Christmas binges. Long enough, then, to be trusted with the sacred duties attendant on being the Hot Drinks Monitor™, but not long enough to have penetrated all the group’s mysteries (such as how Bob remembers everybody’s name, or how Bill never gets a round in despite having access to the VRWG riches).

I have always been a writer for as long as I can remember, but before joining…

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