This unique book, which is both playful and serious, features poems and artwork on animals and species whose existence and well-being is threatened by humankind’s rapacious activities on our planet. The poems themselves can be enjoyed by children and adults alike, while the footnotes to each poem contain fascinating and often startling information on the animals, their behaviour patterns, and how their species may be under threat. There are poems on more than 40 animals birds and insects, including the well-known (skylark, panda, and bumble bee), the little known, (gastric brooding frog, cave racer snake, and skink), to the exotic (Madagascan robber moth). The poems are complemented by Rose Sanderson’s distinctive illustrations.
Our Sweet Little Time depicts a calendar year in a series of 120 haiku. Alongside seasonal changes and observations of the natural world, the poems pay equal attention to urban life and human behaviour. While each haiku can be enjoyed in isolation, collectively they form a narrative that enriches the book as a whole, reflecting personal events from the mundane to the momentous–from job-seeking and paying debts to marriage and what is the book’s central theme: the birth of the author’s daughter. In a book of contrasts, wonder and joy are counterpointed by unease, anxiety and exhaustion, all treated with honesty, insight and humour.
In Tales From the Leaking Boot we ride four travel journals of wide-eyed, sharp and humorous haiku; through the streets of Austin, Texas; on a road trip through philosophy, cheese and the unlikely role of Mister Bean in Germany; into lemon groves, fish markets and Vodaphone ring-tones through Turkey; and finally to the Amusement Arcades and the shell-strewn beach, where Jonny Donut watches the horizon, in Cleethorpes. Evocative of landscape, sometimes satirical, and occasionally hilarious, we look with a squint glance at landscape, people and the haiku form itself. These are not reflective haiku, they are the reflective haiku s wild outlaw cousin, having fun and walking the wire.
Why did Joe dodge his shift down the mine and what happened when his brother took his place? Why did an encounter with an upturned glass so terrify a group of newsmen? Just what was the dire prophecy of Seaman Flack? What will be the terrible consequence of Klara’s pregnancy? These and other intriguing questions are posed in Gerard Loughran s short stories, written after many years of foreign reporting and set in venues as far apart as Africa today and yesterday, Austria in the days when Jews couldn t be doctors, Germany in the distracted memories of an old soldier and our own not-quite-so-cosy Home Counties.
The latest in IRON Press’s long running series of small haiku books, to accompany the reprint of the author’s previous IRON Press haiku collection, Our Sweet Little Time, which also covered a year of the poet’s life. This new collection ranges from the traditional to the experimental, combining striking imagery with philosophical reflection.
Alex Ferguson is an experienced writer successful in radio, television and radio. His Radio Four series My Uncle Freddie ran for six seasons and in 1997 won the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Award for Comedy & Light Entertainment. Alex is the founding writer of Corin & Vanessa Redgrave’s Moving Theatre with successful productions of his plays The Flag and Casement at Battersea Lane and the Riverside. In 1997 Alex won the Guinness National Award for Pub Theatre with Big Mama. In 2004 he won a regional Royal Television Society nomination for the short film Lads and was selected for the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum at the Screenlit Festival in April 2010 with Painting Over The Cracks. Alex has a commendable history in radio & television drama and was the Creative Director of the Bold as Brass Theatre Company that he founded in 1997 until 2008 when he became Life President. His collection of short stories, My Uncle Freddie  and Uncle Freddie & The Prince Of Wales  are available from Iron Press, Cullercoats, Northumberland. His first venture into juvenile fiction, the spooky story, Tiggie, is published by AuthorHouse and is available on Amazon.