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.
Tony Hoagland’s zany poems poke and provoke at the same time as they entertain and delight. He is American poetry’s hilarious ‘high priest of irony’, a wisecracker and a risktaker whose disarming humour, self-scathing and tenderness are all fuelled by an aggressive moral intelligence. He pushes the poem not just to its limits but over the edge. Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty is his first new collection since What Narcissism Means to Me: Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2005). The poems – and title – try to make sense of the situation of the individual in our time, and in America in particular – Hoagland’s obsessive main subject. They worry over how to preserve a sense of self and values, connectedness and cohesiveness, in an era of market-driven culture, dazzling but toxic entertainment, and degraded and degrading idiocies cultivated by mass culture.
Humanity explored through poetry. Twelve poets put their words first.
BBC Radio 1Xtra and Asian Network teamed up with BBC Contains Strong Language for Words First, a scheme aimed at finding the best emerging spoken word talent in the UK.
USE WORDS FIRST is a collection of 12 poets from Words First brought together in a brilliant anthology edited by Jude Yawson, co-writer of Stormzy’s Rise Up: The Story So Far and contributor to the SAFE anthology edited by Derek Owusu.
Exploring themese of identity, connectivity and mobilisation, USE WORDS FIRST brings together eclectic styles and people all exploring humanity in their own unique ways. This is a snapshot of some of the struggles, inspirations and muses of young Britain today expressed through poetry that spans from the personal to the political and is always full of beauty and power.
“Is there a poet writing in Ireland who feels so profoundly and knows more surely love’s obsessions, its piercing chronicles, its succour and sorrows than Anne Fitzgerald? The poems in Vacant Possession char the page, leaving their imprint, imperishable, unique.” – Frank McGuinness
‘I am sitting on the twenty-fourth storey of a hotel in Singapore. I am having a very serious nervous breakdown…’
If you want to know why the hero of A.P. Wolf’s riotous novel is going quietly insane in a concrete tower block, you’ll have to read Vagabond. It’s a story of twenty four hour piss-ups, cock fights, mah-jong, and unsafe sex in the kampongs and back-alleys of old Singapore. It features a pair of dogs called Rape and Pillage, a cat called Shitbag, a very large and very dangerous monkey, a crazed older brother called Dave, a posse of under-age and over curious daughters of local army officers, various murderous Marines, and Richard Chan, the most awe inspiring man in all Singapore. And one hell of a lot of Tiger beer.
Verse Matters harnesses the power of everyday stories, highlighting the strength and inspiration that comes from speaking out proudly in unsettled times. This anthology of poems and prose, edited by award-winning Sheffield-based writers Helen Mort and Rachel Bower, brings a diverse range of voices to the fore, from celebrated contemporary poets like Malika Booker, Liz Berry and Hollie McNish to first-time published writers from home and abroad. What brings them together is the extraordinary, ordinary tales they tell each other, and their determination to be heard.
Viva Loch Lomond! is the first full length collection of poems published by the stand-up poet, comedian and broadcaster Elvis McGonagall. It features pieces from his hit Edinburgh Fringe Festival shows “One Man and His Doggerel” and “Countrybile” together with a number of greatest hits, B-sides and previously unpublished gems. Deftly witty, satirical but not afraid to be plain daft, Elvis McGonagall’s work takes aim at our septic isle of zero-hours contracts, food banks and Kirsty Allsopp cup-cakery and beyond. From Scottish independence to the “war on terror” via turbo-capitalist greed, from Blair and Bush to Dave and Boris via the death of Thatcher, from William Wallace’s taste for cheese to the Queen’s love of gangsta rap, Elvis kicks against the pricks and the injustices inherent in austerity Britain but still finds time to wax lyrical about the joys of whisky, Greek islands and the godforsaken rural idyll where he currently abides. His tightly written quick-fire verse, shot through with his customary moral umbrage and rhetorical power, is here annotated with his own irreverent explanatory notes highlighting the workings of his befuddled mind as he scribbled these poems from the dubious comfort of his revolting armchair at the Graceland Caravan Park. The book also features fabulous illustrations from the acclaimed artist Tony Kerins. And a poem about Vincent Van Gogh’s left ear.
The clearly-focussed lyrics of Les Murray’s Waiting for the Past are rich in topographies and the languages peculiar to them – wonga vines, lyre birds, gum trees, shrike thrushes, tallow boughs, boab trees, the octopus in Wylies Baths killed by sterilising chlorine.
With the erasures the modern world brings, words, landscapes and lives descend to the Esperanto of the modern.
The poet, with a salutary resistance, rejects the computer and the incursions of the levelling Modern in favour of old-fashioned typewriters, unlikely saints, lived-in places, an Easter rabbit ‘edible and risen’, farming in the spirit of ancestors.
This is the past he waits for in scenes unmade by human carelessness, not only in his rural place but across the world.
The poems speak of the unspeakable, including old age, vertigo, illness, and the durable resilience of married love.
When Gillian Allnutt was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, Carol Ann Duffy wrote that her work ‘has always been in conversation with the natural world and the spiritual life’. Her latest collection, wake, shows the two beginning to meld into one: to speak for, even as, one another. As her title signals, these are poems about looking back, keeping watch over the dying and death of an old world and the ways of being human in that world; but also forward, waiting for the new world and being ready to awaken to it when it comes. There are, as always in her work, many displaced people. No one here is fully at home in the world. These are turbulent times – individually and collectively – and the poems here reflect that. And yet the poems are more ‘among’ than ‘about’ people: speaking out of the horde, and the hoard, of humanity as a whole.
From Copacabana to urban Yorkshire, from New Mexico to a Welsh funfair, from The Netherlands to the Clare coast, Robert Minhinnick’s world is a shrinking one. Its cast of characters includes Rio beach beggars, Madison Avenue literati, saloon-bar poolsters and millionaire scrap merchants. These essays cover a variety of subjects: third world poverty and the internationalism of alcohol, rugby through the eyes of a vegetarian, nuclear power, sunbathing and a thanksgiving dinner for the demise of Margaret Thatcher. But at the core of this collection is a vivid series of attempts to strip away the exhausted mythologies of the writer’s own country and the increasingly-packaged places he visits. Whether in the rainforest or the big match crowd, Minhinnick’s language, acid, imagist, compassionate, celebrates the people he meets and, fleetingly, defines their lives.
Way More Than Luck is the vivid debut collection from the well-known young poet and critic Ben Wilkinson. The book opens with a series of poems that, with a remarkable clarity and sympathy, recall a battle with clinical depression: the “days when you weren’t anyone. Days gone undercover…”. The author interrogates this malady: “two-parts sadness, one-part anger”, grapples to understand that its sources are both personal and cultural. It soon emerges that competitive running, which possibly starts as therapy, a means of combat, becomes a way of life, not just for fitness but for the long-haul, for endurance. The poet finds a still, calm centre: “Running is the pure solitude of a wordless hour.”
We Need to Talk is a poetry collection on sexual violence, survivorship and solidarity. On gender-based violence and genuine social change. On things that are hushed and need to be spoken of with empathy – and fact-checking. Poet Agnes Török writes honestly and courageously about lived experience and statistical societal structure, inviting the reader to reflect and join in the conversation on how to end gender-based violence. With sections speaking directly to victims and survivors, and directly to friends and family of survivors, We Need To Talk is an empathic engagement with an experience shared by 1 in 3 women, 1 in 2 trans and non-binary people and, 1 in 5 men – sexual violence. We Need to Talk is a manifesto. A call to arms. A boiling down of statistics into the long-term effects on real people. And a roadmap for how we get out of this mess. Török speaks about the issues each of us needs to be involved in understanding and solving. The economics and politics that lead to violence becoming “normal”. The online climate in which gender-based violence becomes recreated and amplified. And the logic by which most of us personally know a victim of sexual assault or abuse, but few of us will believe we know any perpetrators. Aside from Török’s award-winning poetry, the collection also includes writing exercises for survivors of gender-based violence and their friends and family. Because making art is part of speaking. And We Need To Talk.
Jen Jones has written an expanded version of Welsh Quilts, her authoritative guide to the history and art of the quilt in Wales. Kaffe Fassett, the doyenne of textiles, provides a Foreword for this new edition, which also includes a greater number of images of quilt designs – some published for the first time – in a beautifully produced, detailed and generously illustrated book. By the 1970s the unique Welsh traditions of quilt and blanket making were almost extinct. Welsh Quilts is the result of Jen Jones’ researches into the subject and her desire to revive what had been a gloriously high quality craft. As she researched the book Jones also began collecting Welsh quilts, creating an extensive collection which is now housed in the Welsh Quilt Centre in Lampeter. New, high resolution images of the bold designs and intricate stitching of the quilts in her collection are included in the book. Welsh Quilts explores the origins of quilting and blanket making in Wales before considering its peak period between 1870 and the Second World War when wholecloth, frame-made quilts became the standard for which the country was famous. Welsh Quilts contains chapters on the origins and history of the quilt in Wales; Making a Quilt; Methods; Types of Quilt; Joining and Finishing; Provenance; Buying a Welsh Quilt; Caring for Quilts; Blankets; and Types of Blanket. The book also includes a list of public collections of quilts. Welsh Quilts is the essential book on the subject, whether you are a quilter yourself, or simply interested in quilting heritage.
At university, two worlds collide. Johnny Bevan, the whip-smart, mercurial kid from a city council estate, saves Nick Burton from living his father’s safe life, but it ends tragically. Years later, a world-weary Nick is reminded of their friendship. Can Johnny save Nick again?
Tony Hoagland’s zany poems poke and provoke at the same time as they entertain and delight. He is American poetry’s hilarious ‘high priest of irony’, a wisecracker and a risktaker whose disarming humour, self-scathing and tenderness are all fuelled by an aggressive moral intelligence. He pushes the poem not just to its limits but over the edge. His first UK book of poems is a selection drawing on three collections, Sweet Ruin (1992), Donkey Gospel (1998) and What Narcissism Means to Me (2003). He has since published two later collections with Bloodaxe Books, with a fourth to appear in 2019.
These are poems of wonder and precarious elation, about learning to embrace the seemingly disparate landscapes of hermitage and court, the seemingly diverse addresses of mystery and clarity, disruption and stillness – all the roadblocks and rewards on the long dangerous route to recovering what it is to be alive and human. Wandering, digging, falling, coming to terms with unsettlement and uncertainty, finiteness and fallibility, exploring intersections between the sacred and the sensual, searching for ways to step in and out of stories, cycles and frames – these are some of the recurrent themes. These poems explore various ambivalences – around human intimacy with its bottlenecks and surprises, life in a Third World megapolis, myth, the politics of culture and gender, and the persistent trope of the existential journey (which intensifies in the new poems). Arundhathi Subramaniam’s previous book from Bloodaxe, Where I Live: Selected Poems (2009), drew on her first two books published in India plus a whole new collection. When God Is a Traveller is her fourth collection of poetry.
Redstone Press presents a charming children’s book by Tatiana Glebova, a celebrated soviet book illustrator and painter. A friend to many of Russia’s best-known avant-garde artists, poets and writers, her book Where Am I? was completed in 1928 but never printed.
Published to coincide with the House of Illustration’s much anticipated show A New Childhood: picture books from Soviet Russia, the images are both startlingly original yet completely timeless.
The perfect gift for curious children and parents alike, these engaging images will brighten any playroom!
Linda Nochlin’s landmark essay heralded the dawn of a feminist history of art. It remains fundamental to any appreciation of art today. At once challenging and enlightening, it is never less than fully engaging, enticing the reader to question their own assumptions and to set off in new directions. Nochlin refuses to handle the question of why there have been no ‘great women artists’ on its own, corrupted, terms. Instead, she dismantles the very concept of greatness, unravelling the basic assumptions that created the male-centric genius in art. With unparalleled insight, Nochlin lays bare the acceptance of a white male viewpoint in art historical thought as not merely a moral failure, but an intellectual one.
In this stand-alone anniversary edition, Nochlin’s influential essay is published alongside its reappraisal, ‘Thirty Years After’. Written in an era of thriving feminist theory, as well as queer theory, race and postcolonial studies, ‘Thirty Years After’ is a striking reflection on the emergence of a whole new canon. With reference to Louise Bourgeois, Cindy Sherman and many more, Nochlin diagnoses the state of women and art with unmatched passion and precision. ‘Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?’ has become a rallying cry that resonates across culture and society. Nochlin’s message could not be more urgent: as she herself put it in 2015, ‘there is still a long way to go’.
Join leading chefs, food bloggers and restaurateurs in their private kitchens and dining spaces, and discover how they cook and entertain using home-grown, local and seasonal produce.
Green is the new black. The desire to know where our food comes from and to minimize our carbon footprints is ever-growing. Wild Kitchen offers fresh insights into kitchen design and styling from those who understand the sustainable lifestyle best, taking you into the home kitchens and dining areas of twenty of the world’s top chefs, food bloggers and restaurateurs, and revealing inspiring ways that the food-obsessed are embracing the ‘wild’ at home in their everyday cooking and dining.
Immersed in the detail of this ancient landscape, its people and the habitats of its wildlife, what emerges from Jefferies’ dazzling prose is his sense of perpetual wonder and the deep affection he felt for his homeland, from the clatter of a milkmaid’s boots to a pike lying in ambush.
America’s Kim Addonizio has been called ‘one of the nation’s most provocative and edgy poets’. Her poetry is renowned both for its gritty, street-wise narrators and for a wicked sense of wit. With passion, precision and irreverent honesty, her poems explore life’s dual nature: good and evil, light and dark, joy and suffering, exposing raw emotions often only visible when truly confronting ourselves – jealousy, self-pity, fear, lust.
After inventing his own demise in Last Poems, Peter Reading unwinds with thoughts of death, dying, gluttony and community care. Work in Regress, Reading’s ﬁrst new collection since his two-volume Collected Poems, shows the controversial ‘Laureate of Grot’ in true, contrary style, turning against the idea of poetry being worth anything in the modern world at the same time as he creates angry, heartbreaking, grimly ironic poetry out of blackness and despair.
Work in Regress was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 1997. Alan Brownjohn said of Last Poems: ‘On the evidence of this collection, nothing Reading is likely to do with this or any other project in his later years will prove mellow, or comforting, or boring’ (Sunday Times). Prophetic words. Yet in the end, despite Reading’s denials, could the fact of these new poems – written against the grain, against the odds – offer some hope against hopelessness?
Cora has everything a woman is supposed to want – a career, a caring husband, children, and a stylish home. Desperate for release and burdened with guilt she falls into a pattern of ever increasing violence and sexual degradation till a one night stand tips her over the edge and she finds herself in a Dominatrix’s dungeon. Wounding explores a woman’s search for redemption, identity and truth.
Woven Landscapes is a vivid intermingling of landscapes emotional and physical, glowing colours of nature and love threaded together in a tapestry of sensual, intoxicating verse by six acclaimed poets. “Another stellar offering . . . each of the six poets anthologised here have something unique to say about the world around them and their place within it. An enlightened and illuminating collection that is a life-affirming celebration of the nature of being. This comes thoroughly recommended.” Literature Works
Bill Manhire’s Wow opens with the voice of an extinct bird, a song from anciency, and takes us forward into the present and the darkening future of other extinctions. For Manhire, the reach of the lyric is long: it has the penetration of comedy, satire, the Jeremiad, but also the delicacy of minute detail and the rhythms of nature’s comfort and hope, the promise of renewal. In the title poem the baby says ‘Wow’, and the wonder is real at the world and at language. But the world will have the last word.
Writing of Manhire, Teju Cole declared, ‘Being the leading poet in New Zealand is like being the best DJ in Estonia, impressive enough on its own terms. But Bill Manhire is more than that: he’s unquestionably world-class. As with Seamus Heaney, you get a sense of someone with a steady hand on the tiller, and both the will and the craft to take your breath away.’
Bill Manhire was New Zealand’s first poet laureate. He established and until recently directed the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington. This is the ninth of his Carcanet books in 30 years. They include a Selected and a Collected Poems.
Writing Motherhood presents a chorus of voices on the wonders and terrors of motherhood, and the ways that a creative life can be both ignited and/or disrupted by the pressures of raising children. Featuring thought-provoking essays, interviews and poetry by high-profile writers on their experiences of creating art while also engaged in the compelling, exhausting, exhilarating work of motherhood, this important anthology reconsiders the pram in the hallway as explosively nuanced.
Entries include an insightful interview with Pulitzer prize-winning poet Sharon Olds, excerpts from Hollie McNish’s motherhood diary, Carol Ann Duffy’s beautiful portrait of being and having a daughter, and specially commissioned poems by Sinead Morrissey, Rebecca Goss, and many others. Crime fiction fans will enjoy CL Taylor’s witty essay, How Motherhood Turned Me to Crime, and Nuala Ellwood’s heart-wrenching depiction of miscarriage and loss.
By engaging with both the creation of literature by mothers and literary representations of motherhood, the work is a vital exploration of the complexities of contemporary sexual politics, publishing, artistic creation, and 21st-century parenting.
Roddy Lumsden’s first collection Yeah Yeah Yeah is a large and varied debut collection which uses the lives of lovers and losers, eavesdroppers and entertainers to explore romance, faith and last orders at the bar. The poems are formal but with a frantic edge; they are lyrical, but laced with a cruel streak and a measured dose of indulgence. Roddy Lumsden is concerned with how relationships shift and twist and restore an order, with how people meet and part. The poems range over weddings, revenge and phobias, beer, girls and the need `to get these answers right’. Yeah Yeah Yeah was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Now out of print, most of the poems in the book are included in Mischief Night: New & Selected Poems (2004).
Barring Geoff Hattersley, you’d think most contemporary poets have never done a proper days work in their life. For me this poetic vacuum, this space walked around or avoided, leaves me unable sometimes to link myself to poetry and poets. We all work don’t we? So in, You’re So Vain You Probably Think This Book Is About You (YSVYPTTBIAY), I wanted to address this balance, to tackle work, the toad as Larkin called it, to show the vicissitudes of the work place, how employment shapes us and what it does to us. In doing this I use a sometime working class hero Crusoe whose mix of fecklessness and bad luck acts as a conduit for my own socio-political brand of Hulldonian existentialism. Either that or I just chew the fat about the workaday.
As the author, it would be completely wrong of me to tell you the subtext or underlying themes of this book, which are of course a virulent and rational hatred of Margaret Thatcher and a new blast in the re-emerging class war. So since my last book Cowboy Hat, I’ve pulled together all the poems about the toad and here they are. It’s not all work though, I can be found smashing up my old sofa in the kitchen, or telling you about Badger the Cadger, the slotterhodge blagging a free meal, or me being tied to Animal on a three legged pub crawl, or Renwick the serial chorer. Mostly it is work. You’re So Vain You Probably Think This Book Is About You, is a tribute to Bobby the TWOCKER, Ox the toilet door kettle balancing nutcase and the motley gang of wonderful workmates and workbanes I’ve had the fortune to work with. For me, a poetry book should be like a good night out with your mates, when you’re wearing a new snazzy shirt. It encompasses storytelling, drama, emotion, courage, humour and ultimately belief and spirit. Work will never diminish my spirit and my faith will remain strong. So here I come with my Northern Heart on one sleeve and my Yorkshire Soul on the other. I’ve bared my heart in this book to give you these poems. Now it’s your turn reader, chuffing eck, buy the book.
When Vladan Borojević googles the name of his father Nedelko, a former officer in the Yugoslav People’s Army supposedly killed in the civil war after the decay of Yugoslavia, he unexpectedly discovers a dark family secret. The story which then unfolds takes him back to the catastrophic events of 1991, when he first heard the military term ‘deployment’, and his idyllic childhood came to a sudden end. Seventeen years later, Vladan’s discovery that he is the son of a fugitive war criminal sends him off on a journey round the Balkans to find his elusive father. On the way, he begins to understand how the falling apart of his family is closely linked with the disintegration of the world they used to live in. The story of the Borojević family deals intimately with the tragic fates of the people who managed to avoid the bombs, but were unable to escape the war.