In 2015, Inua Ellams was poet in residence at the Poetry Library at the Southbank Centre in London. His #Afterhours project took him on a voyage of cultural translation and transposition through time and place, to the heart of the libraries archive collections, and through his own life s story as he selected poems published during each year of his life, from birth to the age of 18.
In return, Ellams opens up a captivating and potent dialogue between poems, writing a diary and intricately-crafted poems of his own in conversational response to the poems he selected from the library collections. Here, for the first time together, are the collected #Afterhours poems alongside the re-discovered poems which inspired them and the diary entries which follow this journey. In Ellams meticulous hands, this becomes an entire narrative in its own right, compelling and magnetic, drawing parallels of displacement, language and reclamation, and showing poetry’s great capacity to be a powerful amplifier of human experience.
Meet Monsieur Benoit, who appeared suddenly in Paris with a scheme for telegraphing messages across the world (or, at least, across the room) by means of electricity and the telepathic power of snails, and actually raised the money to build this extraordinary machine.
His powers of persuasion clearly exceeded those of Colonel Baker, who seemed the personification of Victorian solidity until that embarrassing incident in the sealed railway compartment, where he failed to entice Miss Dickinson to join in his bit of fun, and afterwards had to try and explain his conduct to the High Court, with the whole nation hanging on his every word.
Here is a fascinating collection of some of history’s most extraordinary characters. Richard Glyn Jones has cast his net wide to gather these accounts of human oddity and eccentricity, and the standard of his writing is high, with Lytton Strachey, Derek Hudson, Christopher Sykes and Ronald Knox among the authors included. Hilariously funny, sometimes rather sad, but invariably interesting, this is a superbly diverting book. And, with a couple of tiny exceptions, it’s all true.
This first anthology of ‘Apocalyptic’ or neo-romantic poetry since the nineteen-forties includes over 150 poets, many well known (Dylan Thomas, W.S. Graham), and others quite forgotten (Ernest Frost, Paul Potts). Over forty of the poets are women, of whom Edith Sitwell is among the most exuberant. Much of the contents has never previously been anthologised; many poems are reprinted for the first time since the 1940s. The poetry of the Second World War appears in a new context, as do early Tomlisnon and Hill. Here readers can enjoy an overview of the visionary-modernist British and Irish poetry of the mid-century, its antecedents and its aftermath. As a period style and as a body of work, Apocalyptic poetry will come as a revelation to most readers.
‘Being Alive’ is the sequel to ‘Staying Alive’, which became Britain’s most popular poetry book because it gave readers hundreds of thoughtful and passionate poems about living in the modern world. Now he has assembled this equally lively companion anthology for all those readers who’ve wanted more poems that touch the heart, stir the mind and fire the spirit. ‘Being Alive’ is about being human: about love and loss, fear and longing, hurt and wonder. ‘Staying Alive’ didn’t just reach a broader readership, it introduced thousands of new readers to contemporary poetry, giving them an international gathering of poems of great personal force, poems with emotional power, intellectual edge and playful wit. It also brought many readers back to poetry, people who hadn’t read poetry for years because it hadn’t held their interest. ‘Being Alive’ gives readers an even wider selection of vivid, brilliantly diverse contemporary poetry from around the world. A third companion anthology, ‘Being Human’ (2011), completes this modern poetry trilogy.
Women throughout the ages contribute to this diverse collection. From Bronte to Mansfield, Rosetti to Sappho, Behn to Dickinson and Elizabeth I to Barrett Browning – these poems are a celebration of all things female, dealing with the timeless themes of life, love, motherhood and independence.
From well-known and award-winning authors-including Bernardine Evaristo, Fred D’Aguiar, and Leone Ross-to previous unpublished writers, this ambitious and intriguing anthology of short stories showcases each author’s most challenging work. These works from writers who are happy to describe themselves as Black British, have a rich variety of styles, forms, and themes, from raw realism, the erotic, and elegant economy, to the fanciful, humorous, and the tender.
The contributors to Closure display a keen awareness of the short story form in all its contemporary possibilities as a way of telling and finding a form for the writer’s vision. These are stories about the ways in which we do and do not love, unrequited yearnings, the quiet and often hidden violence in our lives, moments of epiphany, and the precious occasions of jubilation and uplift.
Contemporary Irish Plays showcases the new drama that has emerged since 2008. Featuring a blend of established and emerging writers, the anthology shows how Irish writers are embracing new methods of theatre-making to explore exciting new themes – while also finding new ways to come to terms with the legacies of the Troubles and the Celtic Tiger.
Drum Belly is a fascinating play about the Irish mafia in late 1960s’ New York. It premiered at the Abbey Theatre in 2012.
Previously unpublished, Planet Belfast by Rosemary Jenkinson is about a woman named Alice – Stormont’s only Green MLA who must toe a delicate line between large, sectarian power bases in order to promote an environmental agenda in Northern Ireland.
Forgotten features the interconnecting stories of four elderly people living in retirement homes and care facilities around Ireland, who range in age from 80 to 100 years old.
Desolate Heaven is a story about two young girls hoping to find freedom from home in the trappings of love. It was first performed at Theatre 503, London, in 2013.
Written for the 2012 Dublin Theatre Festival, and previously unpublished, The Boys of Foley Street by Louise Lowe is a piece of site-specific theatre which led audience members on a tour of the backstreets of inner-city Dublin.
Freefall is a sharp, humorous and exhilarating look at the fragility of a human life, blending impressionistic beauty, poignancy and comedy.
Edited by the leading scholar on Irish theatre, Patrick Lonergan, Contemporary Irish Plays is a timely reminder of the long-held tradition and strength of Irish theatre which blossoms even in its new-found circumstances.
Expressions from London & Home Counties is a unique collection of poetry and verse written in a variety of styles and themes, brought to us from many of today’s modern and traditional writers. The poems provide an insight into the concerns of people who reside in this area and capture the essence of life living there. They are easy to relate to and encouraging to read, offering engaging entertainment to their reader.
This delightful collection is sure to win your heart. It will be a companion for life, perhaps even earning that favourite place on your bookshelf.
Glass Work Humans is a bold, unflinching collection of short stories and poems offering an honest and, at times, darkly humorous glimpse into the fragile and precarious lives of ordinary men and women in 21st-century Scotland. From the steelworker penning a suicide note in his lunch hour to the lonely divorcee finding comfort in a swarm of bees, the war-weary ex-copper toasting lost lives and the battle-scarred son dealing with his violent past, these are all people on the brink but not quite ready to break – seeking hope, salvation and solace in the smallest of everyday miracles.
Tom Gillespie is a Scottish-born novel and short story writer, now living in exile in Bath, England. His stories have been published worldwide in journals, e-zines and creative anthologies. His latest novel, The Strange Book of Jacob Boyce (Vine Leaves Press), has been praised by critics as ‘brilliantly unsettling’ and ‘obsessively compelling’. Tom is a graduate of Glasgow University and works as an English lecturer.
Paul Cowan grew up in Falkirk in central Scotland. After leaving school, he trained as a welder, which took him up and down the country and abroad. He even dipped his toes in the North Sea and worked offshore. He has been honing his skill as a writer, using his own life experiences as his guide, for nearly twenty years. His short stories and poems have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. Paul can still be found in Falkirk and has a five-year-old daughter.
John McKenzie grew up in Menstrie, a small village in Scotland. He worked in the financial sector until returning to education in his mid-thirties. Six years and one undergraduate degree course later, John is about to complete his Master of Letters in Creative Writing from the University of Stirling. He is also working on his first novel.
To mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy brings together a dazzling array of contemporary poets (sixty in fact) to write about each of the sixty years of Her Majesty’s reign. An all star line up – which includes such celebrated writers as Simon Armitage, Gillian Clarke, Wendy Cope, Geoffrey Hill, Jackie Kay, Michael Longley, Andrew Motion, Don Paterson and Jo Shapcott, alongside some of the newest young talent around – address a moment or event from their chosen year, be it of personal or political significance or both. Through a series of specially commissioned poems, Jubilee Lines offers a unique portrayal of the country and times in which we have lived since 1953, culminating in an essential portrait of today: the way we speak, the way we chronicle, the way we love and fight, the way we honour and remember. Brilliantly introduced by Carol Ann Duffy, Jubilee Lines is an unforgettable commemoration: not only a monarch’s reign but of a way of life.
An anthology of writing and art works that simply respond to the work “listen” – through poems, paintings, photos, stories, songs, gardens and much more – all about listening and the importance of silence.
The artwork and writing in this anthology explore different perspectives on what it means to listen: from listening to music and the environment with one ear to listening to people with the other.
Featuring the greatest love poems of all time, this collection brings together poets as diverse as William Shakespeare, Lord Byron, Christina Rossetti and Walt Whitman. As each brings their own unique approach to love, marriage and attraction the poems offer both tender tributes to romantic love and passionate exclamations that are sure to provoke an emotional response.
This is a celebration of children, of childhood and, in many ways, of being a parent. It covers some of the best poetry ever written about the charms, beauty, and love of children. British poets such as William Blake, Christina Rossetti, Milton, and Wordsworth rub shoulders with the best American poets, such as Walt Whitman and Longfellow. The poems range from the pain of losing a child to the humour of childish talk through to the profound love that being a mother or father can bring. Beautifully illustrated throughout, this is a book that would be enjoyed by any poetry enthusiast but also by anyone touched by a child in their life.
A collection of poetic reflections on life and death. Ranging from musings on youth and age, and elegies on bereavement and grief to meditations on the nature of mortality, these are poems that explore our precious time on this earth and perhaps even offer some comfort for those seeking consolation.
Winner, “Best Anthology” at the Saboteur Awards 2017.
The result of the Remember Oluwale Writing Prize, launched in late 2015, this is a collection of thoughtful and poignant responses to the story of David Oluwale, hounded to his death in the River Aire in 1969. The 1971 trial in Leeds, UK, of the two policemen accused of his manslaughter brought David’s plight briefly into the national spotlight; newspaper reports by Ron Phillips, a BBC radio play by Jeremy Sandford and poetry by Linton Kwesi Johnson followed. Then David was mostly forgotten, while the issues that he embodied – hostility to migration, racism, mental ill-health, homelessness, police malpractice and destitution – continued to scar British society, still making headlines fifty years on.
Remembering Oluwale includes extracts from recent books about David by Caryl Phillips and Kester Aspden, as well as poems responding to his story by Ian Duhig, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Sai Murray, Zodwa Nyoni, and many other contemporary writers. The resulting body of work serves as an introduction to some fascinating new voices in UK literature, and also as a clarion call for us to re-make our neighbourhoods as places of inclusion, acceptance and hospitality.
Commissioned by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, these twenty-one all-original stories by a rogues gallery of bestselling authors will delight and astonish you in equal measure with their cunning twists and dazzling reversals. Featuring stories by Joe Abercrombie, Daniel Abraham, David W. Ball, Paul Cornell, Bradley Denton, Phyllis Eisenstein, Gillian Flynn, Neil Gaiman, Matthew Hughes, Joe R. Lansdale, Scott Lynch, Garth Nix, Cherie Priest, Patrick Rothfuss, Steven Saylor, Michael Swanwick, Lisa Tuttle, Carrie Vaughn, Walter Jon Williams and Connie Willis. George R. R. Martin himself offers a brand new Game of Thrones tale chronicling one of the biggest rogues in the entire history of the Ice and Fire saga.
This delightful slim volume contains a selection of patriotic verse. Old favourites such as Henry V’s speech before Agincourt and the Charge of the Light Brigade are complemented by some that are less familar but nonetheless as stirring.
In this innovative book of poetry from the editor of “Heart to Heart”, forty poems from around the world speak about specific works of art. Included on every spread is the poem in its original language, an English translation and the piece of art that the poem is about. Readers will look at art and poetry in a new way in this multi-cultural selection! It includes a biography (brief) of each author, translator and artist.
The Best Poetry Book in the World is a collection of popular poems from published poets from the last five years. Celebrating Burning Eye’s 5th birthday, this anthology brings together all the anthems, the foot stompers, finger clickers, belly laughing crowd-pleasers under one cover. Prepare yourselves.
In The Emma Press Anthology of Love, that familiar four-letter word takes on a world of meanings. Love is written across the sky for the whole world to see, and whispered to a partner at the bus stop in the rain. Love is transcendent and love is everyday, found equally in steamy texts and shopping lists, and the only reliable thing about it is that it’s never where you expected to find it.
Building on the success of 2015’s Mildly Erotic Verse, this book explores the diversity of modern romance. Often awkward, never perfect, romantic encounters and relationships are rooted in our own contemporary world of Tinder, Twitter and TV dinners. But they are also part of an enduring tradition: the cornerstone of our common humanity. In this book, thirty fresh, diverse and original voices speak to what love means right here, right now, bridging the gap between Hollywood imagery and modern lived experience, and forming an anthology open and welcoming to diverse understandings of romance, including a strong selection of work addressing LGBTQ+ experiences.
The shadow of the moth flicks the page I’m reading. I look up to the white blindness of a tired yellow bulb hanging heavy with temporary heat. My eyes recoil, staining the page with silverfish jizz. After blinking a couple of times, I push the button, raise the nib and I’m back to this…
Devereaux Baker, Andrew Parker, P.D. Oliver, Maurice Rutherford, Rosemary Palmeira, Joan Jobe Smith, T. Anders Carson, Matthew Firth, Jaqueline Karp-Gendre, Ian Parks, Brian Docherty, Fred Voss, Peter Knaggs, Dean Wilson, Jules Smith, Linda K, Seamus Curran, Peter Didsbury, Joanne Pearson, Charles Bukowski, Norman Jackson, Andy Fletcher, Geoff Stevens, Gerald Locklin, Labi Siffre, Carol Coiffait. Illustrations by Kevin Rudeforth
Issue 3 contains poetry by Brendan Cleary, Geoff Hattersley, Roddy Lumsden, Labbi Siffre, Joan Jobe Smith, Fred Voss, Gerald Locklin, Greta Stoddart, Simon Armitage. Reviews of ‘On The Buses With Dostoyevsky’ by Geoff Hattersley, ‘Sacrilege’ by Brendan Cleary, ‘New Blood’ a Bloodaxe anthology, and ‘Carnegie Hall With Tin Walls’ by Fred Voss.
Issue 3 also includes the first ever published interview with Charles Bukowski entitled ‘Charles Bukowski Speaks Out‘ by Arnold L. Kaye. – This is the first time the interview has been reprinted since its original publication in ‘The Chicago Literary Times‘, March 1963.
Brendan Cleary, Gerald Locklin, Khan Singh Kumar, Peter Knaggs, K.M. Dersley, Roddy Lumsden, Joan Jobe Smith, Labi Siffre, Lisa Glatt, Carol Coiffait, Tricia Cherin, Charles Bukowski, Sean Burn, Devreaux Baker, Jules Smith, Rodney Wood, Fred Voss, Richard Whelan, Greta Stoddart, Maurice Rutherford, James Prue, Ben Myers, Simon Armitage, David Hernandez, Charles Bennet, B.A.J. Evans, A.A. Dodd, Dave Wright, Gordon Mason, Ian Parks, Andrew Parker, Michael Curran, Dean Wilson, Daithidh MacEochaidh, Jon Summers, Janet Oliver, Fiona Curran, Denise Duhamel, David Lyall, Raymond Robinson, Mark Mckain, Geoff Hattersley. Drawings by David Hernandez
The Reater seems to carry on a colloquial poetic conversation between the east coast of Britain and the west coast of America with readers and writers listening in from many points in the middle. Much of the work it publishes has the rare quality of language overheard, avoiding the preached at spoken to told off stuff that sometimes characterizes grander or more traditional work.” Simon Armitage
“The streetwise slab-sized Reater is streets ahead of any other magazine in giving the reader a working report on the buzzy special relationship between British and American poetry. The new writers it generously showcases in each chunky issue are often as startlingly original as the more familiar names. All are in touch with our times as well as with our selves.” Neil Astley
Rodney Wood, Peter Ardern, Brian Docherty, Sean Burn, Virgil Saurez, Felicity Tumpkin, Steve Timms, Steve Sneyd, Jacqueline Karp, James Prue, Andrew Parker, Mary Rudbeck Stanko, Ken Smith, Peter Carpenter, David Roberts, David Lyall, Jacqueline Sousa, Jo Pearson, Brendan Mcmahon, Dave Newman, Anna Woodford, Finella Davenport, B.Z. Niditch, Robert Nazarene, Rosemary Palmeira.
‘When I come home and leave behind Dark things I would not call to mind …’ wrote Leslie Coulson, one of the many soldiers who tried to express his wartime experiences in writing: dreaming of an idyllic England in the face of the horror of the Western Front. Coulson was one of the hundreds of thousands who did not come home – but because of his poetry we glimpse something of his thoughts and experiences.
Today we can be grateful that so many of those who endured the First World War did write about it: giving us an unmatched view of an event which would otherwise be completely beyond our ability to imagine. The Writers’ War is a collection of excerpts from outstanding accounts of the First World War. It provides an essential insight to anyone interested in modern history or early twentieth-century literature. Extraordinary extracts bring the human experience of war brilliantly to life – from the terror of bombardment, or the camaraderie of military service, to the home front.
The writing reflects an enormous range of nationalities and personalities. It includes memorable poetry, fiction, and journalism. Some great names of modern English literature appear, such as Arthur Conan Doyle, D. H. Lawrence and Rudyard Kipling. In addition, there are superb accounts by foreign authors such as novelists Edith Wharton and Henri Barbusse, and flying ace Manfred von Richthofen. The Writers’ War gives an unparalleled insight into a world-changing event, and what it meant in human terms both to the writers and millions of others caught up in it.
One day, as if by magic, there were toads everywhere in Hull. Then, just as quickly as they appeared, they disappeared. After what seemed like the longest hibernation they are back, living within these pages.
Toad Tales is an enthralling account of the Larkin Toads’ adventures while they were away.
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.
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.
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