• 0 Items - £0.00
    • No products in the cart.

Literature

Virga

£10.99

Virga is the third book of poems by Zimbabwean poet Togara Muzanenhamo, following on from his acclaimed collections Spirit Brides (2006) and Gumiguru (2014).

 

Set in the twentieth century, Virga features historical events woven together by the weather. From the spiritual silence of a sundog during the 1911 Japanese Antarctic Expedition, to the 1921 World Championship chess matches in the Cuban heat, to the final hours of a young Bavarian mountaineer in the Bernese Alps in 1936 and strange white clouds decimating whole villages in northern Cameroon in 1986 – the poems capture stories of a rapidly evolving century beneath an ancient, fragile sky.

 

The title relates to the meteorological phenomenon in which a column, shaft or band of rain or snow is seen falling from a cloud but never reaching the earth – evaporating before touchdown. Like Gumiguru, which has so much to do with weather, Virga continues with it, its impact on our daily lives. But, here, his geography broadens out to include wider worlds and different histories artfully strung together by the poet’s fascination with the elements.

 

Togara Muzanenhamo was shortlisted for the Jerwood Alderburgh First Collection Prize and the Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry.

Viva Loch Lomond!

£9.99

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shows “One Man and His Doggerel” and “Countrybile” together with a number of greatest hits, B-sides and previously unpublished gems.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.

Waiting for the Past

£9.99

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.

Wake

£9.95

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.

Walking Home

£10.99

One summer, Simon Armitage decided to walk the Pennine Way – a challenging 256-mile route usually approached from south to north, with the sun, wind and rain at your back. However, he resolved to tackle it back to front, walking home towards the Yorkshire village where he was born, travelling as a ‘modern troubadour’, without a penny in his pockets and singing for his supper with poetry readings in village halls, churches, pubs and living rooms. Walking Home describes his extraordinary, yet ordinary, journey of human endeavour, unexpected kindnesses and terrible blisters.

Way More Than Luck

£9.99

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

£9.99

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.

What Narcissism Means to Me

£8.95

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.

When God is a Traveller

£9.95

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.

White Teeth

£4.00

At the centre of this novel are two unlikely friends, Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal. Hapless veterans of World War II, Archie and Samad and their families become agents of England’s irrevocable transformation. A second marriage to Clara Bowden, a beautiful, albeit tooth-challenged, Jamaican half his age, quite literally gives Archie a second lease on life, and produces Irie, a knowing child whose personality doesn’t quite match her name (Jamaican for “no problem”). Samad’s late-in-life arranged marriage (he had to wait for his bride to be born), produces twin sons whose separate paths confound Iqbal’s every effort to direct them to his Islamic faith.

White Time

£4.90

Time out of time, people call it., but they’re wrong. It’s all time, like white light is all colours, or white noise is all pitches of noise coming at you together.

 

In this transcendent collection of short stories, Lanagan deftly navigates a new set of worlds in which the boundaries between reality and possibility are paper-thin . . . and sometimes disappear altogether.

 

Prepare to be unsettled, intrigued and dazzled by what a master storyteller can do in a few short pages.

Wild Nights

£12.00

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.

Wolf Hall & Bring Up the Bodies

£4.00

Thomas Cromwell. Son of a blacksmith, political genius, briber, charmer, bully. A man with a deadly expertise in manipulating people and events.

 

Mike Poulton’s ‘expertly adapted’ (Evening Standard) two-part ad adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s acclaimed novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies is a ‘gripping piece of narrative theatre … history made manifest’ (Guardian). The plays were premiered to great acclaim by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2013, before transferring to the Aldwych Theatre in London’s West End in May 2014.

Work in Regress

£6.95

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?

Wounding

£8.99

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

£9.95

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

WOW

£10.99

A Poetry Book Society Winter 2020 Recommendation

 

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

£12.99

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.

Yeah Yeah Yeah

£7.95

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).

You’re So Vain You Probably Think This Book Is About You

£8.95

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.

Your Inner Hedgehog

£14.99

In the latest entertaining and hilarious Professor Dr Dr Moritz-Maria Von Igelfeld novel, our hopelessly out-of-touch hero is forced to confront uppity librarians, the rector of the university and a possible hostile takeover, all while trying to remain studiously above it all.

 

Professor Dr Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld and his colleagues at the University of Regensburg’s Institute of Romance Philology pride themselves on their unwavering commitment to intellectual excellence. They know it is their job to protect a certain civilized approach to the scholarly arts. So when a new deputy librarian, Dr. Hilda Schreiber-Ziegler, threatens to drag them all down a path of progressive inclusivity, they are determined to stop her in the name of scholarship – even if that requires von Igelfeld to make the noble sacrifice of running for director of the Institute. Alas, politics is never easy, and in order to put his best foot forward, von Igelfeld will be required to take up a visiting fellowship at Oxford and cultivate the attentions of a rather effusive young American scholar. Still, von Igelfeld has always heeded the clarion call of duty, especially when it comes with a larger office.

Yugoslavia, My Fatherland

£9.99

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.

1 15 16