Andrew Motion was appointed Poet Laureate in 1999, but alongside his work as a poet he also had a significant career as a prize-winning biographer and an illuminating critic. Ways of Life celebrates this talent with a selection of his articles about painters and poets, as well as a number of striking personal pieces. The literary essays in Ways of Life look at a wide assortment of writers, from John Clare and Ivor Gurney, to marginal figures such as Leigh Hunt and Joseph Severn, and reassess the less well-known work of celebrated writers including John Donne, Christina Rossetti and Thomas Hardy. Ways of Life is an original, acute and emotionally-charged collection of writings, from a truly important and insightful writer.
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.
In Wheels, Kwame Dawes brings the lyric poem face to face with the politics, natural disasters, social upheavals and ideological complexity of the world in the first part of this century. Somewhere between prophecy and meditation, this major and extensive new collection of Kwame Dawes’ work illuminates our confusing world.
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!
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.
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.
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 brilliant young naturalist Dara McAnulty – winner of the 2020 Wainwright Prize for his book Diary of a Young Naturalist – on a nature walk and experience the joy of connecting with the natural world on your multi sensory journey. This beautiful gift book, illustrated in full colour by Barry Falls, is divided into five sections: looking out of the window, venturing out into the garden, walking in the woods, investigating heathland and wandering on the river bank. Dara pauses to tell you about each habitat and provides fantastic facts about the native birds, animals and plants you will find there – including wrens, blackbirds, butterflies, tadpoles, bluebells, bees, hen harriers, otters, dandelions, oak trees and many more.
Each section contains a discovery section where you will have a closer look at natural phenomenon such as metamorphoses and migration, learn about categorization in the animal kingdom or become an expert on the collective nouns for birds. Each section finishes with an activity to do when you get home: plant wild flowers, make a bird feeder, try pond dipping, make a journey stick and build a terrarium. Dara ends the book with advice for young conservationists.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.