authors - Janette Ayachi / George Beddow / Helen Buckingham / Chris Deakins / James Fountain / Sheila Hamilton / Andy Hickmott / Christopher Jackson / Dina Kafiris / Neil Leadbeater / Mark Leech / Siobhan Logan / Rupert M Loydell / Paul McDonald / Joan Michelson / Ian Mullins / Paul Murphy / Andrew Nightingale / Alan Price / Samantha Roden / Kate Ruse / Fiona Sinclair / Paul Sutton / Andrew Taylor / Alfred Todd / Geoffrey Winch /
This is what Eric Baus says of George Beddow's The Bitter Lemons of Nerval -
"George Beddow's poems retune the imagination through sharp changes of scale and ever-mutating allusions. Here, a hybridized song awakens somewhere between the strings of a prepared piano and the lyre's ancient sigh. A simultaneously playful and ominous tone infuses these compelling, often animistic landscapes. His words shimmer and vibrate anew, attracting faraway echoes."
ISBN 978-0-9931186-7-8 £3.60
mirrormoon: Helen Buckingham
‘Not many Western haiku poets are inclined to immerse in moon-viewing like Buson . . . . Helen Buckingham followed the same path . . . . Reader, be ready to embrace the spirit of autumn – and catch glimpses of the moon, even if they are not immediately visible to you!’ Anthony Kudryavitsky
‘Helen Buckingham sequels her ‘Water on the moon’ with her new publication ‘Mirrormoon’. . . . This time around she’s in mixed moods; now playful, now serious, now witty…She sways to all the influences of every moon phase and reaches up capturing for this collection every possible moon; strawberry moon, wolf moon, day moon, she even crafts a moon into a painting, not forgetting the ever indelible blue moon. . . .’ GGillena Cox
"Helen isn't a poet who's afraid to look for haiku and senryu in the stuff of modern living. Whilst every one of the poems in Mirrormoon includes a reference to our oldest of friends, the moon, there's also the mention of Pringles and Mars Bars and allusions to goth teens, cash points and cellulite!" Liam Wilkinson
"The rhythms of these haiku both in themselves and as a group enact a powerful ancient, deep and nourishing sense of time. / This is a major haiku work offering a profound vision with great poetic skill." Charles Thompson
'From the author of a very fine PhD on a fascinating but forgotten poet, Joseph Macleod, here is another fine volume of poems, topical but underpinned by poignant timelessness.' Professor Edward Chaney
'Eight years on from his highly promising debut, Glaciation (Poetry Monthly Press), James Fountain’s The Last Stop shows the satisfying maturation of an unshowy but distinctive talent. Much of this peripatetic collection evokes faraway places where Fountain has lived and worked over the past decade: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Cambodia. These poem-impressions or verse-observations have something of the anomic fascination of Alun Lewis or Bernard Spencer (Neglected hope smiles through clenched/ teeth, souring the blossoming day,/ roughening the tough path for drivers 'Cab Ride Through Al Khobar'), even T.E. Lawrence (in the tranquil zone of night, I tread to bed/ aware of the stillness of desert,/ the sense of emptiness, as ambition itself/ quietly begins to stir. 'Al Khobar at Night'). We feel we are there with Fountain in the thick Arabic hot hair-dryer breeze of evening'.
It's to be hoped that The Last Stop will be the first of many more stops on the poetic travels of James Fountain.' Alan Morrison
ISBN 978-0-9955802-5-1 £3.60
The Reedy Boy
Widower Glen Fenny neglects his chores one Spring morning and, on a whim, finds himself on the bank of a reedy lake, where he sees
among the stalks of the rushes and reeds
over on the opposite shore,
a boy, or a man worn down to a boy,
sitting solemnly counting his toes,
as naked as the lake from his withered heel
to his weathered nose.
The Reedy Boy is a traditional fable with a modern moral, told in 24 free verse chapters.
ISBN978-0-9931186-2-3 £3.60 (price for UK only)
‘I don't think I've ever read anything quite like The Monkey Fragment. Here is the wry philosophising of Douglas Adams, the grotesque draftsmanship of Mervyn Peake--rolled into a form all its own. This belongs on your shelf, and clattering away at your mind's typewriter about ludicrousness, infinity, and love.’ Robert Peake
ISBN 978-0-9931186-6-1 £3.60
The Blinding Light Circling Elpida, in one act
by Dina Kafiris
"Of a kind of writing that combines the silence of the age old landscape with the chatter of fiery tongues ceaselessly talking 4000 years ago until now without stopping even for a drink of Raki… these poetic notes record and transmit what the ears think they have been hearing all the time although this is not necessarily true." Nanos Valaoritis
ISBN978-0-9570197-7-5 £3.00 (price for UK only)
‘Many of the poems in Neil Leadbeater’s latest collection, Punching Cork Stoppers capture the heat and light and sensuality of Lisbon. Other landscapes embrace both the human and natural world, which are sometimes contrasted and at other times merge into a whole that feels deeply inhabited: but they are always compassionate.
These short poems catch the essence of a scene or situation, like calligraphic sketches, the details bringing alive whatever scene is painted for us. Sometimes they are shaded in with snippets of conversation, or words with folded meanings, or even famous characters such as Tennyson and Byron, who sidle or stride into the present. Neil Leadbeater’s assured and rhythmic poems are always a pleasure to read. For me these poems are like parcels – I enjoy peeling back each line and layer, and what lies at the heart of them is a gift that often surprises and delights at the end.’ Morelle Smith
‘From its intriguing title onwards, Punching Cork Stoppers is a mesmerising read. Neil Leadbeater conjures up an essence of Portugal – we can almost feel the heat as we follow the narrator and his unnamed companion through Lisbon, beyond cork plantations to old streets where the sound of fado wells up from the night quarters. The writing is elegant, ‘word perfect’ to quote the opening poem of the collection.’ Jane Seabourne
ISBN 978-0-9955802-4-4 £3.60
"Neil Leadbeater’s writing seems effortless; on examination one realises it’s the work of a truly great writer". Les Merton, Editor: Poetry Cornwall
"Neil Leadbeater always offers the reader accomplished and very interesting poems. His love of the natural world dominates his main themes, and his accurate observations have a delicate and lasting power." Peter Thabit Jones, Editor: The Seventh Quarry
"Neil Leadbeater focuses with sharp observation on the natural world. Delight and amazement, even in its smallest and most obscure arrangements, inspires him". Eve Kimber
"Neil Leadbeater is one of the most interesting poets writing in Britain today". Luis Benitez, Argentina
ISBN 978-0-9570197-6-8 £3.00 (price for UK only)
Chang'an Poems: Mark Leech
"Mark Leech’s sequence of 41 poems centres on a tyrannical empire where dissidents experience foreign exile and banished lovers can only dream of homecoming and reconciliation. The ancient capital Chang’an has towers, temples, parks, squares, courtyards—even jade rooms. A long bridge crosses a river. Geese fly in bitter winter winds. A drunk looks deeply into his bottle. Several elements of classic Chinese poetry are present.... Surprisingly, interlayered with the matter of ancient Chang’an is a modern version of the nastiest police state full of people suffering the consequences of violent turbulence—imprisonment, censorship, separation, fear, blood and death ... What we have with Chang’an Poems is a poetry of ambiguity where meanings are veiled, perhaps complying tonally with the dissident’s fear of the repressive apparatus of a totalitarian state. Even so, frequent discontinuities in the poems’ narrative threads affect adversely the overall cohesion and coherence." Peter Jarvis
"Leech’s playfulness unpicks his close observations, his concern for the world, and renders them mimetically to create a fractured, shifting picture. Is this how we experience our world? This is a carefully woven sequence that is astute and uncomfortable." Angelina Ayers: Antiphon
"This is a haunting collection that is reminiscent of elements of the Carcossa Mythos in its surreality and hopelessness, crossed with dark hints of a repressive police state. A powerful and evocative collection. Highly recommended." DJ Tyrer: The Supplement
"Mark Leech’s Chang-an Poems are winningly sentimental and full of blunt-nosed brilliance. Built on a tripod of surveillance, where the omnipresence of state censorship meets personal censorship and immingles (sometimes brutalizes) a deeply affecting love story, Chang-an is a survival fight and a haunting reflection of our precipiced world at large.... Without question, the longevity of this sequence confirms Leech as one of the most illuminative poets of my generation." James Byrne
"In Chang'an Poems, Mark Leech has produced a collection of rare grace, subtlety, and power. In his concern for our fragile earth and its most vulnerable and exploited people, he is an eloquent advocate for social justice for all humanity." David Olsen
ISBN 978-0-9570197-1-3 £3.00 (price for UK only)
Borderlands: Mark Leech
‘Mark Leech’s poetry comes from a quiet, still place, which makes achieving a detached purity of tone possible. Here, in this anatomy of loss, grief is a landscape of grassed over derelictions; empty houses sing with wrens and, against a backdrop of destruction and decay, a river heals. This collection has tremendous resonance for our troubled times.’ Pat Winslow author of Kissing Bones (Templar Poetry)‘In Borderlands, Mark Leech extends his Chang’an Poems to envision the post-revolutionary life of a once-exiled dissident thinker. After losing his wife in the struggle against a repressive regime, the grieving and distracted survivor wanders through physical and metaphorical borderlands, as he progresses from self-doubt to healing and redemption. With precise control of language and emotion, Leech deftly balances power and subtlety, clarity and mystery, in a compelling narrative.’ David Olsen author of Unfolding Origami, forthcoming from Cinnamon Press. ‘A sequel to Leech’s Chang’an Poems (Original Plus, 2012), Borderlands stands alone well....Imaginative turns of phrase and startling images of rivers, sunshine, bombers, and the city itself linger, along with the mood that creeps up on you through this beautifully crafted narrative.’ Kathleen M. Quinlan
ISBN 978-0-9931186-0-9 £3.60 (price for UK only) top
Mad, Hopeless & Possible
Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition
'Siobhan Logan’s Mad, Hopeless & Possible lifts the reader out of their warm armchair to place them among the stubborn men of Shackleton's 1914 Trans-Antarctic Expedition. This history of polar exploration is at once efficiently informative and dramatically powerful: smooth, economic prose offset against haunting poetic soliloquies. It’s as if Logan has pulled desperate men’s voices out of sub-zero winds. ' Mark Goodwin
In 1914 two groups of explorers set out, separated by a continent but united by one man's vision of 'the last great polar journey'. Sir Ernest Shackleton rated applicants for his Antarctic expedition as 'Mad, Hopeless & Possible'. The ice-locked trials of his Endurance crew are legendary. But this collection weaves in the 'hidden shadow-story' of the Ross Sea Party, his supply team, who were marooned in the white wilderness just as war consumed Europe.
£3.00 (price for UK only)
"....is a very varied, very large suite of rooms, all of them fit for habitation. In most of them you know precisely where you are because you've read Rupert Loydell before and know something of his preoccupations - his eye, his imagination, his hopes and fears, his inner questings. As I read it now .... it is a diary or record of days or occasions, some of which, conceivably, are still to arrive. Some of the matter is immediate and rendered without interpretation or analysis, whilst others appear to push Loydell into either carefully directed introspection or onward and into a sequence of tenuously related or, as far as the reader is concerned, totally unrelated events, memories and thoughts. Questions are asked, discoveries are related, mysteries - perverse as well as wondrous - play themselves out in almost real time .... " Peter Dent
ISBN 978-0-9562433-2-4 £2.50 (price for UK only)
Announcing the publication of Love Songs for an Echo by Rupert My Loydell, a new collection of ten prose poems, two of which are sequences.
The following quote, which is one of the book's epigraphs, may give you an idea of the contents of the book:
‘Music, moments of happiness, mythology, faces fatigued by time, some twilights and some places try to tell us something, perhaps did utter some meaning that we should not have forgotten, or perhaps are on the point of telling us something: the imminence of revelation that never quite occurs is perhaps what we call the aesthetic fact.’
– Jorge Luis Borges, ‘The Wall and the Books’
Rupert Loydell is Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Falmouth University, the editor of Stride and With magazines, Smallminded Books, and a contributing editor to international times.
'Rupert Loydell’s world is strangely beautiful, or beautifully strange, but it’s also strangely familiar. What I like about Loydell’s work is his commitment to a kind of truth, not to experience so much as to language. He doesn’t fuss over his language, he’s never showing off his clever images, or making you gasp as he steps over rhetorical tall buildings with his wit. He can be witty, he shows his intelligence all the time, but he never shows off about it.' – Magma
ISBN 978-0-9931186-5-4 £3.60 (price for UK only)
Coming soon, or
This pamphlet takes some of the world’s most compelling art and explores its themes in a series of ekphrastic poems. Using individual paintings as a starting point, the poems offer lyrical responses that function simultaneously as art criticism and art in their own right. The author brings both his critical and creative skills to bear on key paintings by, among others, Degas, Hopper, Picasso, Monet, Rembrandt, Velázquez, and Vermeer, in ways that eloquently capture their character and complexion, deepening our understanding of the work,and unpacking its force and relevance for the twenty first century.
ISBN 978-0-9955802-6-8 £3.60
“McDonald's language is sharp, street-smart and lyrical…These poems don't try to fool anyone. They give it to you straight.” Andrew Belsey.
“Every line works in its own right, every stanza has something in it to enjoy.” (Claire Askew, Sentinel Poetry Quarterly)
“Hilarious observations and talent for reproducing conversational speech.” (Raw Edge)
"A keen sense of observation and playfulness" The Journal.
“Witty, honest observations offer up characters you may have viewed in your childhood through the bottom of a Vimto bottle - or, in later life, through a beer glass” (Julie Boden, Writer in Residence, Birmingham Symphony Hall)
“This is a book that throws itself into your face like torn paper from a clown’s bucket, and leaves you soaking it all up.” Ink Sweat and Tears.
“…a delightful miscellany of portraits and landscapes that are a pleasure to read.” David Troman: Carillon Magazine
ISBN 978-0-9955802-2-0 £3.60
Bloomvale Home by Joan Michelson
'I was surprised at how much I like them because I am a difficult reader of poetry. These got through to me because of how direct they are. They are also clear and sympathetic. I was pleased that they did not sink to sentimentality, which we hate.' Diana Athill (99)
'With their finely-calibrated tone of voice, Joan Michelson's new poems vividly document the practicalities, mundane details and inevitable fate of those who live in Bloomvale Home. At the same time, she moves us powerfully with her portraits of the residents' confusions, heroism and still-vigorous emotions. One of the residents bursts into song in a "language strange"; in a similar way, this highly original book makes for essential - if often uncomfortable - reading for us all.' Martyn Crucifix
'These finely observed and compassionate poems give the reader a vivid sense of what might be in store for any of us.' Carol Satyamurti
ISBN 978-0-9931186-8-5 £3.60
The Sun rises over Arsenal, North London by Paul Murphy
"¿Who is Paul Murphy? I don’t know. Although he is a close friend, where his writings are concerned: ¿where the Hell does he comes from? ¿what the hell is his style? ¿who the hell has moulded his art? To put it in a nutshell: how healthy unhealthy (thanks God) is he as a poeitai. Some sort of "enfant terrible", non conventional (bless them), sincere (up to the point of spilling his guts). I like it, in a society that is full of well being and suspicious of correct language (meaning the end of personal, idiosyncratic speech), he likes to dwell at the other side of the mirror. Spring has sprung in his poetry, essays, and all of his queries. ¡Oh yeah!
The Black Madonna
These five poems explore aspects of the lives and myths of Mata Hari, Ada Lovelace, Lou Andreas-Salomé, Isabelle Eberhardt and the Black Madonna in a variety of forms, both narrative and surreal, concrete and ekphrastic, lyrical and cut-up.
ISBN 978-0-9562433-6-2 £3.00 (price for UK only)
ISBN 978-0-9931186-9-2 £3.60
Catch Ourselves in Glass by Samantha Roden
"Samantha Roden’s work is shot through with the longing and despair of the everyday and the everynight, but they take you further than a thousand over-reaches for profundity. They speak in a refershingly direct, restoratively honest voice which arrested me from start to finish. These poems retain a sense of hope and generosity of spirit in spite of all the casual brutality they encounter; a wit and intelligence accessed via careful sensory observation which transfigures the permanent markers, the third-hand buggy, the therapist’s chair. Poems which know when to look away, and when to leave the door open." Luke Kennard, 2017
"Samantha Roden is a raw, rare and original voice. She has the violent honesty of Bukowski, the tenderness of Simon Armitage and the black humour of Tony Harrison." Tim Lott
"Sam Roden reads like a Brum Bukowski mired in the midlands, full of soot and turmoil and the blackest of humours. I hang onto her every published word." Niall Griffiths
ISBN 978-0-9955802-3-7 £3.60 If this button doesn't work try the one at http://sites.google.com/site/samsmiththejournal/home/original-plus-chapbooks
"This chapbook is an excellent piece of work - not just as a collection of poems but as a whole object as the illustrations by Chris Bent contribute so much to the enjoyment of reading. ...in these economically straitened times do not hesitate to add Corridors to your collection - you will not spend a better £3.00 this side of recession." Patrick Lodge
"Through these poems Kate Ruse pulls the reader into the disturbing and yet beautiful convolutions of two genius imaginations. First Corridors expresses, with a muscular lyrical poise, the psychically-charged physicality of the great Russian ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky; and then goes on daringly, to poetically rummage around in the difficult existence of Franz Kafka ….Chris Bent’s fine illustrations, throughout Corridors’ pages, provide the poetry with a dancing partner of gracefully varied light and dark tones". Mark Goodwin
Check out Kishan Patel and Annie Robinson's take on a poem from 'Corridors'
ISBN 978-0-9570197-2-0 £3.00 (price for UK only) top
The Chronicles of Dave Turnip: Paul Sutton
"Given that we should get the poetry we deserve, why isn’t more contemporary verse angry, unsettling, violent and downright scary? Maybe because it’s in denial, I don’t know. Anyway, in this pervasive somnambulism Sutton comes on like a prophet, reminding us with a fiercely assured lyrical touch that our ‘brains scream at night’." Luke Kennard
"Picture any 21st century town and you will find Dave Turnip, sex-starved semi-vegetable, drinking and copulating his way through the world, with occasional literary or social aspirations all too often defeated by his financial or alcoholic state of affairs. Paul Sutton's poems wittily and accurately depict the world we all too often find ourselves - both individually or communally - in. There is cynicism here, despair and warmth, opinion and hard facts, all informed by a clear eye and a righteous anger: Sutton cares about Dave Turnip and others like him, and this concern is what fuels and underwrites these invaluable texts." Rupert Loydell
To read introduction click here
ISBN 978-0-9562433-0-0 £2.50 (price for UK only)
Future Dustbeing a collection of Selected Englyns, Haiku, and Haiku Collaborations
by Andrew Taylor
"Diamonds form under pressure. Formal constraint, in the right hands, transcends mere procedure and becomes a method for magic. Andrew Taylor’s lambent, lucid englyns bright as sun struck raindrops, find beauty in the details of the world we know, in trees, birds, foxgloves and buddleia, a simple cup of coffee or the smell of diesel. His ludic, Oulipian haiku, derived from tweets, are a different pleasure, playing sly games of solipsism and self-reference to produce fragments of language that glint and glimmer like miniature cracked mirrors. Debussy defined music as the space between notes. These spare, elegant, exact poems show us how much can be illuminated by showing rather than telling. Andrew Taylor, like Bob Dylan, keeps a clear head and always carries a light bulb." Tom Jenks
‘These are handsome poems - and their basis is a contortion of the welsh englyn. This contortion is represented in the hybrid plural 'englyns.' In welsh the plural is englynion - but these epistolary observations and snapshots are not englynion but hybrid haiku-tanka-englynion: englyns. Though the englyns miss the alliterative and sprung-rhythms of strict cynghanedd they are instead skilful epiphanic poems that move in scale from the sky to the molecule in Andrew Taylor's hands. The englyns are more like a tanka minus a line and seem to attempt to root the tanka in these post-Brythonic islands. Englyns are what Kerouac would have made had he been of celtic stock. "Welsh Butter./Ice-cold Coca"’ Rhys Trimble
ISBN 978-0-9931186-1-6 £3.60 (price for UK only)
Make Some Noise: The Woking Poems :
by Andrew Taylor
Geoffrey Winch takes us on a detailed, even actually measured sometimes, exploration of a mirror world. His careful descriptions of often the most prosaic detail lead him to larger insights, like the meaning of time and the effect of the seasons. The use of classic Japanese forms, so appropriate to this most diligent of observers, punctuates this collection. There are sections that might have come straight from a translation of Basho, except the waterfalls and the rice wine have become culverts and cans of Guinness as Winch reaches into his civil engineering experience. This is a well-crafted set of work with great variety and many surprises for the reader from a poet at the top of his form. Tim Dawes (Director: The South Downs Poetry Festival)
Winch has long been acknowledged as a master of both haiku and tanka. In this collection he extends that ability to include the haibun which combines prose or prose poetry with a succeeding haiku that develops the theme further... Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of this chapbook is that every time you pick it up you find fresh delights within..." David Troman: Carillon Magazine