Cardiff-based poet Abeer Ameer writes of her forebears in her first collection, Inhale/Exile. Dedicated to the “holders of these stories”, the book begins with a poem about a storyteller on a rooftop in Najaf, Iraq, follows tales of courage and survival, and ends with a woman cooking food for neighbours on the anniversary of her son’s death.
Kim Moore’s eagerly awaited second collection All The Men I Never Married is pointedly feminist, challenging and keenly aware of the contradictions and complexities of desire. The 48 numbered poems take us through a gallery of exes and significant others where we encounter rage, pain, guilt, and love.
“All the Men I Never Married is a work of immense focus, intelligence and integrity.” – The Yorkshire Times
This week’s Friday Poem is ‘The Artist Mixes Colour in the Renaissance’ by Rosalind Hudis from her collection Restorations.
Inspired by the art restorer’s keen eye and by a vivid empathy for people and events, Restorations, is a journey through memory. Suffused with colour, inspired by thoughts of people and places, by artefacts and how the passage of time shifts perspectives and erodes surfaces, these poems are beautifully complex explorations, full of curiosity and the adventure of seeing and listening.
This week’s Friday Poem is the opening page of the sequence ‘Dogwoman’ by Deryn Rees-Jones. ‘Dogwoman’ draws on the work of Portuguese artist Paula Rego, who passed away earlier this week. It first appeared in Deryn’s collection Burying the Wren, and later in What It’s Like to Be Alive: Selected Poems.
This week’s Friday Poem is ‘On Suitors’ by Katrina Naomi from her collection Wild Persistence.
Katrina Naomi’s this collection Wild Persistence is a confident and persuasive collection of poems. From the first poem we are warned to be on guard for the off-guard, to suspend our expectations of pure realism and to stay awake for what comes next. Though never didactic, the poetic voice convinces us of the need to live well, to take time to celebrate, dance, make love, embrace the outdoors, muse over the biography of someone admirable, make a stand for feminism.
This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Politics of Water’ by Peter Finch. Originally published in his 1996 collection Math, it now features in Volume One of his newly publishedCollected Poems.
Peter Finch’s remarkable career spans over fifty years. He has been taking poetry to places it didn’t know it wanted to go from the beginning; blending the avant-garde, concrete, visual, sound, performance and more conventional forms to create something unique. His new two-volume Collected Poems, edited by Andrew Taylor, cement his reputation as one of Britain’s leading poets.
Volume One brings together work from long lost chapbooks, broadsheets and limited editions, as well as more conventionally published work. Volume Two focuses on the second half of Finch’s career with poems from later collections sitting alongside works from his prose books and those engraved in the public realm on sculptures, walls and buildings, particularly in his native Cardiff. Nerys Williams and Ian McMillan provide appreciative forewords to each volume.
This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Rhys’ by Rhian Edwards from her collection Clueless Dogs.
Clueless Dogs is the multi-award-winning debut collection by Rhian Edwards. Full of verve and humour, Rhian Edwards’ language has a winning honesty and intensity. Poems like ‘The Welshman Who Couldn’t Sing’ chronicle a fraught childhood in Bridgend, south Wales, where the sensitive child escapes through imaginative games of ‘Playing Dead’ and ‘Broken Lifeboat’. Later poems explore teenage lusts, student rivalries, damaged peers and tense situations. Although the author doesn’t flinch from ruthless depictions, in which we are often implicated by her use of the second person ‘You’, there is an underlying sweetness, an elegiac thread to this remarkable collection.
This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Samuel Taylor Coleridge Walking from The Queen’s Head…’ by Jonathan Edwards from his collection Gen.
Gen is a book of lions and rock stars, street parties and servants, postmen and voices. In the opening sequence’s exploration of youth and young manhood, the author sets his own Valleys upbringing against the 50s youth of his parents and the experience of a range of pop culture icons, including Kurt Cobain and Harry Houdini. These poems give way to a sequence of monologues and character sketches, giving us the lives of crocodiles and food testers, pianists and retail park trees.
This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Under One’s Hat’ by Hannah Hodgson from her debut collection 163 Days.
Hannah Hodgon is an award-winning poet and a palliative care patient. In her compelling debut collection163 Days, she uses a panoply of medical, legal, and personal vocabularies to explore what illness, death and dying does to a person as both patient and witness.
“Hannah Hodgson takes us to the paradoxical heart of poetry itself” – Caroline Bird
Our climate is on the brink of catastrophic change. 100 Poems to Save the Earth invites us to fine-tune our senses, to listen to the world around us, pay attention to what we have been missing. The defining crisis of our time is revealed to be fundamentally a crisis of perception. For too long, the earth has been exploited. With its incisive Foreword from editors Zoë Brigley and Kristian Evans, this landmark anthology is a call to action to fight the threat facing the only planet we have.