Friday Poem – ‘Fixative’ by Rosalind Hudis

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Fixative’ by Rosalind Hudis from her new collection Restorations which was published earlier this week.

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.

“If a poem is like a picture, these are history paintings, rich in human detail and many-layered in their brushwork.” – Matthew Francis

Restorations is available on the Seren website: £9.99

Create your free Seren account and enjoy 20% off every book you buy from us.

Join us for the online launch of Restorations on Tuesday 16th March from 7pm. Register for free via Evenbrite here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/141406315095.

Friday Poem – ‘Ash’ by Robert Walton

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Ash’ by Robert Walton from his collection Sax Burglar Blues.

Sax Burglar Blues by Robert Walton is packed with memory, incident, observation, opinion, humour, outrage and elegy. Subjects include: woodlice, jazz, teachers, grandparents, a canary who runs for President, Sisley’s lovely painting of the Gower, the iconoclastic poet John Tripp, a night bus named after Dusty Springfield, a Dad who loves Cardiff City, the annoying closure of bookshops and much more.

​‘Dip into Walton’s jazzed-up version of the world and you will inevitably surface from the pages in a brighter hue.’ – Wales Arts Review

Sax Burglar Blues is available on the Seren website: £9.99

Create your free Seren account and enjoy 20% off every book you buy from us.

Friday Poem – ‘After Bonnefoy’ by Martyn Crucefix

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘After Bonnefoy’ by Martyn Crucefix from his collection The Lovely Disciplines.

Everyone at Seren would like to congratulate Martyn on winning the Schlegel-Tieck Prize for Translation 2021 for his translation of These Numbered Days by Peter Huchel, announced yesterday.

Martyn Crucefix The Lovely Disciplines

Displaying his characteristic flair, craft and intelligence, Crucefix’s poems often begin with the visible, the tangible, the ordinary, yet through each act of attentiveness and the delicate fluidity of the language they re-discover the extraordinary in the everyday.

‘…highly wrought, ambitious, thoughtful – and very good.’ – The Sunday Times

The Lovely Disciplines is available on the Seren website: £9.99

Create your free Seren account and enjoy 20% off every book you buy from us.

Friday Poem – ‘One Way’ by Katherine Stansfield

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘One Way’ by Katherine Stansfield from her collection We Could Be Anywhere By Now.

In her second collection, We Could Be Anywhere by Now, Katherine Stansfield brings us poems about placement and displacement full of both wry comedy and uneasy tension. Stints in Wales, Italy and Canada, plus return trips to her native Cornwall all spark poems delighting in the off-key, the overheard, the comedy and pathos of everyday life.

‘multi-layered and full of surprising transitions’ – Patrick McGuiness

We Could Be Anywhere By Now is available on the Seren website: £9.99

Create your free Seren account and enjoy 20% off every book you buy from us.

Friday Poem – ‘Dear Anne Monroe, Healthcare Assistant’ by Bryony Littlefair

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Dear Anne Monroe, Healthcare Assistant’ by Bryony Littlefair from her Mslexia prize-winning pamphlet Giraffe.

Giraffe Bryony Littlefair

Poems need head, heart, and soul but this particular pamphlet has an extra ingredient – a feminist kick. There is a good deal of wit on display, but also a wonderful humanity. There are also other novelistic qualities: clarity of language and the use of realism, a feeling for plot and incident, an eye and ear for character. The author indicates emotion and relationships in a myriad of subtle ways: heartbreak can be summarised by one glance at the ‘Lido’. Love can be inferred by the tender description of someone from the back, as they are walking away. Giraffe, the title and a euphemism for happiness, is a beguiling, beautiful and entertaining debut pamphlet of poems.

Giraffe is available on the Seren website: £5.00

Create your free Seren account and enjoy 20% off every book you buy from us.

Friday Poem – ‘Crocodile’ by Jonathan Edwards

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Crocodile’ by Jonathan Edwards from his collection Gen.

Jonathan Edwards 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. With his characteristic humour, warmth, formal range and swaggering music, Jonathan Edwards delivers a worthy follow-up to his popular and critically-lauded debut.

Gen is available on the Seren website: £9.99

Create your free Seren account and enjoy 20% off every book you buy from us.

Hear Jonathan Edwards read alongside Gillian Clarke in our next Virtual First Thursday taking place on Thursday 4 February from 7:30pm. Tickets £2.74, available from Eventbrite here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/136594791699.

Jonathan is also tutoring a week-long online course on ‘Poems and People’ for The Garsdale Retreat at the beginning of March. Full details can be found on their website thegarsdaleretreat.co.uk.

Friday Poem – ‘The Dance of Ararat’ by Eoghan Walls

Our first Friday Poem of 2021 is ‘The Dance of Ararat’ by Eoghan Walls from his collection Pigeon Songs which was shortlisted for the Pigott Poetry Prize 2020.

Pigeon Songs Eoghan Walls

Pigeon Songs follows on from Walls’ much-praised debut, The Salt Harvest. From the first poem, we have a sense of the poet’s themes and preoccupations: we have a richly metaphorical and densely allusive style, a pull towards formal metre and structures. There is also the occasional vigorous vulgarity, adding a touch of blue humour to the canvas, breaking up the formal rigour. Family is a potent presence in poems inspired by parents, grandparents, partners, children. They often emit a sort of energy, a fierce gravitational pull of emotion around the burning heart of a poem ultimately about love, or the sorrow of losing a loved-one.

Pigeon Songs is available on the Seren website: £9.99.

Create your free Seren account and enjoy 20% off every book you buy from us.

See Eoghan read from Pigeon Songs and The Salt Harvest in this event from the Seren Stay-at-Home Series.

Friday Poem – ‘Owl Pellet Poem’ by Catherine Fisher

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Owl Pellet Poem’ by Catherine Fisher from her collection The Bramble King.

The Bramble King is full of darkly resonant tales, ingenious parables, curiously haunted rooms and palaces, and beautifully observed images of the natural world. A prolific, popular and prize-winning author of fantasy fiction, Catherine began her career as a poet, and Seren published her early volumes: Immrama, The Unexplored Ocean and Altered StatesThe Bramble King is Fisher’s first collection of poems since 1999.

The Bramble King is available on the Seren website: £9.99.

Create your free Seren account and enjoy 20% off every book you buy from us.

Looking for a last minute Christmas present? Check the opening times of your local independent bookshop – find your nearest using the Books Council of Wales or Bookseller Association shop finders.

Friday Poem – ‘After the Shock of your Photo on Facebook’ by Katrina Naomi

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘After the Shock of your Photo on Facebook’ by Katrina Naomi from her latest collection Wild Persistence.

Wild Persistence by Katrina Naomi is a confident and persuasive collection of poems. Written following her move from London to Cornwall, it considers distance and closeness, and questions how to live. She dissects ‘dualism’ and arrival, sex and dance, a trip to Japan. The collection also includes a moving sequence of poems about the aftermath of an attempted rape.

“Funny, moving, surprising, unflinching and, above all else… joyous.” – Helen Mort

Wild Persistence is available on the Seren website: £9.99

Create your free Seren account and enjoy 20% off every book you buy from us.

Looking for a last minute present? Why not browse the Seren Christmas Gift Guide for a touch of inspiration.

Friday Poem – ‘Nativity’ by Jane Simmons

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Nativity’ by Jane Simmons which is the winner of the 2020 Seren Christmas Poetry Competition.

Judge Amy Wack said, “It was tight this year, any one of the shortlisted poems might have pipped it. In the end, I went for the one which just moved me the most. I love how ‘Nativity’ evokes both birth and death, the biblical story and recent events; it is very apposite in this pandemic year, 2020. We hold our breaths with the poet, who is suspended at the bedside of an ill loved-one.” Read Jane’s winning poem below.

After leaving the teaching profession, Jane Simmons completed an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Lincoln. She is now studying for a PhD at the University of Leicester. Her poems have been published in The Blue Nib magazine and the anthology View from the Steep (Pimento Press). She won the GS Fraser Prize for Poetry in 2019 and 2020.

The countdown to Christmas is well and truly on here at Seren. Browse new titles on our website or discover some of our festive favourites.

Create your free Seren account and enjoy 20% off every book you buy from us.