Friday Poem – ‘The Calling Basket’ by Sarah Wimbush

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘The Calling Basket’ by Sarah Wimbush from her pamphlet Bloodlines which won the Mslexia/ PBS Women’s Poetry Pamphlet Prize 2019.

Bloodlines is an exploration of Sarah Wimbush’s own Gypsy/Traveller heritage, a journey made by piecing together fragments of distant stories and a scattered language. Along the way, we meet people who are ‘tethered to the seasons’; voices that reverberate with a sense of family and resilience, and always with that constant wonder of being part of something colourful, untamed and rare.

“A thrilling debut…” – Daljit Nagra

Bloodlines is available on the Seren website: £5.00

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

The Mslexia Women’s Poetry Prizes are currently open for entries for 2020. Find out more on their website

Sarah will be joining us for our Virtual First Thursday National Poetry Day Special next week (1 October) where she will be reading alongside Rhian Edwards and Marvin Thompson. Tickets are available at www.eventbrite.co.uk

‘Late Afternoon by a Hedge’ by Sarah Wimbush, from Bloodlines

Friday Poem – ‘London, Forever Tired in Your Arms’ by Lynne Hjelmgaard

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘London, Forever Tired in Your Arms’ by Lynne Hjelmgaard from her collection A Second Whisper

A Second Whisper is Lynne Hjelmgaard’s moving new collection in which she looks back upon her life in New York, Demark, The Caribbean, and London. There are elegies to her late husband as well as to her mentor and partner, the renowned Welsh poet Dannie Abse, who died in 2014. Her lyrics are precise, warm in tone, and suffused with optimism for the future.

“The pictures that Hjelmgaard paints with words are… akin to pale watercolour…a quiet soundscape of inner thoughts and emotions…” – WriteOutLoud

A Second Whisper is available on the Seren website: £9.99

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

See Lynne reading from A Second Whisper on our Youtube channel. Here she is reading her poem ‘The Gift’. 

Friday Poem – ‘Little Black Dress’ by Tamar Yoseloff

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Little Black Dress’ by Tamar Yoseloff from her collection The Black Place. Tamar was one of two Seren poets highly commended in this year’s Forward Prizes and her poem ‘The Black Place’ is featured in the Forward Book of Poetry 2021, alongside ‘Our Front Garden’ by Cath Drake.

The Black Place is a dark and gorgeously multi-faceted collection that eschews the sentimental, embraces alternatives and offers antidotes to cheery capitalist hype. But there is a sort of dark grandeur to Tamar Yoseloff’s view of mortality, one that matches the sublime desert painting by Georgia O’Keeffe, the subject of the title poem. The book’s subjects include Georgia O’Keeffe, the poet’s cancer diagnosis and treatment, and the Grenfell Tower fire disaster.

 

The Black Place is available on the Seren website: £9.99

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

Watch Tamar reading ‘Little Black Dress’ on our Youtube channel:

 

Friday Poem – ‘If I Could Wake’ by Cath Drake

Our Friday Poem this week is ‘If I Could Wake’ by Cath Drake from her debut collection The Shaking City.

The shaking city of Australian poet Cath Drake’s debut poetry collection is a metaphor for the swiftly changing precarity of modern life within the looming climate and ecological emergency, and the unease of the narrator who is far from home. Tall tales combine with a conversational style, playful humour and a lyrical assurance.​ The poet works a wide set of diverse spells upon the reader through her adept use of tone, technique, plot and form. She is a welcome new voice for contemporary poetry.

The Shaking City is available on the Seren website: £9.99

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

Friday Poem – ‘Fires’ by André Mangeot

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Fires’ by André Mangeot from his latest collection Blood Rain.

Resonant, complex, rich in heft and texture, these are mature poems that grapple with serious themes. Beautifully crafted, and partly inspired by the poet’s love of the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia, they address the natural world, its endangerment and other pressing global issues from multiple perspectives, and with great lyrical power.

‘A thought-provoking book for turbulent times.’
– Matthew Caley

Blood Rain is available on the Seren website: £9.99

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

André is joining us for Virtual First Thursday next week (3rd Sept). He will be reading alongside Euron Griffith and Paul Henry. Tickets are £2 (plus admin fee) and available at www.eventbrite.co.uk.

Friday Poem – ‘Afternoons Go Nowhere’ by Sheenagh Pugh

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Afternoons Go Nowhere’ by Sheenagh Pugh, the title poem from her latest collection.

A fascination for history, both as a source of human drama and a field for artful speculation, characterises this collection of poems by Sheenagh Pugh. In Afternoons Go Nowhere the past seems more relevant to the present than ever, human nature never entirely predictable and often non-sensical, the natural world seeming full of a paradoxical beauty. Complex but with clear themes and lucid, musical language, Sheenagh Pugh’s tenth collection will delight discriminating readers.

Afternoons Go Nowhere is available on the Seren website: £9.99

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

Friday Poem – ‘How to Celebrate a Birthday’ by Katrina Naomi

Our Friday Poem this week is ‘How to Celebrate a Birthday’ 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.

Friday Poem – ‘Secret Reverse’ by Zoë Skoulding

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Secret Reverse’ by Zoë Skoulding from her collection Footnotes to Water which recently won the poetry category in Wales Book of the Year 2020.

In Footnotes to Water Zoë Skoulding follows two forgotten rivers, the Adda in Bangor and the Bièvre in Paris, and tracks the literary hoofprints of sheep through Welsh mountains. In these journeys she reveals urban and rural locales as sites of lively interconnection, exploring different senses of community, and the ways in which place shapes and is shaped by language.

 

Footnotes to Water is available on the Seren website: £9.99

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

Zoë Skoulding wins the Poetry category in Wales Book of the Year 2020

We are delighted that Zoë Skoulding and her collection Footnotes to Water have won the poetry category in the Wales Book of the Year 2020.

In Footnotes to Water Zoë Skoulding follows two forgotten rivers, the Adda in Bangor and the Bièvre in Paris, and tracks the literary hoofprints of sheep through Welsh mountains. In these journeys she reveals urban and rural locales as sites of lively interconnection, exploring different senses of community, and the ways in which place shapes and is shaped by language.

 

Zoë was shortlisted for the award alongside two other titles, Erato by Deryn Rees-Jones and Fur Coats in Tahiti by Jeremy Over (Carcanet). The English-language winners were announced in a special awards programme on 31 July hosted by Nicola Heywood Thomas and broadcast on BBC Radio Wales.

Speaking about her win, Zoë said: “I’m delighted by this award, especially as Footnotes to Water is in conversation with Wales in all sorts of ways. Some of the poems grew out of dialogues with artists Ben Stammers and Miranda Whall, whose work explores Welsh landscapes through visual and performance art, while my own thinking about place and its relationships developed while I was editing Poetry Wales. I’m also glad that this award – and the shortlist – recognises the excellent work done by Seren Books in sustaining English-language poetry’s role in Wales’s cultural life.”

Amy Wack, poetry editor at Seren added: “Zoë Skoulding’s wonderfully inventive and subtly musical work remains both challenging and delightful, so pleased she has won this prize.” Lleucu Siencyn, CEO of Literature Wales, also commented that Zoë’s work “always feels fresh and new.”

The winner of English-language Book of the Year was Niall Griffiths with his novel Broken Ghost (Jonathan Cape) and Babel by Ifan Morgan Jones (Y Lolfa) was the overall winner of the Welsh-language award.

Speaking about the awards, Lleucu Siencyn said: “Wales Book of the Year is one of the highlights of our cultural calendar, and this year more than ever we are extremely pleased to be able to continue to shine a light on our incredible literary talents. Literature helps to guide us through our darkest hours, as well as bringing joy and hope to readers of all ages. Wales consistently produces excellent writers, and this Award is testament to this each year. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!”

Wales Book of the Year is an annual award hosted by Literature Wales. Other categories include Fiction, Creative Non-fiction and, new for this year, Children and Young People. You can see the full list of winners in both Welsh and English on the Literature Wales website.

 

Footnotes to Water is available on the Seren website: £9.99

Watch Zoë reading alongside the other two shortlisted poets at our online WBOTY Poetry Shortlist Reading which is now available on our Youtube channel. 

 

Friday Poem – ‘St Michael’s’ by Paul Henry

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘St Michael’s’ by Paul Henry from his collection The Glass Aisle.

The Glass Aisle Paul HenryThe Glass Aisle is Paul Henry’s tenth book of verse and features all the lyrical precision, empathy for the human condition and deep sense of temporal loss that have become the hallmarks of his work. The poems move between rage and stillness, past and present, music and silence. The title poem is a moving elegy to displaced workhouse residents, set on a stretch of canal in the Brecon Beacons National Park, in which a telephone engineer unwittingly connects the centuries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Glass Aisle (usually £9.99) is available for just £4.99 on the Seren website this weekend in our half-price Summer Sale!

We’ve got great deals across poetry, fiction and non-fiction all weekend on www.serenbooks.com. Sale ends midnight Monday 3rd August. Happy browsing!