This week’s Friday Poem is ‘On Allt yr Esgair’ by Christopher Meredith from his newly published poetry collection Still. In a unique publishing event, Still is published simultaneously with Christopher’s tragicomic short novel Please. Both are available on our website now.
Christopher Meredith’s new poetry collection Still, uses the title word as a fulcrum to balance various paradoxical concerns: stillness and motion, memory and forgetting, sanity and madness, survival and extinction. Lively and thought-provoking, this is a beautifully crafted, humane and intelligent collection.
“Lyrical, always surprising, Meredith ‘fixes stillness’ in absences here. His perfect ear tunes in so precisely – especially to the natural world, it’s ‘edge of sense’ – we are left haunted á la Frost, by a deep lonliness in the human condition.” – Paul Henry
Don’t miss the launch of both books at the Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival from 12pm on Sunday 18 April. Register for free via the festival website here. You only need to register ONCE for access to the entire four-day weekend.
This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Remembrance of Things Past’ by Grahame Davies from his collection Lightning Beneath the Sea which is currently £4.49 in our half-price spring sale.
Earlier this week we launched Grahame’s new book Real Cambridge, the latest addition to the Seren ‘Real’ Series.
Lightning Beneath the Seais the first collection of poems in English by Grahame Davies, featuring the work that he has honed over the years as he has read them at literary festivals, conferences and events world-wide. Well-known for his prize-winning Welsh-language poetry and fiction, and for his scholarly non-fiction. He brings a native warmth, an intimate, conversational tone, and a raised civic awareness to these poems.
This week we have two Friday Poems from TROEON : TURNINGS, the new bilingual collaboration between poets Philip Gross and Cyril Jones and artist Valerie Coffin Price. ‘Penny’ by Philip Gross and ‘Glasffrwd’ by Cyril Jones.
To turn, to dig, to plough, to upset, to translate… Bend, lap, journey, time… The Welsh word troeon unfolds meaning after meaning. In TROEON : TURNINGS, two poets confident in their own traditions meet in the hinterland between translation and collaboration – Cyril Jones from the disciplines of Welsh cynghanedd, Philip Gross from the restless variety of English verse.
This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Hands’ by Elizabeth Parker from her debut collection In Her Shambles.
Spiky, provocative, declamatory, these energetic poems sweep the reader along through their narratives. In Her Shambles introduces us to a poet who uses language with verve and zest. Her subjects range from a poem where family members are embodied by their own rivers, to carefully observed set-pieces inspired by relationships, from burgeoning first loves to break-ups.
“A radiantly-written and vigorous collection by a rising star of British poetry.” – David Morley
This International Women’s Day we’re showcasing books written by or about inspiring women. Find many more on our website.
With over 250 contributors, this generous selection of poetry by women with an emphasis on twentieth-century poetry in English features poets from the USA, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Australia, and New Zealand. Arranged by thematic chapters that touch on various aspects of modern life, this anthology aims to be a touchstone of women’s thoughts and experiences; to be entertaining and relevant as well as inclusive and representative of some of the best poetry published now.
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.
The Estate Agent’s Daughteris the eagerly awaited follow up to Rhian Edwards’s Wales Book of the Year winning debut collection Clueless Dogs. Acute and wryly observed, the poems step forth with a confident tone, touching on the personal and the public, encapsulating a woman’s tribulations in the twenty-first century.
This informative biography restores Elaine Morgan’s reputation and establishes her significant place in writing from Wales. It outlines her early days living only just above the poverty line in the Rhondda, before reading English Literature at Oxford, and examines her careers as an award-winning television writer and visionary anthropologist. Richly detailed it is essential in understanding the life and work of this important writer.
By turns laugh out loud funny and deeply sad, The Amazingly Astonishing Story is a frank and surprising look into a child’s tumultuous mind, a classic story of a working-class girl growing up in the 60s. Her Catholic upbringing, a father torn between daughter and new wife, her irreverent imagination and determination to enjoy life, mean this really is an amazing story (including meeting the Beatles).
When Nula’s husband James, an Irish documentary filmmaker, becomes forgetful they put it down to the stress of his work. But his behaviour becomes more erratic, and he is eventually diagnosed as suffering from Pick’s Disease, an early onset and aggressive form of dementia. The Longest Farewell is the true story of Nula’s fight with her husband’s disease, and how this terrible time held a happy ending.
A city burns in a crisis − because the status quo has collapsed and change must come. Every value, relationship and belief is shaken and the future is uncertain. In the twenty-six stories in A City Burning, set in Wales, Northern Ireland and Italy, children and adults face, in the flames of personal tragedy, moments of potential transformation. On the threshold of their futures each must make a choice: how to live in this new ‘now’.
In the aftermath of World War II, hundreds of thousands of Yugoslavia’s ethnic Germans, the Danube Swabians, were expelled by Tito’s Partisan regime. A further sixty thousand were killed. Seventy years later, Marie Kohler’s marriage is falling apart. She’s seeing someone new, an enigmatic man named David, who takes her to the former Yugoslavia to find the truth behind her grandparents’ flight to America. Ford has written a moving narrative of emigration and identity, realpolitik and relationships, and asks what happens when the truth is unspoken.
Princess Adélaïde, daughter of Louis XV, is at odds with the etiquette of the French court. Adélaïde envies her brother, is bored with her sister and, when Madame de Pompadour, a bourgeoise, comes to court as her father’s mistress, she is smitten, with dangerous results. Adélaïde pushes against the confines of the court, blind to the difference between a mistress and princess, with tragic results. Forty-four years later, under the looming shadow of the revolution, what has happened to the hopes of a young girl and the doomed regime in which she grew up?
This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Green Ink’ by Abeer Ameer from her debut collection Inhale/Exile.
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.
“…these poems remind us that even in the darkest times, there is light, and there is love.” – Katherine Stansfield
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
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
To celebrate Shrove Tuesday, we’re sharing another new recipe from The Seasonal Veganby Sarah Philpott. If you’re looking for an in-season alternative to blueberries, why not serve with stewed apple, rhubarb, or frozen blackberries?
The Seasonal Vegan is a kitchen diary of seasonal recipes with a delicious mixture of Sarah Philpott’s fine food writing and Manon Houston’s beautiful photography. This guide to eating with the seasons takes a realistic approach to shopping cheaply and sustainably and proves that the vegan lifestyle is anything but expensive.
Pancakes with blueberry compote and coconut cream
Under 20 minutes | Makes 2 large pancakes
– 160g chickpea/gram flour – 1 ½ tsp baking powder – 2 tbsp maple syrup – 1 tsp cinnamon – 200ml plant milk or water – 2-3 tbsp oil – Half a tin or packet of coconut cream
For the compote
– 200g fresh or frozen blueberries – 45ml water – 50g granulated sugar –The juice of half a lemon – 1 tsp vanilla extract
Mix the dry ingredients together and gradually add the water or milk and the maple syrup and stir until it has a thick, but pourable, consistency. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan over a medium heat (test if it’s hot enough by dropping in a tiny bit of batter – it should sizzle) then pour in half the batter and cook, flipping over occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
To make the compote, combine the blueberries, water, sugar, vanilla extract and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Cook over a medium heat for about 10-15 mins. Serve warm or cold.
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