Friday Poems – ‘Penny’ and ‘Glasffrwd’ from TROEON : TURNINGS

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.

TROEON : TURNINGS is available on the Seren website £12.99

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

Friday Poem – ‘Black Jaguar at Midnight’ by Pascale Petit

Our Friday Poem this week is ‘Black Jaguar at Midnight’ by Pascale Petit from her 2014 collection Fauverie.

Shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2014, this volume has childhood trauma and a dying father at its heart, and the poems skillfully transform painful experiences into expressions of grief. Fauverie redeems the darker forces of human nature while celebrating the ferocity and grace of endangered species: at its heart is the title’s name-sake: the big-cat house in the Jardin des Plantes zoo. Paris, too, takes centre stage – a city savage as the Amazon, haunted by Aramis the black jaguar and a menagerie of wild animals.

Fauverie 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 – ‘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.

Friday Poem – ‘I was born within the confines’ by Gabriel Chávez Casazola (translated by Richard Gwyn)

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘I was born within the confines’ by Gabriel Chávez Casazola (Bolivia) translated by Richard Gwyn for the anthology The Other Tiger: Recent Poetry from Latin America.

The Other Tiger by Richard Gwyn

The Other Tiger: Recent Poetry from Latin America is an anthology of Spanish language contemporary poetry from the Americas. Produced bilingually, with Spanish and English versions on facing pages, it is a welcome addition to the canon of translation, focusing on poets born since 1945.  It includes work from Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Nicaragua, Chile, Uruguay, Venezuela, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Bolivia and El Salvador.

The Other Tiger is available on the Seren website: £14.99

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

Friday Poem – ‘Just About Now’ by Judy Brown

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Just About Now’ by Judy Brown from her collection Crowd Sensations.

Judy is joining us at virtual First Thursday next week to read alongside Katrina Naomi. Find the full details here.

Elterwater Rain Crowd Sensations Judy BrownCrowd Sensations, Judy Brown’s second collection, was shortlisted for the Ledbury Forte Prize. She is a poet of dazzling contrasts, of thoughtful paradox, intimate confidences and precise evocations. Her titles and first lines both draw you right into a poem and then quite often surprise you with a narrative that you hadn’t expected. Her work is fired as much by intelligence and philosophical speculation, as it is by the emotion stirred up by experience and relationships.

Crowd Sensations is available on the Seren website: £9.99

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

Four Books to Celebrate International Jazz Day

Today is International Jazz Day, a worldwide celebration of jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. Here are four Seren titles you can celebrate with.

On the Beach with Chet Baker by Robert Seatter

“Presence and absence, some sort of together” (‘On the Beach with Chet Baker’). These are the three places that Robert Seatter’s second book of poems explores, with deftness, insight and artistry. They move from places of stasis and memory, through the uneasy proximities of love captured in the moody jazz trumpet of the title poem, and out to the uncharted spaces that loss and death can create.

“…emotional engagement in abundance”.  –Planet

 

Out of Nowhere by Roger Granelli

White British guitarist Frank Magnani arrives in fifties New York to break into the smoky world of jazz. Coming home from the austerity of post-war Europe to a land of plenty he finds there’s plenty to learn. His education is not confined to music alone, he also finds himself in a world where ego is everything, the musicians are black, and the drink and drugs are the fuel of creativity. Caught up in the violence of the city, Magnani flees on a journey through the southern provinces and his own mental state too. His personal odyssey is complete when he returns to the club scene of New York in a dramatic climax to his career and this atmospheric novel.

 

Sax Burglar Blues by Robert Walton

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

 

The Roots of Rock by Peter Finch

The Roots of Rock, from Cardiff to Mississippi and Back Peter Finch follows the trail of twentieth century popular music from a 1950s valve radio playing in a suburban Cardiff terrace to the reality of the music among the bars of Ireland, the skyscrapers of New York, the plains of Tennessee, the flatlands of Mississippi and the mountains of North Carolina. The Roots of Rock mixes musical autobiography with an exploration of the physical places from which this music comes. It is a demonstration of the power of music to create a world for the listener that is simultaneously of and beyond the place in which it is heard.

 

Find these and many more great titles on the Seren website

Don’t forget you can get 20% off when you sign up to be a member of our book club. 

Friday Poem – ‘Spring’ by Kate Bingham

With St David’s Day on Sunday our Friday Poem this week is ‘Spring’ by Kate Bingham from her collection Infragreen.

infragreen

Perceptive, persuasive and intricately made, the poems of Kate Bingham’s third collection, Infragreen, take the reader on a startling and unfamiliar journey through everyday experiences and phenomena. Her keen eye, reflectiveness and quiet wit endow her subjects with a shimmering freshness.

Infragreen is full of sensuous, imaginative and beautifully accomplished work. It succeeds in leading the consciousness beyond its deadened rounds.’ – The Poetry Review

Infragreen 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 – ‘The Winchman on Oscar Charlie’ by Sheenagh Pugh

Our Friday Poem this week is ‘The Winchman on Oscar Charlie’ by Sheenagh Pugh from her collection Afternoons Go Nowhere.

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 – ‘The Fabulists’ by André Mangeot

Our Friday Poem this week is ‘The Fabulists’ by André Mangeot from his new collection Blood Rain. André is appearing twice at the Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival on Saturday 15th February to read from his collection as part of the New Poetry Showcase and Poems for the Planet.

Resonant, complex, rich in heft and texture, these are mature poems that grapple with serious themes. Beautifully crafted, and partly inspired by his 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.

Friday Poem – ‘Our Mothers’ Bodies’ by Alexandra Ford

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Our Mothers’ Bodies’ by Alexandra Ford. Alexandra’s debut novel What Remains at the End was published last month.

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 Kholer travels to Europe to learn the truth about her grandparents’ flight to America. A story of war and suffering, of loss and the search for connection and identity, it is an intriguing debut novel from Alexandra Ford.

 

What Remains at the End is available on the Seren website: £9.99

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

Don’t miss the launch of What Remains at the End, taking place on Saturday 23rd November at the The Hurst, The John Osbourne Arvon Centre. There will be books, wine and cake! See the full details here