Friday Poem – ‘On Wonder Woman’s Island’ by Alison Binney

This week our Friday Poem is ‘On Wonder Woman’s Island’ by Alison Binney from her debut pamphlet Other Women’s Kitchens which is the winner of the Mslexia Poetry Pamphlet competition 2020.

This cover shows a colourful painting of a kitchen with the fain shadows of people moving through it.

Other Women’s Kitchens is Alison Binney’s debut pamphlet of poems and introduces us to a gifted new voice who writes with flair and feeling about coming out and coming of age as a gay woman in 21st century Britain. The collection explores the challenges of discovering and owning a lesbian identity in the 1980s and 1990s and the joy of finding both love and increased confidence in that identity as an adult. An adroit admixture of the heart-wrenching and the humorous, the book features shaped and ‘found’ pieces, traditional narrative and compact prose poems. Beautifully entertaining, pointedly political and often very funny, Other Women’s Kitchens is essential reading. Seren is thrilled to be presenting this author’s first collected work.

On Wonder Woman's Island
the women are all leather and deltoids, 
sword fights and whirling hair. They
call 'you are stronger than your know,'
reaching out sinewy forearms to lift
each other up off the sand. Any time
you can yell 'Shield!' just for the hell of it
and a girl will kneel, shield angled over thigh,
while another runs up, springs, fires an arrow
mid-leap, lands on a silver horse. At night
there's a cave with an underground
waterfall jacuzzi and a nook in the wall
thick with fur. And if the men come,
lugging guns up the beach, you sleep on,
cat-like: seeing only sheer cliffs and bare rock
they will soon turn tail, their flag not worth
the planting here, and the breeze long gone.

Other Women’s Kitchens is available on the Seren website: £5.00

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

The Mslexia Poetry Pamphlet Competition is now open for entries for 2021. Find out more on the Mslexia website.

The Seren Christmas Poetry Competition Returns!

Yes you read that right, we’re already thinking about Christmas! We’re excited to announce the return of our annual Christmas Poetry Competition.

With only three months left until the big day, it’s time to put on your festive thinking caps and send in your best seasonal poems.

What’s the prize? The winning entry will be posted right here on the Seren blog as Friday Poem during December and you will also receive a Seren book bundle (your choice of fiction or poetry) and a small festive hamper.

How to enter? Upload your poem via our Google form as a Word Doc or PDF. The full rules, terms and conditions can be found at the top of the form.

Closing date: 23:59PM, Sunday 15th November

Good luck!

Win a copy of Significance, Jo Mazelis’ Jerwood Prize-winning novel

Win a copy of Significance Jo Mazelis Jerwood Prize-winning novel

Enter our giveaway to win a copy of Jo Mazelis’ award-winning novel, Significance.

To enter, simply sign up to the Seren newsletter before 1st March:

Significance giveaway Jo Mazelis

Significance was a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize-winner, 2015. Up for grabs in this giveaway is a copy of the new edition of the book, printed to commemorate the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered announcement.

About Significance:
Lucy Swann is trying on a new life. She’s cut and dyed her hair and bought new clothes, but she’s only got as far as a small town in northern France when her flight is violently cut short. When Inspector Vivier and his handsome assistant Sabine Pelat begin their investigation, the chance encounters of her last days take on a new significance.
Lucy’s death, like a stone thrown into a pool, sends out far-reaching ripples, altering the lives of people who never knew her as well as those of her loved ones back home.

Quite unlike any literary crime novel you will have read before, Significance takes the chance encounters of Lucy Swann’s last days and examines the characters she meets so fleetingly in unnerving detail. This is a murder mystery where the murder remains backstage, overshadowed by the many intermingling lives Lucy has brushed so briefly against.


The winner of this giveaway will be chosen at random from all our email subscribers on 1st March 2017, so make sure you sign up to Seren News before this deadline to be in with a chance of winning.

Feeling generous? Why not invite your friends to enter, by signing up using the link below:


Win a signed copy of Wild Places by Iolo Williams

win a copy of wild places by iolo williams

Show us your favourite nature place in Wales win a copy of Iolo Williams’ new guide book, Wild Places: Wales’ Top 40 Nature Sites.

We’re giving away a signed copy of Wild Places, Iolo Williams’ stunning new guide to Wales’ best wildlife and nature sites. All you have to do to win is head to Twitter and tell us your top nature place.

Win a signed copy of Wild Places by Iolo Williams

Follow us (@SerenBooks) and use the hashtag #WildPlacesWales to tell us where you think tops the list of Wales’ best wild places. Add a photo if you can! We’ll pick the winner on 16th December – our favourite comment will take the prize.

We’ve already had some great responses – here are a few of the places chosen so far…


Can you think of an even better wild place in Wales? If so, tell us now and you’ll be in the running to win this fantastic new book, signed by the author.


Entries close 16/12/16. Winner will be chosen from all Twitter comments. Prize cannot be exchanged or substituted.


Win a signed and numbered copy of Ritual, 1969

win a copy of ritual, 1969 by jo mazelis

Enter our giveaway to win a signed and numbered copy of Ritual, 1969, the haunting new collection of short stories by Jo Mazelis!

To enter, simply sign up to the Seren newsletter before 1st June:

win a copy of ritual, 1969

Ritual, 1969 is a darkly gothic collection of stories by Jerwood Prize-winner Jo Mazelis that explores the unsettling borderland between reality and the supernatural. Ranging from early twentieth-century France to 1960s South Wales and contemporary Europe, Jo Mazelis’ singular vision and poetic language creates characters caught up in events and feelings they do not fully understand or control, giving the book its uncanny focus. Not all is as it seems in a world where first impressions may only conceal disguises and false trails – and there’s no going back.

The winner will be chosen at random from all our email newsletter subscribers on 1st June 2016, so if you haven’t already, hurry and sign up for our newsletter before the end of the month if you want it to be you!


Enter our poetry books giveaway to win two new collections

We are celebrating the launch of two fantastic new books, Crowd Sensations by Judy Brown and Masculine Happiness by David Foster-Morgan, by giving you the chance to win a copy of each! All you have to do is sign up to our newsletter here before 1st May 2016 and you’ll be entered into the prize draw.

Read below to find out more about the book launch as well as the books themselves…

newsletter giveaway April-1.jpg

Join Judy Brown and David Foster-Morgan at The Yorkshire Grey for a dual poetry book launch, celebrating the release of both Judy’s Crowd Sensations and David’s Masculine Happiness. Both poets will be reading from their new collections, and there will be opportunities to ask questions and request signed copies of the books. The event will take place between 19:00 and 21:00 on Tuesday 19th April, 2016 at The Yorkshire Grey in London. You can find more details on our website.

Elterwater Rain Crowd Sensations Judy Brown
Crowd Sensations
, Judy Brown
Poet Judy Brown’s new collection is a worthy follow-up to her Forward Prize-nominated debut, Loudness. Brown is a poet of dazzling contrasts, of thoughtful paradox, intimate confidences and precise evocations.
Read more


Masculine happiness
Masculine Happiness
, David Foster-Morgan
The provocative debut poetry collection this Cardiff-based poet. Born and based in Wales, Foster-Morgan has long been a presence in the poetry world, having had poems published widely in magazines and with appearances at workshops, festivals, and events.
Read more


One lucky winner will be chosen at random from all our subscribers on 1st May 2016, so if you would like a copy of each of these lovely poetry collections in your bookcase then hurry and sign up for our newsletter before the end of the month.


Win a Signed Copy of Star-Shot!


star-shot competition

It’s competition time!

To celebrate the upcoming release of Mary-Ann Constantine’s debut novel, Star-Shot, we’ll be giving away a signed copy to one lucky follower!


Part fable, part mystery, Star-Shot is a stylish debut novel set in and around Cardiff’s National Museum in a time that is almost, but not quite, our own. As their paths cross in a circumscribed world of benches, parks and galleries, a handful of characters reveal their stories of obsession, loss and recovery, creating a fragile network of relationships which will help to resist the inexorable channels of silence eating into the city. 

A brittle young woman sits on a bench in Gorsedd park, conscious of the powerful building behind her; a tall man carries a box full of a strange organic substance up the entrance steps; a young father explains the formation of stars to his tiny son.  As university researchers try to map and understand  the destructive silence snaking around them, it becomes clear that the linked lives of these and other marginal characters offer ways of countering its effects. Poignant and humorous,Star-Shot is an exploration of how objects and images can focus our grief and desire; it is also a meditation on the regenerative power of garden ponds, and the cosmic significance of frogs.

Beautifully illustrated with woodcut-style motifs by Clive Hicks-Jenkins, this is a subtle urban novel with a supernatural twist.

This isn’t just going to be any competition, however, this is going to be an interactive competition!

National Museum Cardiff plays a big part in Star-Shot, so here at Seren we thought it was only right that museums play a part in our competition. We challenge you to take to Twitter and tweet us a picture of you standing outside your nearest museum using the hashtag #ImStarShot, and you’ll be entered to win a signed copy of the book.

The competition ends in a month’s time, on the 5th November, so get your entries in and spread the museum love – we can’t wait to see your photos!

Win a signed Sugar Hall paperback

To celebrate the launch of the paperback edition of Sugar Hall, we’re giving away three copies signed by the author, Tiffany Murray.

To be in with a chance all you have to do is tweet us your most spine tingling, heart stopping, goose bump raising ghost stories in 140 characters or less using the hashtag #SugarHall.

We’ll be retweeting the ones that give us nightmares and Tiffany will pick the winners on Halloween.

To get you started here’s ours:
“I told you there are strange noises here didn’t I? Ma say’s it’s the forest behind us, but it isn’t because trees don’t scream…”