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.

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Friday Poem – ‘Weaving with Rushes’ by Sarah Wimbush

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Weaving with Rushes’ by Sarah Wimbush from her debut pamphlet Bloodlines which has just been shortlisted for the Michael Marks Poetry Award 2020.

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

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Enjoy this filmpoem of Sarah reading the pamphlet’s title poem ‘Bloodlines’. Film made by Isobel Turner.

Friday Poem – Fold The River by Philip Gross

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Fold The River’ by Philip Gross from A Fold in the River.

A Fold in the River is the fruit of collaboration between T.S. Eliot prize-winning poet Philip Gross and the visual artist Valerie Coffin Price. Philip Gross once lived on the banks of the River Taff in Wales and his journals are the source for the powerful poems. Valerie Coffin Price revisited the walking route along the river and evolved the beautiful prints and drawings that accompany the poems.

A Fold in the River is available on the Seren website: £12.99

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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.

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

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Friday Poem – Extract from ‘Let Me Tell You What I Saw’ by Adnan Al-Sayegh

This week’s Friday Poem is an extract from Let Me Tell You What I Saw by Adnan Al-Sayegh.

Let Me Tell You What I Saw is the first ever publication as a dual-language (English/Arabic) text of substantial extracts from Adnan Al-Sayegh’s ground-breaking epic poem, Uruk’s Anthem, one of the longest poems ever written in Arabic literature, which gives voice to the profound despair of the Iraqi experience. This superb translation by Jenny Lewis, Ruba Abughaida and others, brings the eloquent original Arabic epic to a new readership.

Let Me Tell You What I Saw is available on the Seren website: £12.99

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Join us on Tuesday 10th November from 6pm (GMT) for the virtual launch of Let Me Tell You What I Saw. Readings from the text in Arabic and English by Adnan Al-Sayegh and Jenny Lewis will be followed by a discussion on the translation process between Jenny and Ruba Abughaida. Register for FREE via Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/122240752381.

Friday Poem – ‘The Sea at Aberystwyth’ by Tamar Yoseloff

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘The Sea at Aberystwyth’ by Tamar Yoseloff from her collection of selected poems A Formula for Night.

Tamar Yoseloff A Formula for Night

Tamar Yoseloff is a poet whose career has been profoundly influenced by the visual arts. A Formula for Night: New and Selected Poems encompasses selections from four published print volumes: Sweetheart, Barnard’s Star, Fetch and The City with Horns (now mostly out of print); and poems from her collaborations with artists: Formerly, Marks and Desire Paths. The book also includes a generous selection of beautiful new poems. 

A Formula for Night is available on the Seren website: £12.99

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Friday Poem – ‘The Clockwork Crow’ by Catherine Fisher

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘The Clockwork Crow’ 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

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Friday Poem – ‘Autumn’ by Rhiannon Hooson

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Autumn’ by Rhiannon Hooson from her collection The Other City.

Rhiannon Hooson’s debut collection The Other City was shortlisted for the Roland Mathias Prize. Sharply focused, beautifully resonant, and deeply felt,  these poems reference and re-make narratives from classical Greek myth, while others rework elements of Welsh history, ancient and modern.

Rhiannon runs workshops and courses throughout the year, visit www.inkandoaktree.com for more details.

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

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Friday Poem – ‘In the Welsh National Museum’ by Dannie Abse

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘In the Welsh National Museum’ by Dannie Abse from his collection of selected poems Welsh Retrospective.

Welsh Retrospective is a selection of poems about his native Wales by one of Britain’s most popular poets. Dannie Abse’s Welsh and Jewish backgrounds have been essential to his writings. Wales and Cardiff, in particular, have haunted his imagination. In this revealing book he writes movingly about the Cardiff of his childhood, home of his beloved Bluebirds football team, and also about the small village of Ogmore-by-Sea, location of early holidays and for many years his home in Wales.

Welsh Retrospective is available on the Seren website: £8.99

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Friday Poem – ‘Counting Boards’ by Rhian Edwards

This week’s Friday Poem is ‘Counting Boards’ by Rhian Edwards from her latest collection The Estate Agent’s Daughter.

The Estate Agent’s Daughter is the eagerly awaited follow up to Rhian Edwards’s Wales Book of the Year winning debut collection Clueless DogsAcute 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.

“…fast-talking, wise-cracking and worldly wise” – Zoë Brigley

The Estate Agent’s Daughter is available on the Seren website: £9.99

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