Friday Poem – ‘I know Exactly the Sort of Woman I’d Like to Fall in Love With’ by Deryn Rees-Jones

This Sunday (8th March) is International Women’s Day so this week we bring you the poem ‘I know Exactly the Sort of Woman I’d Like to Fall in Love With’ by Deryn Rees-Jones which is featured the Women’s Work anthology but was first published in Deryn’s debut collection The Memory Tray.

women's work 2016

With over 250 contributors, this generous selection of poetry by women with an emphasis on twentieth-century poetry in English features poets from all over the world. Arranged by thematic chapters that touch on various aspects of modern life, it 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.

 

Women’s Work is available on the Seren website: £14.99

Deryn’s most recent collection Erato was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and is available on the Seren website: £9.99

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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

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Friday Poem – ‘The World at One’, Kate Bingham

Friday Poem Kate Bingham The World at One

Today in the TLS you’ll find a new poem by Kate Bingham – ‘The Sound I have’. For our Friday Poem we also have one of Kate’s poems, though for us its one taken from Infragreen: ‘The World at One’.

infragreenInfragreen is full of poems that are perceptive, persuasive and intricately made. They take the reader on a startling and unfamiliar journey through everyday experiences and phenomena. Bingham’s keen eye, reflectiveness and quiet wit endow each subject with a shimmering freshness. Those who know her earlier work will recognise in this collection a playful, often darkly comic, appreciation of the surreal, which features hearts and hands, feet, and even a pair of shoes with minds and agenda of their own.

 

Friday Poem The World at One Kate Bingham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Infragreen is available from the Seren website: £9.99

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

 

 

 

Friday Poem – ‘Questions’, Kate Bingham

Friday Poem Questions Kate Bingham Infragreen

This week our Friday Poem is ‘Questions’, from Infragreen by Kate Bingham.

infragreen‘Questions’ unpicks the intricate imagined details behind moments of silence, as the speaker interrogates ‘your mouth’s unstated strategy / for the avoidance of speech’. The poem gives voice to the part inside us all that pleads for communication.
Infragreen is Kate Bingham’s third collection, with poems that are perceptive, persuasive and intricately made. Bingham takes 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.

 

Questions from Infragreen Kate Bingham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Infragreen is available from the Seren website: £9.99

Join our free, no-purchase-necessary Book Club for a 20% discount every time you shop with us

 

 

 

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I Know What You Read Last Summer

Well actually I don’t, but now that summer is just around the corner I can at least tell you what we think you should be reading this summer!

Look out for these upcoming releases on our website.

InfragreenInfragreenrgb
by Kate Bingham

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.

Set within the four walls of home, on the streets of north London and in the Yorkshire countryside, the poems build out from mundane activities such as taking the pill, traveling a daily bus route and scything thistles. In Bingham’s hands, the familiar sights and hypnotic routines that normally lull the brain into unthinking acquiescence are the starting points for finding new richness in the world around us and our participation in it.

The book contains three sections, each infused by a different season and place, but a spirit of serious play presides throughout. Contemporary versions of Hardy and Frost, a collage cut from old favourite Christmas carols, and a refleshing of some of English poetry’s oldest clichés are part of it, but so too is Bingham’s fascination with pattern: the patterning required by some of poetry’s stricter traditional forms, and pattern as content, a subject in itself.

Those who know Bingham’s earlier work will recognize in this collection her playful, often darkly comic, appreciation of the surreal, which features hearts and hands, feet, and even a pair of shoes with minds and agenda of their own. Elsewhere, a milk-bottle breathes, a pocket of air turns into a winged creature, flies serenade the poet whose mortal scent has drawn them into her room. A ballad at the start of the final section tells the story of an artisan paper-maker whose origami creation is so perfect it comes to life, only to be destroyed again by its maker.

But beneath the gently cynical, almost self-deprecating tone lie Infragreen’s darker themes: a base note of environmental and existential anxiety in which teasing self-deprecation can mutate into a desire for disembodiment, and a ruthless wishing away of consciousness and self.

MorlaisMorlais cover
by Alun Lewis

Morlais is Alun Lewis’s unpublished novel from the late 1930s. The Laurentian story of a young boy growing up in the poverty stricken industrial valleys of south Wales, it also reflects Lewis’s own experiences, particularly his search for self-knowledge and his conviction that he would be a writer.

Miner’s son Morlais Jenkins is already being educated away from his background at grammar school when he is adopted, on the death of her own son, by the wife of the local local colliery owner. Morlais’s parents recognize the opportunity for their son to make a better future, but they must all pay a great price. Stifled by middle class life, his adoptive mother recognizes that Morlais will be a poet and encourages him to be neither working class or middle class, but true to his talent.

Full of vivid descriptive passages of life in the fictional mining valley, and centred on the conflicted character of Morlais and the decisions he faces over his two families, his two social backgrounds, and his desire to be a poet, the novel is an enthralling journey through the life of a young boy becoming a young man.

Alun Lewis (1915-1944) was the outstanding writer of World War Two and Morlais, written in his mid twenties, is an early indication of the talented writer he would become just five years later. This edition is accompanied by an Afterword by Lewis’s biographer, John Pikoulis.

coverThe Road to Zagora
by Richard Collins

When Richard Collins was diagnosed with a progressive incurable disease in 2006 he decided to see as much of the world as he could while his condition allowed. The result is The Road to Zagora, a singular travel book which takes in India, Nepal, Syria, Turkey, Morocco, Peru, Equador and Wales. ‘Mr Parkinson’, as Collins refers to his condition, informs the narrative.

As inveterate walkers Collins and his partner Flic decided to continue to travel ‘close to the land’ post diagnosis, leaving the tourist trails and visiting places of extremes: the Himalayas, rainforests, deserts. The difficulties of rough terrain, altitude, extremes of climate for a person with Collins’ condition are an ongoing strand of his narrative; occasionally they cannot be overcome and Collins is forced to consider the frailties of the human body in passages of moving contemplation.

The Road to Zagora also includes an element of memoir, as Parkinson’s Disease also causes Collins to reflect on his life, and in particular on his relationship with Flic. There are moments of great charm as their relationship evolves, and also the drama of previous serious illnesses. These recollections of pre-diagnosis life have the wistfulness of hindsight as Collins considers what constitutes a life well lived.

Yet any sentiment or self-pity is denied through Collins’s resolute and independent- mindedness and the quality of writing. In the travel passages the readers experiences the sheer physicality of Collins’ expeditions, along with his novelist’s eye for telling local detail. In the sequences of memoir the writing is humane, compassionate and quite often comic. The Road to Zagora is a memorable journey around the world, and the self.

Friday Poem – String

infragreen

Today’s poem comes from Kate Bingham’s latest collection, Infragreen, due to be released in June.

‘String’ was first published in The Poetry Review.

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.

Set within the four walls of home, on the streets of north London and in the Yorkshire countryside, the poems build out from mundane activities such as taking the pill, traveling a daily bus route and scything thistles. In Bingham’s hands, the familiar sights and hypnotic routines that normally lull the brain into unthinking acquiescence are the starting points for finding new richness in the world around us and our participation in it.

The book contains three sections, each infused by a different season and place, but a spirit of serious play presides throughout. Contemporary versions of Hardy and Frost, a collage cut from old favourite Christmas carols, and a refleshing of some of English poetry’s oldest clichés are part of it, but so too is Bingham’s fascination with pattern: the patterning required by some of poetry’s stricter traditional forms, and pattern as content, a subject in itself.

Those who know Bingham’s earlier work will recognise in this collection her playful, often darkly comic, appreciation of the surreal, which features hearts and hands, feet, and even a pair of shoes with minds and agenda of their own. Elsewhere, a milk-bottle breathes, a pocket of air turns into a winged creature, flies serenade the poet whose mortal scent has drawn them into her room. A ballad at the start of the final section tells the story of an artisan paper-maker whose origami creation is so perfect it comes to life, only to be destroyed again by its maker.

But beneath the gently cynical, almost self-deprecating tone lie Infragreen’s darker themes: a base note of environmental and existential anxiety in which teasing self-deprecation can mutate into a desire for disembodiment, and a ruthless wishing away of consciousness and self.

String

The farmer kept his trousers up with string.
Out of his pockets like an entertainer
with a Punch and Judy sausage-string
he summoned knots of orange binder-twine,
a scruffy scratchy plastic nest of string
his filthy freckled hands pressed into mine.

The lining of his jacket hung in strings
but there would be a Cadbury’s Eclair,
a humbug, or a coil of licorice string
unwinding somewhere, hidden in the hem,

and I was not to give him back his string
until his fingers turned into a hen
and laid a sweet. He didn’t need the string.
I tugged his arm and trotted after him.

Check out Infragreen on our website.