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

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

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 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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Friday Poem – Love

friday poem love kate bingham

cohabitation kate binghamThis week, our Friday Poem is taken from Cohabitation by Kate Bingham.

Until midnight on February 14th, claim 35% off this beautiful collection in our Valentine’s poetry sale.

A brisk wit and intelligence characterises these poems by Kate Bingham. Her subjects are friends, family, work, the experiences of any day, but her keen and compassionate focus brings these moments vividly to life. Her gift is a point of view that is startling, moving and humorous.

Reflective and playful, intimate and exuberant, these poems have a wry, deliberate logic of their own which makes Cohabitation an engaging as well as an illuminating first collection.

Love

There were so many flies we spoke in sign language
and wore long socks and sun-glasses for protection.

Just thinking of them as eggs or creamy worms
writhing, unseen, in the flower heads
could make you sick,

but it was a kind of torture, with the grasses deep
and the air so soft,
not to go out into the haze.

A kind of ecstasy to risk bare skin
in the profusion.

 

Buy your copy of Cohabitation now, and discover the other treasures in our Valentine’s poetry sale.

Books for your Beloved | Valentine’s Poetry Sale

valentines sale 2016

Poetry is food for the soul, and the gift of a carefully-chosen collection of poems is the perfect romantic gesture.

For Valentine’s Day, we at Seren have hand-picked a few poetry collections your partner will fall head-over-heels for. All our Valentine’s picks are 35% off until midnight on that most magical day, February 14th, so take a look below and find the perfect book for your beloved.

My Family and Other Superheroes by Jonathan Edwards
my family and other superheroes jonathan edwardsWinner of the Costa Poetry Award 2014, this vibrant and dynamic debut introduces one of Wales’ most intriguing new voices. The superheroes in question are a motley crew. Evel Knievel, Sophia Loren, Ian Rush, Marty McFly, a bicycling nun and a recalcitrant hippo – all leap from these pages and jostle for position, alongside valleys mams, dads and bamps, described with great warmth. This is a post-industrial valleys upbringing re-imagined through the prism of pop culture and surrealism.

£9.99 £6.49

 

The Man at the Corner Table by Rosie Shepperd
the man at the corner table rosie shepperdRosie Shepperd’s debut poetry collection crackles with the unexpected. The voice is one of urban sophistication; a merciless charm that teases and tempts us with sensual evocations of food and place. The reader is surprised with tastes, scents, colours and textures. There is a winning insistence on detail offered with an irony that blends into satire.
These poems are exquisite meals, to be devoured amidst surprising intimacies.

£9.99 £6.49

 

Infragreen by Kate Bingham
infragreenPerceptive, persuasive and intricately made, these poems 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.
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.

£9.99 £6.49

 

Masculine Happiness, David Foster-Morgan
Masculine happinessThe thoughtful and winning debut collection from Wales-based David Foster-Morgan. Complex, ironic, layered, fashioned with an acute and subtle intelligence, these poems are as likely to reference Elvis as Borges.
Humour, astute satire and insightful character poems are combined here in this collection of beautiful, multi-layered poems.

£9.99 £6.49

 

 

Playing House by Katherine Stansfield
playing house katherine stansfieldA concise wit, a distinct voice and an unsettling view of the domestic characterise these poems whose subjects are the ordinary as viewed through the author’s satirical yet sympathetic eye. John Lennon’s tooth, an imaginary ‘Canada’, bees in Rhode Island, cats and office politics are all peculiar grist to this author’s mill. She presents both historical subjects such as Captain Scott of the Antarctic, and common objects, such as household bleach, from a skewed perspective, adding humour, drama and a quietly distinctive pathos.

£9.99 £6.49

 

Cohabitation by Kate Bingham
cohabitation kate binghamA brisk wit and intelligence characterises these poems by Kate Bingham. Her subjects are friends, family, work, the experiences of any day, but her keen and compassionate focus brings these moments vividly to life. Her gift is a point of view that is startling, moving and humorous.
Reflective and playful, intimate and exuberant, these poems have a wry, deliberate logic of their own which makesCohabitation an engaging as well as an illuminating first collection.

£6.95 £4.52

 

For Valentine’s deliveries, we recommend ordering before Thursday 11th February.

Why not share your love for poetry with us on Twitter? Use the hashtag #BooksForMyBeloved to tell us what you and your partner will be reading on Valentine’s Day.

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.