Friday Poem – ‘Two men’, David Foster-Morgan

Friday Poem Two men David Foster-Morgan

This week our Friday Poem is David Foster-Morgan’s ‘Two men’, from his debut collection, Masculine Happiness.

Masculine happinessDavid is one of five fabulous poets taking part in the New Poets Showcase event, Saturday 17 February, 11:00am. Listen to him read alongside Emily Blewitt, Susie Wild, Katherine Stansfield and Stephen Payne – tickets available here (£5.00). The event is part of our inaugural Seren/Cornerstone Poetry Festival.

Masculine Happiness is a provocative yet subtle collection which explores the author’s ambivalence towards models of masculinity handed out to us by the media and modern society. There is also a considerable amount of humour here, along with astute satire and insightful character poems. Foster-Morgan’s work repays the careful attention of thoughtful readers.


David Foster-Morgan Two men
















Masculine Happiness is available on the Seren website: £9.99

Join our free Book Club for 20% off every book you buy from us.


Author Appearances at the Seren Christmas Pop-Up Shop

chapter pop-up shop author appearances

The Seren pop-up bookshop is returning to Chapter, Cardiff, for its third year. You’ll find us in Chapter’s entrance hall, Friday 9th to Monday 12th December.

Come and have a browse of our books, take advantage of free Christmas gift wrapping, and chat with Seren staff about publishing, writing, reading – and your love of books. We look forward to seeing you!

When: 9-12 December, 10am–8pm
Where: Chapter Arts Centre, 40 Market Road, Cardiff, CF5 1QE

Seren authors will also be stopping by, so why not come along and grab a special signed Christmas gift or two?



Peter Finch will be joining us on Saturday. A poet, author and critic, Peter is author of the hugely popular Real Cardiff trilogy, and series editor for the Real Series. He has published numerous poetry collections, including perennial bestseller Zen Cymru, and his Selected Later Poems. His latest book, The Roots of Rock, from Cardiff to Mississippi and Back, explores the evolution of rock and popular music, and is the perfect gift for the music lover in your life.

David Foster-Morgan will be coming to the pop-up shop on Sunday. David has been widely published in a number of journals including Poetry Wales, Envoi, Smiths Knoll and The Interpreter’s House, and was recently shortlisted in the Times Literary Supplement Poetry Competition. Masculine Happiness is his innovative debut collection, and signed copies will be available if you come along at 12.


We look forward to seeing you at the Seren Christmas pop-up shop!


Friday Poem – Masculine Happiness

This week’s poem is from David Foster-Morgan’s debut collection, Masculine Happiness, which was released this week!

Masculine Happiness is the provocative debut poetry collection by David Foster-Morgan. 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 including ‘slams’ where his quiet style and obvious integrity frequently beat louder and less subtle voices to a prize. His debut collection, some years in the making, is inspired in part by his reading of American literature: the conversational tone of Frank O’Hara (‘F’OH’) and the long-lined garrulity of Allen Ginsberg, (‘Allen Ginsberg returns to Llantony Priory’) as well as the models of masculinity handed out to us by Hollywood characters like John Wayne (‘Masculine Happiness’). His ambivalence toward the idea of the ‘hero’ and his observation of the fate of those who have been lauded, like the conflicted protagonist of ‘The City Legend’, is a fruitful area for exposition.

This is also a writer who casts a cold eye on the natural world, at one point lauding a landscape and the next, mourning its depredation. In the poem ‘Meeting my Eagle’ the narrator comments: ‘Polar magnets, our feel for each other is/strongest at the point of turning away.’  The poet observes, interacts and resists the urge to rhapsodise. The author’s philosophical education informs his frequent changes of character and point of view. This erasure of ego is characteristic. We also see into the minds of people like the ‘Machine Gun Killer’, made frightening due to the author eschewing gory melodrama in favour of cool accuracy. We are poised with this professional killer, ‘behind the muzzle’s flare, breathing the pepper exhaust, transported on the recoil’s shudder.’

There is also a considerable amount of humour here, along with astute satire and insightful character poems.

Foster-Morgan’s work repays the careful attention of thoughtful readers.

Masculine Happiness

John Wayne is warm, tired and had
just the right number of drinks. Firelight
and the stars of Arizona surround his bed:
a saddle blanket rolled out in the desert night.

News headlines of a foreign war: the reporter’s
hair and blue eyes match her checked scarf;
and a voice behind me starts: who’s having her,
insulted when I won’t laugh as he starts to laugh.

On another channel Bob Mitchum’s an old sea captain:
safe on land while his son’s submarine is overdue;
drinking cognac from a dark bottle, he finishes it all,
and floats into the sleep of drunk and drowned men.
Sick the next morning, his steps slow and unsure,
like a shipwrecked sailor exploring a new shore.

Order Masculine Happiness from our website.