Friday Poem – ‘Spring Tide’, Paul Deaton

The clocks jump forward this weekend, signalling the start of British Summer Time – but before that, we have Paul Deaton’s ‘Spring Tide’ as our Friday Poem this week.

Paul Deaton A Watchful AstronomyPaul Deaton’s debut, A Watchful Astronomy, is a book of beautifully clear and powerful poems. A PBS Recommendation, the collection is haunted by the ghost of the author’s father, a figure that appears throughout the collection as an overbearing, even threatening presence, embodied in glowering mountain ranges, in icy blasts of weather, in bits of bleak, monosyllabic dialogue. Cutting through this harsh imagery are poems of reflection and contemplation that celebrate the weather and the seasons. ‘Spring Tide’ is one such poem.

 

Friday Poem Spring Tide Paul Deaton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Watchful Astronomy is available from the Seren website: £9.99

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

 

 

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Friday Poem(s) – 3 Poems for International Women’s Day

International Women's Day poems

For our celebration of International Women’s Day, we’ve selected not one Friday Poem but three – each offering a different perspective, and each representing a different stage in a woman’s life.

 

‘Home Birth’ by Carolyn Jess-Cooke, from Boom!
Through vivid, painful and powerful imagery, Jess-Cooke relives the intensely physical and emotional act of labour.

Carolyn Jess-Cooke Home Birth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boom! Carolyn Jess-Cooke

Boom!
Carolyn Jess-Cooke
£9.99
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‘The Girls on the Train’ by Katherine Stansfield, from Playing House
The joy of youth is a catalyst for the speaker mourning the loss of her ‘early velour glory’ in this short, powerful poem, which causes us to question our aversion to ageing.

Katherine Stansfield Girls on the Train

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

playing house katherine stansfield

Playing House
Katherine Stansfield
£9.99
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‘I start to understand yellow’ by Rosie Shepperd, from
The Man at the Corner Table

Violence and isolation are overcome as the quiet power of female unity gathers strength in the textures, flavours and colours of nineteenth century Mauritius.

Rosie Shepperd I start to understand yellow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the man at the corner table rosie shepperd

The Man at the Corner Table
Rosie Shepperd
£9.99
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Happy International Women’s Day. We hope these poems nourish and delight, and if you’d like to discover more of our women writers, have a browse on our website.

 

 

 

Friday Poem – ‘Perspective’, Damian Walford Davies

It’s 1st March – Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant Hapus (or Happy St David’s Day) to you! This Welsh holiday has been celebrated since the 12th Century, and honours Wales’ patron saint.

On such a historic holiday it seems fitting to consider Wales’ history, and our Friday Poem does just that – ‘Perspective’, the opening poem from Docklands by Damian Walford Davies, introduces Victorian Cardiff: the chilling and visceral setting of this intriguing ghost-story-in-verse.

Damian Walford Davies Docklands Ghost Story

‘When much new poetry looks no further than the poet’s navel, this kind of imaginative leap is a tonic.’ – The Telegraph

Damian Walford Davies’s compellingly eerie new poetry collection, Docklands: A Ghost Story, introduces us to a Cardiff architect – a man supremely sure of himself – as he is commissioned to transform an area in the busy docks. Docklands explores grey worlds at the edges of the eye, conjuring late-Victorian Cardiff’s hustling, booming, sullied docks – and the horrors they conceal.

 

 

Friday Poem Perspective Damian Walford Davies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Docklands: A Ghost Story is available from 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 – ‘Angry Birds’, Eoghan Walls

Friday Poem Angry Birds

This week our Friday Poem is the opening number from Eoghan Walls’ forthcoming second collection, Pigeon Songs – ‘Angry Birds’.

Pigeon Songs Eoghan WallsPigeon Songs follows on from Walls’ much-praised debut, The Salt Harvest. From the first poem, we have a sense of the poet’s themes and preoccupations: we have a richly metaphorical and densely allusive style, a pull towards formal metre and structures. There is also the occasional vigorous vulgarity, adding a touch of blue humour to the canvas, breaking up the formal rigour. Family is a potent presence in poems inspired by parents, grandparents, partners, children. They often emit a sort of energy, a fierce gravitational pull of emotion around the burning heart of a poem ultimately about love, or the sorrow of losing a loved-one.

 

Friday Poem Angry Birds Eoghan Walls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pigeon Songs is due for publication on 28 February. Pre-order your copy now from the Seren website: £9.99

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

 

 

Friday Poem – ‘Wrecker’, Emily Blewitt

Emily Blewitt Friday Poem Wrecker

Our Friday Poem this week is ‘Wrecker’ by Emily Blewitt, from her debut collection, This Is Not A Rescue.

This Is Not A Rescue Emily BlewittBlewitt’s poems move in various registers, keyed to their subject-matter. There are pieces that take a playful approach to the author’s native Wales, which resist cliché by subverting our expectations. Elsewhere there is a sharpness and a satirical slant, which contrasts with some intensely personal lyrics that touch on childhood trauma, on depression, on sexual and domestic violence. The revealing honesty of these pieces makes for compelling reading.

Catch Emily Blewitt at the Seren Cornerstone Poetry Festival – she will be performing alongside Kim Moore and Katherine Stansfield in the ‘Opening Buffet’ event. Tickets available now

 

Wrecker Emily Blewitt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Is Not A Rescue is available on the Seren website – half price until midnight, Sunday 20 January: £4.99

 

 

 

 

Friday Poem – ‘December’, Paul Deaton

Friday Poem December Paul Deaton

Our Friday Poem this week, as we enter the final month of 2018, is ‘December’ by Paul Deaton.

Paul Deaton A Watchful Astronomy‘December’ is taken from Paul Deaton’s Poetry Book Society-recommended debut, A Watchful Astronomy. Deaton is a realist and a formalist, preferring simple, accurate language and use of formal meter. This makes for unusually clear and accessible work. A powerful underlying current of emotion also drives these poems and is contained and restrained by the more austere formal qualities.

‘Each poem in this collection is like a little torchlight … I felt like it totally wrapped me up as a reader, and I really couldn’t put it down.’ – Jen Campbell

 

 

Friday Poem December Paul Deaton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Watchful Astronomy is available from the Seren website: £9.99

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Friday Poem – ‘Clean’, Elizabeth Parker

Friday Poem Elizabeth Parker Clean

Our Friday Poem this week is ‘Clean’ by Elizabeth Parker, from her debut collection, In Her Shambles.

Parker’s first full collection of poems, In Her Shambles, showcases her style with poems that are verb-rich, observational and uncanny portraits of things-seen-aslant.
‘Clean’ is no different: this frank portrait of a house post-breakup gives us dead insects ‘like crossed cutlery’ and ‘dark sediment’ on areas now untouched and unfamiliar. Instead of well-worn clichés we measure the speaker’s sorrow through the odd and unexpected mementos that remain – ‘scents’, ‘dust’ and ‘that sticky shape on the radiator’.

You can catch Elizabeth Parker reading alongside fellow ‘Spoke’ poets Claire Williamson, Robert Walton and Paul Deaton at Spike Island Café-bar, Tuesday 4 December.

 

 

Friday Poem Clean Elizabeth Parker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Her Shambles 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 – ‘Reader’, Robert Walton

Friday Poem Reader Robert Walton

It’s a dark day – some might say black – and so our Friday Poem is one that celebrates the simple joys of reading and speech. We hope you find the time to experience them for yourself today.

‘Reader’ by Robert Walton is taken from his latest collection, Sax Burglar Blues. This jazzed-up book is ripe with complexity and wit, its subjects ranging from the insectoid ‘Man with a Double Bass on His Back’ to a canary with high political ambitions and a dock-dwelling crocodile. The poems demonstrate the artful, expansive range of this newly-revived author.

Sax Burglar Blues is half price until midnight this Sunday, as part of our celebration of books with black covers. We have a great selection of books included – have a browse on our Black Books page.

 

Friday Poem Robert Walton Reader

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sax Burglar Blues is available from the Seren website, half price until midnight, Sunday 25 November: £9.99  £4.99

See all the half price books in our Black Books Friday promotion here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Poem – ‘The Post Box in the Wall’, Judy Brown

Our Friday Poem this week is ‘The Post Box in the Wall’ from Crowd Sensations by Judy Brown.

Elterwater Rain Crowd Sensations Judy BrownCrowd Sensations is Judy’s latest collection, and was shortlisted for the Ledbury Forte Prize. Judy is a poet of dazzling contrasts, of thoughtful paradox, intimate confidences and precise evocations. Her titles and first lines both draw you right into a poem and then quite often surprise you with a narrative that you hadn’t quite expected. This is true of ‘The Post Box in the Wall’, which takes this mundane object and paints it as ‘absolution’, as ‘that mouth’, as a place to deposit snakes and curses.
Hear Judy talk to Julia Copus about changing career from lawyer to poet, writers’ residencies, and how certain places can live on in the mind long after they’ve been left in this interview, newly released on the Royal Literary Fund website.

 

Judy Brown The Post Box in the Wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crowd Sensations is available from the Seren website: £9.99

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