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

 

 

 

 

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January Sale: 50% off our books this week

January Sale Half Price books

Kick off 2019 with some literary loveliness and take advantage of our January sale – all our published books are half price for one week only.

January sale half price books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sale ends midnight, Sunday 20 January. So which books can you steal away for half the price? Well – practically all of them! The sale includes all our published poetry, fiction and non-fiction books (only excluding forthcoming titles). With so much on offer, we thought you might enjoy some highlights…

 

Best for…
Late night reading:
Paul Deaton A Watchful Astronomy£9.99  £4.99
Paul Deaton’s PBS Recommended debut, A Watchful Astronomy, is gloriously dark and atmospheric. The poet’s father stalks the poems like a ‘wounded bear’ as weathers and seasons are conjured onto the page: icy blasts of weather, frosts, and inky skies full of stars.
‘Each poem in this collection is like a little torchlight’
– Jen Cambell

 

Best for…
Transporting you to another time:
Simple Scale David Llewellyn£9.99  £4.99
David Llewellyn’s gripping new novel, A Simple Scale, moves in narratives of love, death, deceit, Classical music and government oppression. Prepare to be transported to Soviet Russia, McCarthyite Hollywood and post-9/11 New York as a determined young PA tries to piece together the fragments of history.

 

Best for…
Cheering up a dull day:
Jonathan Edwards Gen
£9.99  £4.99
Gen 
is the wonderful follow-up to Jonathan Edwards’ Costa Award-winning debut, My Family and Other Superheroes. It’s a book of wonder, nostalgia and music where poems are as likely to be voiced by a family member as by a lion, or a flag on the wall of Richard Burton’s dressing room. Gen is a celebration of everything that matters to Edwards – Wales, family, animals, history.

 

Best for…
Intellectual reading:
Caradoc Evans Devil in Eden John Harris£19.99  £9.99
Challenging convention was Caradoc Evans’ life’s work. A controversial figure in Welsh literature, Evans’ books were publicly burned in the streets of Cardiff, yet praised across the border. But what lay behind his writing? John Harris’ biography is the first of its kind and a marvel – extensively researched and brilliantly written.

 

Best for…
Glimpsing into history:
Dear Mona Jonah Jones
£19.99  £9.99
Dear Mona collects together the private letters of Jonah Jones, sent during and after World War Two to his mentor and friend, Mona Lovell. Their tumultuous relationship informed the evolution of Jonah’s character. We see this in his intimate and emotional letters as he describes work as a conscientious objector, his time on the Home Front as a non-arms bearing medic, and his artistic progression.

 

Best for…
Armchair travelling:
Richard Gwyn Stowaway£9.99  £4.99
In Stowaway, Richard Gwyn navigates the rich history and landscapes of the Mediterranean. The central character, an anti-Ulysses figure, seems to transcend time, and acts as the witness to major events: from the fall of Byzantium to the Syrian civil war. This is a richly imagined and thrillingly inventive new collection.

 

Best for…
Daytime entertainment:
Just Help Yourself Vernon HopkinsIt was 1960 when teenaged Vernon Hopkins recruited a new kid to his band. They didn’t know it yet, but this boy from Pontypridd would grow up to become Tom Jones. Just Help Yourself is the gritty, honest story of the band’s journey towards superstardom – from tiny gigs in South Wales to record deals in London – and then the inevitable bust up. It’s a wild ride that you might find hard to put down.

 

 

We hope you find a bookshelf full of hidden gems before the sale ends. Have a browse and see what catches your eye before the offer ends (midnight, Sunday 20 January).

 

 

Friday Poem – ‘Telling the bees’, Katherine Stansfield

Friday Poem Telling the Bees Katherine Stansfield

This week our Friday Poem is a new work by Katherine Stansfield, ‘Telling the bees’.

‘Telling the bees’ is a touching memorial to Christian Brown OBE, co-founder of the Seren Cornerstone Poetry Festival. The poem weaves together memories with the imagery of a garden in which ‘everything has bloomed’: a legacy of colour and life, conjured by Christian even after his passing.

Christian was the driving force behind the first Seren Cornerstone Poetry Festival in 2018 and as we approach 2019’s festival we are reminded of his extraordinary energy and vision. Cornerstone’s Poet in Residence, Katherine Stansfield will be opening the festival alongside Kim Moore and Emily Blewitt in the Opening Buffet event: tickets available now. All That Was Wood, a pamphlet of poems written during Katherine’s residency, will be published to coincide with the festival.

 

Katherine Stansfield Telling the bees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All That Was Wood will be available in February 2019 from our website, and at the Seren Cornerstone Poetry Festival (8-10 February 2019).

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Friday Poem – ‘How Women Are Not The Same’, Rhiannon Hooson

Friday Poem Women Rhiannon Hooson

Our Friday Poem this week is Rhiannon Hooson’s ‘How Women Are Not The Same’, from her debut poetry collection, The Other City.

The Other City Rhiannon Hooson‘Hooson’s style is thoughtful, questioning, reflective, and consistently restrained. Her collection gives the impression of having come together over a long period, with each piece earning its place’ Orbis

The Other City offers us elegant, artful verse of precision and insight. This is a poet that can re-imagine scenes from Greek myth, from Welsh history, and make them as urgent and compelling as her poems about personal relationships. ‘How Women Are Not The Same’ is one such personal poem – in which memories are conjured, and intimacies wound tight around strands of hair.

 

Rhiannon Hooson poem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Other City 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 – ‘Marilyn’s Auction House’, Nerys Williams

Friday Poem Marilyn's Auction House Nerys Williams

Our Friday Poem this week is ‘Marilyn’s Auction House’ by Nerys Williams, from her collection Sound Archive

Nerys Williams Sound ArchiveSound Archive is Williams’ strikingly original first collection, in which she conjures complex music, intriguing narratives, and poems full of atmosphere that query identity, gender, and the dream of art as a vehicle for emotion and meaning.
In ‘Marilyn’s Auction House’ we join the speaker and her partner as they’re ‘queuing for relics’, thumbing through the brochure for an auction of Marilyn Monroe’s belongings. The poem laces together the mythologised symbols of Marilyn’s image with modern desires and needs.
If you would like to discover more of Nerys Williams’ poetry, you can find several of her new poems in the new issue of Poetry Wales Magazine.

 

 

Nerys Williams Friday Poem Marilyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sound Archive is available from the Seren website: £8.99

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

 

 

Friday Poem – ‘Gen’ by Jonathan Edwards

Friday Poem Gen Jonathan Edwards

Costa Award-winner Jonathan Edwards is gifting us a splendid second collection, Gen, which arrives next week. Our Friday Poem today is the title poem from this new book.

You can catch Jonathan at Poetry in Aldeburgh on Sunday 4 November, 11:30am, where he will be reading some of his new poetry. Tickets available here.

Jonathan Edwards GenGen is a book of lions and rock stars, street parties and servants, postmen and voices. In the opening sequence’s exploration of youth and young manhood, the author sets his own Valleys upbringing against the ’50s youth of his parents and the experience of a range of pop culture icons, including Kurt Cobain and Harry Houdini. These poems give way to a sequence of monologues and character sketches, giving us the lives of crocodiles and food testers, pianists and retail park trees. Other poems place a Valleys village and the characters who live in it alongside explorations of Welsh history and prehistory, and the collection concludes with a selection of sometimes witty, sometimes heartfelt love poems. All in all, Gen is a superb follow-up to Edwards’ debut, My Family and Other Superheroes, which won the Costa Poetry Award in 2014.

 

Gen Jonathan Edwards Friday Poem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gen is available to pre-order from the Seren website: £9.99

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