Friday Poem – ‘Armadillo’, Jane Lovell

Our Friday Poem this week is ‘Armadillo’ by Jane Lovell, from her Mslexia Prize-winning pamphlet, This Tilting Earth.

Jane Lovell This Tilting EarthJ​​ane Lovell’s poems are both beautiful and disturbing. A deep feeling for the natural world is aligned with an acute lyric sensibility, as well as a profound ethical awareness of our responsibility for the planet and the devastation of its landscapes and vulnerable species.
‘Armadillo’ considers the biology and expressiveness of this curious creature: a ‘dusty jungle relic’ that upon examination raises more questions than it answers.

 

 

Armadillo Friday Poem Jane Lovell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Tilting Earth is available from the Seren website: £5.00

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 – ‘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 – ‘Upright’, Mara Bergman

Friday Poem Mara Bergman Upright

Our Friday Poem this week is ‘Upright’ by Mara Bergman, from her Mslexia Prize-winning pamphlet, The Tailor’s Three Sons.

Tailor's Three Sons Mara BergmanThe Tailor’s Three Sons is the fruit of Bergman’s rich memories of her childhood on Long Island and Manhattan. Now living in the UK, she looks back and assembles vivid scenes and an appealing cast of characters for us. The title poem is inspired by the author’s visit to the Tenement Museum in New York’s Lower East Side, where she vividly imagines the lives of immigrants when many thousands docked in ships at Ellis Island and the Lower East Side was ‘the most crowded place on the planet’.

Attend the Mslexia Pamphlet Prizewinners event at the Seren Cornerstone Poetry Festival –  Mara Bergman will be reading alongside Polly Atkin, Cath Drake, Mara Bergman, Ilse Pedlar, Yvonne Reddick and Bryony Littlefair. There will be music from poet/singer-songwriter Rhian Edwards, and tickets include a lavish 3-course Sunday Lunch (vegetarian options available). Book now.

 

Friday Poem Upright Mara Bergman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tailor’s Three Sons is available from the Seren website: £5.00

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

 

 

 

 

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.