Celebrating 2020: The Year of the Hog

We all know that 2020 has been a year like no other, but despite the full frontal Zombie Apocalypse and everything else, here at The Hedgehog Poetry Press we are extremely proud of the special, varied and downright beautiful poetry that we have published this year and we wanted to celebrate each and every collection before the year ends.

Over the next few weeks we will be cheering each title on and as part of the celebration and for one last time…

IF YOU:

  1. Buy ANY Collection we have published in 2020 Signed & Direct from the Poet – they are all HERE
  2. You Can Enter ANY of our Competitions for FREE. You can find them HERE

To do that, simply send the receipt from the book along with your competition entry to competition@hedgehogpress.co.uk.

It is as simple as that.

So if you want to enter one of our competitions, here is your chance to own a beautiful book or pamphlet, signed by the poet, Enter the Competition and save yourself a few bob in the process.

Just remember – Buy a Book, Enter a Competition for Free

Day #19: The Year of the Hog: “Sacrifice” – Sally Spedding

Over the next few weeks we are celebrating all of the Poets and their Collections that we have published in 2020.

Today’s Collection stunned me, not least when I found out that it would be Sally Spedding’s debut, but from the depth of the poetry to Sally’s incredible artwork for the cover, whichever way you look at it, it had to have been worth the wait.

This is quite simply a special collection from a poet at the height of her powers.

From the sonnet, ‘Tournesols’ to ‘Boutique Hotel,’ any joy and relief in this collection of poems are short-lived, reflecting their creator’s real-life experiences and those of others she knows well. We are born, we bloom for a while, if lucky, but like the wondrous evening primrose, emblem of her childhood on the sand dunes near Porthcawl, soon wrinkle and close. And all along the way lies hidden danger. From whoever is lying in wait for us to trip and fall, to the very air we breathe. Whoever is pressing the right buttons to create the kind of world only seen in futuristic films. Beneath and beyond the temporal, visible beauty of this planet and those we love, lurk our worst imaginings, while easily peddled words of comfort and hope soon weaken and disintegrate. And then there’s the never-ending guilt. William Butler Yeats was right.

 ‘Too long a sacrifice can make a stone of the heart. O when may it suffice?’


About Sally Spedding

Sally has won what is now the International Welsh Poetry Competition twice, and judged it four times. Regularly published in ‘The French Literary Review’ and also by ‘Poetry Salzburg Review’ and ‘The Interpreters’ House, ‘ Cinnamon Press, ‘ ‘Erbacce, ‘ ‘Eyewear, ‘ ‘The Seventh Quarry, ‘ ‘The Atlanta Review’ and forthcoming in ‘Best British and Irish Poets etc. She won the Aesthetica Creative Works Competition (Poetry) in 2009 and placed in 2016, and recently been included twice in anthologies of poems inspired by the works of R.S. Thomas.


Product details

  • Paperback : 34 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1913499294
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1913499297
  • Product Dimensions : 14.81 x 0.2 x 21.01 cm
  • Order signed and annotated copies direct from Sally Spedding HERE

Day #18: The Year of the Hog: “Dualities” – Sharon Larkin

Over the next few weeks we are celebrating all of the Poets and their Collections that we have published in 2020.

Today’s Collection is something truly special, from the quite wonderfully talented Sharon Larkin.

Partnerships are demanding. Reconciling two sets of expectations, hopes, ambitions, desires and demands is an exacting business. The ideal is surely a mutually agreed balance between give and take, rights and compromises, constraints and freedoms. Any intrusion into a partnership is capable of challenging it, rocking it, even destroying it … but mutual recognition of a greater good can seal and cement a relationship. With mutual well-being as an agreed aim, supported by good humour, grace and forgiveness, individuals might grow the kind of partnership that becomes something more than both of them, something greater than they might have imagined.

Oz Hardwick (Professor of English, Programme Leader for Postgraduate Creative Writing at Leeds Trinity University) has written:

“There’s a lot to be said for / being an outsider inside,” and Sharon Larkin’s perceptive collection perfectly explores the dualities of being a stranger in one’s social and personal spheres, as well as in one’s own body. The poems explore the paradoxical intensity of dissociation, with delicate touches of domestic surrealism and scorched-black wit chalking the outline of desire, deception, and a secular redemption of sorts. This is uneasy reading, full of the naked-edged truth that lies unseen beneath so many magnolia-painted lives.”

Angela France (Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, University of Gloucestershire):

“Sharon Larkin is a keen photographer and her trained eye is evident in this collectionnot only in the precise, sensory, detail but also in the care she takes with the angle of approach for each poem. The poems cover a range of themes but the Dualities of the title is evident throughout, always subtle and often in the form of a surprising twist which delighted me as a reader. Sometimes it is a line, other times a single word which re-focuses the whole poem such as in ‘Mismatch’, where the word ‘proprietorial’ in the last line turns tender care to something else entirely.”

Pat Edwards (Welshpool Poetry Festival) has written:

“This is both a romp and a skirmish, a disturbing dream and a garden of delights. Larkin forces us to encounter what we might call love, lust, longing, and examine these stormy forces through all the stages of life. Honest, sometimes cynical, the poems explore the sparks, flames and embers that burn us all. Perhaps the most stark warning concerns times in our lives we might compare with dusk, when our vision is not always clear, and we “must chance a snarl” in order to discern dog from wolf.”


About Sharon Larkin

Sharon Larkin’s Interned at the Food Factory was published by Indigo Dreams in 2019. Her poems have been anthologised by Cinnamon Press, Eyewear Publishing, Smokestack Books and more, and have been published in magazines including MagmaProle and Obsessed with Pipework, and in e-zines eg Ink Sweat & Tears, Atrium and Amaryllis.

Sharon is Gloucestershire’s Stanza Representative and runs poetry events in Cheltenham. As Eithon Bridge Publications, she publishes anthologies eg All a Cat Can Be (2018), Invisible Zoos (2019) and Poetry from Gloucestershire (2020). Sharon also runs the Good Dadhood on-line poetry project and is passionate about Wales, photography and the natural world.

  • sharonlarkinjones.com
  • gooddadhood.com
  • eithonbridge.com

Product details

  • Paperback : 54 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1913499278
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1913499273
  • Product Dimensions : 14.81 x 0.33 x 21.01 cm
  • Order signed and annotated copies direct from Sharon Larkin HERE

Day #17: The Year of the Hog: “The Underside of Things” – Jenna Plewes

Jenna Plewes ‘The Underside of Things’

Over the next few weeks we are celebrating all of the Poets and their Collections that we have published in 2020.

What can I say about today’s collection, The Underside of Things from Jenna Plewes, other than it is magical on every level?

There are a lot of collections and anthologies this year sharing the Lockdown Experience of 2020, but none of them do it how Jenna does. Susan Boyle says that ‘Jenna Plewes is a master of her craft’ and I’m really not going to argue and neither should you.

These poems are a selection from the poems written one a day during lockdown and as we eased out. They are a diary of the poet’s inner journey; a record of the range of emotions and thoughts during those months of isolation that we can all recognise but might find hard to articulate. They run the gamut of frustration, fear, sadness, loneliness and resignation, but also the joy of being part of the natural world and the freedom to do nothing. They are shot through with hope and optimism.

“Fine poems with a sureness of touch in implying the universally significant in a scrupulous response to the individual here and now. Written during the covid pandemic, their delicate thoughtful music will haunt and uplift us long after it ends. Jenna Plewes is a master of her craft. Taut, disciplined, telling are the words which come to mind. Waves ‘spread a thin skin on the sand’, seedlings ‘raise green snouts’, horses ‘find in hay a memory of grass’ – in her own words, this poet treads the earth with tenderness and the result is a delight.”

  • Susan Boyle

The Underside of Things takes us on a journey through the Covid-19 crisis for the poet, her family and friends, not forgetting the nuances and contradictions. Many poems refer to shared experiences but there are also new angles and insights. These show the ‘lateral thinking’ typical of Jenna Plewes’ work. For example, she reminds of the reduction of pollution – Gaia “licking herself clean like a cat”; also that we have been sensually deprived (“the dry stuff of our days”) but may have observed the natural world more closely, “fleshy leaves oiled in sunshine”. There are many beautiful poems about nature here.”

  • Dilys Wood, Publisher of Artemis and founder of the Second Light Network of Women Poets

About Jenna Plewes

Jenna Plewes studied English at Durham University, changed to Social Studies at Edinburgh University. She trained in Medical Social Work, then psychotherapy, working in Hospital and in General Practice. She feels she has come full circle, returning to the writing she sidelined while bringing up her family. Her poems appear in magazines and a number of anthologies. She has published a pamphlet and 5 collections, the latest, The Salt and Sweet of Memory published by Dempsey and Windle in 2019. A Woven Rope, published by V.Press comes out later this year. She and her husband live in Worcestershire with their border collie. They have 2 children and 4 grandchildren.

 


Product details

  • ISBN-10 : 1913499448
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1913499440
  • Paperback : 52 pages
  • Product Dimensions : 14.81 x 0.3 x 21.01 cm
  • Order signed and annotated copies direct from Jenna Plewes – contact her via email  HERE

Happy Launch Day! – Find out about “Larksong Static” by Martin Malone

This is a stunning collection of poetry, drawn from fifteen years of publication that we are extremely proud to be publishing today.

Selected from his three collections and various pamphlet publications, Larksong Static offers a first synopsis of Martin Malone’s work so far. From his resounding alliances of memory and geography in The Waiting Hillside, through the complicated emotional landscape and fine-art sensibilities of Cur, to the brilliantly achieved cultural memory work of his Great War sequence, The Unreturning, this selection captures a poet staking serious claim for his significance to the contemporary scene.

“Malone is a Romantic at heart, feeling the landscape, living the language, catching the drift.”

SIMON ARMITAGE

Any attempt to forge a new nature poetry in the English lyric tradition is a bold undertaking, but Malone’s sensibility and assurance make this possible. His voice is distinctive, his eye clear and sure, and his ability to change pace and direction in a poem makes his work elegant and surprising.”

MICHAEL SYMMONS ROBERTS

Find out how to order a Signed copy direct from Martin Malone HERE


About Martin Malone

Martin Malone lives in north-east Scotland. He has published three poetry collections: The Waiting Hillside (Templar, 2011), Cur (Shoestring, 2015), The Unreturning (Shoestring, 2019) and four chapbooks: 17 Landscapes (Bluegate Books), Prodigals (The Black Light Engine Room), Mr. Willett’s Summertime (Poetry Salzburg) and Shetland Lyrics (Hedgehog Poetry). He is an Associate Teaching Fellow in Creative Writing at Aberdeen University. For five years between 2013 and 2017, he was editor of The Interpreter’s House journal.

Find out more at:

www.martinmalonepoetry.com


Product details

  • Paperback : 88 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1-913499-01-3
  • Product Dimensions : 14.81 x 0.81 x 21.01 cm
  • Official Release Date: 1st December 2020
  • Order signed copies direct from Martin Malone  HERE

“…breathtakingly assured – a rich, attractively male excavation of time and place, landscape and language, every word alert to the elements without and their emotions within.”

CAROL ANN DUFFY

“‘The Unreturning’ is a triumph of chronotopic synthesis, bringing together in significantly unstable amalgams ranges of language and experience that critically catch and address some of the glaringly painful ways in which we are, one hundred years after, heirs to the Great War’s tragic failures in imagination and intelligence.”

PETER ROBINSON

“… a poetic séance conjuring culture and personality during ‘the suicide of nations’. At once sardonic and elegiac, poet Martin Malone moves the wheels of history with the blood of his empathy and craft.”

DAN O’BRIEN

“…a writer with a thrilling commitment to seeing just what it is that poetry can do.”

JONATHAN EDWARDS

Here is that good poetry – both finely crafted and with something to say.” 

NIALL CAMPBELL

Day #16: The Year of the Hog: “The Saltwater Diaries” – Sue Burge

Over the next few weeks we are celebrating all of the Poets and their Collections that we have published in 2020.

Today’s collection is the second we have published from Sue Burge, who I have to say is one of my fave poets ever. Her debut for us, Lumière was epic and The Saltwater Diaries is gorgeous in every sense.

Sue Burge’s ‘The Saltwater Diaries’ is a beautiful evocation of  all that is special about the coast, perfectly capturing the taste of salt on the wind and the life that is often undiscovered beneath rocks, along beaches and dancing in the air. This is a stunning collection of small pebbles that together can form mountains.

Sue Burge is a poet and freelance creative writing and film studies tutor based in North Norfolk.  She loves wild swimming, birdwatching and walking and spends much of her time outdoors.  Sue’s first collection In the Kingdom of Shadows (Live Canon) was published in 2018 as was her debut pamphlet Lumiere (Hedgehog Poetry Press).  The Saltwater Diaries is Sue’s second pamphlet with Hedgehog Poetry Press and is a celebration and exploration of all things coastal.


About Sue Burge

Sue Burge is a North Norfolk based poet.   She has been a freelance creative writing and film studies tutor and writing mentor since 2007.   Previously, Sue taught English, literature, cultural studies, film and creative writing for over twenty years at the University of East Anglia.   A fully qualified teacher, Sue has taught a wide range of groups both in the UK and abroad.   She was an Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing for the Open University for many years, the Education Officer for King’s Lynn Community Cinema Club for seven years and was a regular tutor for the WEA (Workers Education Association).   She created and taught intensive short courses on film for the Picturehouse Cinema in Cambridge, Cinema City in Norwich, the University of Zurich and the ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences Winterhur, Switzerland for many years.

Sue runs a wide variety of writing courses in East Anglia.   Many are special one-day pop-ups in interesting venues (Cambridge Botanic Gardens, The Fitzwilliam Museum, King’s Lynn Ferry, The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Holkham Hall).   Face-to-face courses, workshops and retreats are also on offer.   Sue also has a popular international course by e-mail subscription, The Writing Cloud, where you can sign up for monthly prompts and feedback.   She is an experienced mentor and has brought many interesting writing projects to fruition.

Although she has had short stories published, Sue is primarily a poet and her poetry can be found in a wide range of magazines and anthologies.   Her first collection, In The Kingdom of the Shadows, was published in 2018 by Live Canon.   Thanks to the generosity of the Arts Council, Sue was able to spend time in Paris in 2016 where she created a body of work exploring her personal relationship with Paris, as well as its cinematic and literary legacy.   The resulting pamphlet Lumière, is now available from Hedgehog Press.   You can find out more about Sue’s publications here.

Sue regularly blogs about her travels, projects and encounters at Poet by the Sea — cinema, poetry, café culture and all things watery.

Sue was a regular review writer for the Eastern Daily Press on events during the King’s Lynn Festival and is a Professional Member of the National Association of Writers in Education(NAWE).   She is on the editorial board of NAWE’s Writing in Education magazine.


Product details

  • ISBN-10 : 1916090834
  • Paperback : 46 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1916090835
  • Product Dimensions : 14.81 x 0.28 x 21.01 cm
  • Order Signed Copies direct from Sue Burge HERE

Day #15: The Year of the Hog: “Eat the Storms” – Damien B. Donnelly

Over the next few weeks we are celebrating all of the Poets and their Collections that we have published in 2020.

Today’s collection makes me wonder exactly where you were when you first read a Damien B. Donnelly poem? Over the last few months, the man has seemingly single-handedly created a joy-tinged poetic wave of light and colour, both for his own work – deserving of more respect than a single paragraph can convey – but with a generosity of spirit and humour, bringing so many other poets into the light he casts through his energy and perpetual motion.

(Note: We have had him drug-tested, it is apparently natural.)

But it is Eat the Storms that we are celebrating here and if you haven’t experienced this stunning debut yet, this is surely your moment.

“This is a richly-suggestive, highly-vivid collection of poems, depicting a wide canvas of emotional landscapes with painter-like precision. The intensely visual aspect of Donnelly’s writing is encapsulated in ‘The Irises of our Eyes’, where the poetic speaker is caught up in a visionary experience, where nature, art and language become one.

‘Crazed caught on canvas, caught in colour,
thought tempered in sweeping strokes-
we can be carried away in seas of grass’

It’s no surprise that Donnelly is also a painter and designer and repeated references to colour amplify and intensify emotions in rhapsodic waves of word-pictures, provoking intense feelings of joy and grief, as seen in the poignant ‘Tattered brown trousers’, where the fragilities of a father are darkly-depicted.

‘Eat the Storms’ is a sensory reading experience, with an accessible, appealing and multi-layered voice. Each new reading reveals different shades of meaning and all the nuances of Donnelly’s lyric voice. At once tender and lyrical, there are poignant and troubling moments throughout: the pain of experience – ‘the simple route the river runs, the rustle of the red rose tipped with thorns’; the recurring motif of fragile relationships; the conflicting desires for belonging and freedom; the gut-wrenching theme of being deserted; the complexities of identity and the ever-shifting sense of self we experience – ‘beneath the red ink tipped into this flesh’.

This is a striking, powerful collection, which achieves a balance between a personal, expansive and lyric style and the taut control needed to achieve fine poetry.”

Matthew M. C. Smith – Poet and editor of Black Bough Poetry.

  • Order signed copies direct from Damien at his web site HERE
  • Order Print Copies HERE
  • Order eBook Copies HERE

 


“Damien Donnelly is the archduke of alliteration and a poet in love with colour and sensuality. The poems in this first collection pop with blinding whites, rich reds and purples, and the yellow of Van Gogh sunflowers. They are jazz riffs on journeys, prisms chasing and catching the light. There is darkness too, in lines such as “Father ate all the flowers/in the back garden”, and there are slower poems of self-assessment, including this finely achieved passage in “Red Ink”:

“I am looking
to find a new shape; turning back, returning,
recalling that first mark, to measure how far
from it I ran, to see what was left behind…”

Above all, there is a sweeping positive energy, a welcoming of all that the world has to offer, and a certainty that “dark doors open often into hopeful”.”

Catherine Ann Cullen

“In a pamphlet saturated in colour, Damien Donnelly takes us on an immersive journey through a landscape of pigments. Written with great lyricism and emotional intensity, these poems contrast darker hues with lighter tones to create a sequence of poems that will linger in the memory.”

Jessica Traynor


About Damien B. Donnelly

Damien, 44, Dublin born, returned to Ireland in 2019 after 23 years in Paris, London and Amsterdam, has been writing since childhood, poetry and short stories questioning identity, sexuality and fragility. His daily interests revolve around falling over and learning how to get up again while making delicious cakes. He’s been featured in the books ‘Second Chance’ from Original Writing, ‘Body Horror’ from Gehenna & Hinnom, ‘Nous Sommes Paris’ from Eyewear Publishing and The Runt Magazine. Online, he has been featured in Coffin Bell, Black Bough Poetry, Scribe Base, Barren Magazine. This is his debut collection of poetry and he is honoured to be in the hands of The Hedgehog Press.

 


Product details

  • ISBN: 978-1913499266
  • Pages: 34
  • Order signed copies direct from Damien at his web site HERE

Day #14: The Year of the Hog: “Venus in pink marble” – Gaynor Kane

Over the next few weeks we are celebrating all of the Poets and their Collections that we have published in 2020.

Today’s collection is the epic, beautiful, many-kinds-of-awesome full collection from the genius that is ‘Lady’ Gaynor Kane.

Following the success of her thematically focused pamphlet Memory Forest, Gaynor Kane’s debut full collection of poems opens outwards as she explores her personal history. Venus in pink marble takes the reader on a narrative journey from heritage and place, through family and relationships, to poetry inspired by culture. Venus in Pink marble is poet and public servant, protector and rebel, proposition and paradox, with feminine strength.

  • Buy a Signed Copy Direct from Gaynor Kane HERE
  • Buy a Print Copy HERE
  • Buy an eBook PDF Copy HERE

 


About Gaynor Kane

Gaynor Kane (nee Carson) fell into writing accidentally. At forty, instead of buying a mid-life crisis sports car, she started a degree with the Open University. She finished her BA (Hons) in Humanities with Literature in 2016 with a module on creative writing. Since then, she has been widely published in journals and anthologies and listed, placed, and won, several poetry competitions. She is vice-chair of Holywood Writer’s Group and a member of Women Aloud NI. Gaynor also volunteers for EastSide Arts during their summer festival and also during the CS Lewis Festival.

Gaynor’s micro-pamphlet ‘Circling the Sun’, about the early aviatrixes, was published in 2018. Her pamphlet ‘Memory Forest’, about burial rituals and last wishes, was published in 2019. Gaynor’s debut full poetry collection, ‘Venus in pink marble’, is published in 2020. These books are all published by Hedgehog Poetry Press.

 


Product details

  • Paperback : 98 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1913499316
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1913499310
  • Product Dimensions : 14.81 x 0.58 x 21.01 cm
  • Buy a Signed Copy Direct from Gaynor Kane HERE

Happy Launch Day! – Find out about “Where Flora Sings” by Margaret Royall

“Where Flora Sings” – Margaret Royall

I must admit, this collection from Margaret Royall has been a long time coming to us at the Hedgehog Press. I think it is safe to say that Margaret has appeared in more of our anthologies than anybody else and her Stickleback for us was very much a personal favourite. But I’m more than proud to say that this quite beautiful in every sense book, is finally available today and I’m not sure I have ever been quite so proud.

This collection is primarily a celebration of all things floral, yet is much more than that, being also a hymn to life, for the poems are written from unusual and sometimes challenging perspectives. The poems in the 1st section, ‘Flower Power /People Power’, directly connect to flowers and plants either by extolling their virtues or by connecting flowers to people in an alternative way. The second section  ‘Roses and Thorns’ gives an in-depth retrospective on the inherent joys and sorrows of life’s  journey from cradle to grave, seen from the perspective of a woman in her third age, whose life has been punctuated by chronic illness, grief and loss. Yet they are very much an anthem to survival, a way of seeking peace and closure by exploring more difficult themes through the medium of poetry.

Find out how to buy a Signed Copy HERE


About Margaret Royall

Margaret’s fascination for landscape poetry, myth, legend and nature have been enhanced by annual writing retreats on the beautiful island of Iona, painting in Crete and writing in her beloved France. She was short-listed in 2018 for the Crowvus and the Bangor Literary Festival Poetry Prizes. Her work has featured in many anthologies by Hedgehog Poetry Press and recently won their collection competition, to be published 2021. Her poetry has appeared in both The Blue Nib and Impspired Literary Journals among others. In May 2020 her memoir of childhood, The Road To Cleethorpes Pier, was published to great acclaim, receiving straight 5 star Amazon reviews. She is a regular performer at open mic nights and leads a poetry workshop in Nottinghamshire.


“Margaret Royall’s ‘Where Flora Sings’ is a collection to lift the spirits during the long winter nights. Royall’s love of all things natural shines through on every page and the reader cannot help but share her delight through such beautifully observed, life-affirming poems. Though she acknowledges that nature can be brutal and life precarious, there is an unwavering optimism and faith in these poems. Age isn’t to be feared but to be valued and admired; nostalgia isn’t melancholic but comforting; to grieve is to have loved; and death is a precursor to resurrection. At the end of her poem, ‘Amaryllis’ Royall writes:’ Sweet memories of this colourful profusion/will stay forever locked within my heart’, capturing perfectly what this reader will take away from her collection. ”

  • Nigel Kent

“Margaret Royall’s second collection is a highly personal work. She conveys her love of flowers, and their significance to her, both as a woman, and as a poet. She employs a number of diverse narrative tones in this volume, from contemporary and conversational  through to voices drawn from received literary traditions. Humour, reflection and spirituality thread through her poems, too. Margaret invokes all five senses as she treats the reader to encounters with blossoms, and wider natural environments. Her poems are informed by her interest in horticulture, geology and music, though she wears this lightly. Her pieces are also underpinned by her passion for the natural world and the welfare of our planet. She uses the motif of seasonal shifts to reflect stages in her subjects’ life journeys, and her metaphors are painterly and enrich her poetry.

A wide range of poetic forms appear in the collection. I particularly enjoyed the complexity of her ‘Sestina for a Medieval Birthing’ and the affecting simplicity of ‘September on Iona 1’. The collection is enhanced by a pervasive sense of temporality, as expressed in ‘Midnight Stardust’. I am sure that we will be reading more from this sensitive writer, a dedicated and prolific poet.”

  • Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon

Product details

  • Paperback : 68 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1-913499-43-3
  • Product Dimensions : 14.81 x 0.15 x 21.01 cm
  • Official Release Date: 28th November 2020
  • Order Signed Copies direct from Margaret Royall by contacting her HERE

Day #13: The Year of the Hog: “Ghost Walk” – Sarah Wragg

Sarah Wragg ‘Ghost Walk’

Over the next few weeks we are celebrating all of the Poets and their Collections that we have published in 2020.

Today’s collection is super Spooky, but beautifully put together with each poem absolutely perfect in every sense, making Ghost Walk a must.

In truth, Sarah Wragg has created a collection of Spooky poetry that deserves to be on the shelf along with the classics, it is as simple as that.

  • Order signed and annotated copies direct from Sarah Wragg HERE
  • Order Print Copies HERE
  • Order eBook PDF HERE

“Sarah Wragg’s Ghost Walk leads the reader down shifting streets, pausing in places where nothing is quite what is seems. Away from the cozy fireside, the past oozes through walls and gardens, while shopkeepers and sailors, astronauts and explorers, flicker at the edges of plain sight. Even the breaks between the lines are haunted, and both life and death become unreliable memories. Don’t look behind you!”

– Oz Hardwick

“From a toy shop to a space ship, these poems abound with unlikely, resonant settings, the ghosts appearing in medieval nuns’ habits or scrolling down their mobile phones. This collection is a meditation on history, the human imagination, and humanity exposed in all its greed and cruelty. It’s also political – eco-politics, gendered iniquities, animal testing – all get examined under the lens of ghostly horror. And each is a story in a nutshell, often with a powerful kick at the end, and full of a multiplicity of characters. This is one phantasmagoria you won’t want to miss!”

– Amina Alyal

“Sarah Wragg has a fine eye for the no-ones that are there. The restless souls present range from highwaymen still shooting crazily into times they can’t touch, to boys with poppies of blood spreading across their hungry chests. Her gaze is wry and compassionate: she sees as much to pity in overloaded horses as in a boy who had no idea of childhood; she revives her ghosts and their hard times for our fresh consideration. Individually the poems are carefully made chronicles of misfortune, hubris and bad luck. Together they send a sharp, not-quite-familiar, shiver through the warmest room, and leave you wondering if you’ve ever really been alone.”

– Rebecca Bilkau

About Sarah Wragg

Sarah Wragg’s poems have been published in anthologies by Beautiful Dragons Press (My Dear WatsonNot A DropA Bee’s BreakfastNoble DissentWatch The BirdieWell, Dam!Bloody Amazing!) and Indigo Dreams (Mystery). Ghost Walk is her first solo collection which combines her love of poetry and the horripilating shivers you experience when reading good old fashioned ghost stories. In other writing achievements, Sarah’s black comedy Delira made it to the finals of the 2020 Write Here! Write Now! Playwriting Festival. She is a frequent contributor to open mic nights with her pithy poetry and short stories.


Product details

  • eBook PDF: 34 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1913499421
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1913499426
  • Product Dimensions : 14.81 x 0.2 x 21.01 cm
  • Order signed and annotated copies direct from Sarah Wragg HERE

Day #12: The Year of the Hog: “shades of blue” – Lucy Crispin

Over the next few weeks we are celebrating all of the Poets and their Collections that we have published in 2020.

I have to say that today’s title is one of the most beautiful books I have read in years. Lucy Crispin is an extremely special poet and I find it very hard to imagine anybody – poetry lover or not – who wouldn’t lose time immersing themselves in shades of blue.

shades of blue is an invitation to be present to life. By turns mischievous, meditative, melancholy and ecstatic, this short collection celebrates the natural world and the mixed and marvellous experience of being human. Though shades of blue features a variety of forms and moods, it is unified by the characteristic Crispin qualities of passion, precision and tenderness. Acutely sensitive to both exterior and interior landscapes, she writes vividly and with authority. Here, as in her previous pamphlet wish you were here, Lucy Crispin honours the truth of the heart, the life of the spirit.

  • Order signed copies direct from Lucy Crispin at her web site HERE
  • Order Print Copies HERE
  • Order eBook PDF Copies HERE

 


“Lucy Crispin would make a brilliant scene-of-crime officer, because she notices everything, and understands its significance. And there’d be nothing second-hand about her report to the CID, either, for she uses language with a vigour and freshness that puts one in mind of Dylan Thomas or Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Crispin has a dazzling gift for representing her subjects. Situations, things, nature, atmosphere, all come to life eagerly from her pen. She has a sharp eye and a sensitive response, and no patience at all with anything remotely resembling a cliché. There’s nothing contrived; she’s always fresh and apt. Hers is a strongly individual vision, accessible, interesting, compelling. She knows her craft, is faithful to her daemon, and she has a reliably consistent voice. What particularly distinguishes her for me is a rare kind of personal poetic courage, for her tones are honest, compelling, both disciplined and passionate, both serious and moving-a rare enough combination in the contemporary poetry scene. And the human condition? She writes with equal delicacy of what lies under the skin, what moves the human heart. Such gifts are rare, even in the world of poetry. I certainly look forward to more of her work, which deserves to be far better known.”

– RV Bailey

“This collection, with its beautifully described, precise imagery, draws you in to moments and scenes and senses: shape, texture, colour are here in abundance. The language… has a wonderful music. So many different moods here-joy, anger, mischievousness; and an invitation fully to enter my own world, parallel to the poems’, with the reminder that the only time we have is now.”

– Jeff Cowton, Head Curator, Dove Cottage

“Lucy’s poems are intensely rich interior landscapes, finely and vividly observed, in which she explores reflections on her life and the lives of others. Her verse includes occasional experiments with sonnet and villanelle forms with brief flashes of self-deprecating humour; but the essence of her work is a piercing insight into life’s episodes set against the beauty of the natural world.”

– Roger Iredale


About Lucy Crispin

Lucy Crispin is a librettist and prize-winning poet who lives in the Lake District, England. Asked what she writes about, she mutters something vague about ‘Um, well… what it’s like being a person’. She’s inspired by the natural world, travel, other people, and the life of the spirit; interested, too, in the way our experiences shape us. In both her poetry and non-fiction she celebrates what she calls the everyday extraordinary. An experienced person-centred therapist, Lucy facilitates poetry-based CPD for fellow therapists and charitable organisations. She’s also taught creative writing in third-sector organisations, schools, and at the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School. Lucy is a former Poet Laureate of South Cumbria. Her work has been widely published in print and online, and Hedgehog Press brought out her micro-pamphlet wish you were here in January 2020 (available directly from Lucy at her site below). As well as writing a weekly poetry column and facilitating monthly poetry-reading groups, Lucy performs her poetry and takes part in other events.

Find out more at: lucycrispin.com.


Product details

  • ISBN: 978-1913499242
  • Pages: 36
  • Order signed copies direct from Lucy Crispin at her web site HERE