I’ll be reading at this year’s Ted Hughes Festival on Oct 26th in Mytholmroyd, which is probably the last poetry reading I’ll do for the next few years. Heading into semi-retirement and the world of fiction.
A batch of hardback second editions of Dark Corners of the Land were delivered in May from Blackheath Manufactory. They have cloth covers and spines. That’s quite an exciting thing for a book geek like me. You can take a look at them here. The card cover chapbooks (first edition) have now sold out.
Dark Corners of the Land, was named ‘Poetry Book of the Year’ at the 2012 3:AM Awards. It was also chosen by Jenni Fagan (Granta 2013 list and author of The Panopticon) as one of her books of the year in The Scotsman. A poem from the collection, Bad Blood, was published in the Morning Star in March. You can read a recent review on Metazen, who described me as ‘The Hilary Mantel of Underground Poetry’. Ahem.
Dark Corners of the Land
This is my recent award-winning collection on Blackheath Books. These visceral confessional poems explore rural life, strange deaths, hunting, farming and hedonism, set against the backdrop of the small North Yorkshire town where I grew up. Influenced by Robinson Jeffers, D.H. Lawrence and Ted Hughes, the poems respond to myxomatosis, the Battle of Towton, bull castration, lambing, the badger cull, animal traps, poachers, fishing, underage drinking, acid house, and hunting with dogs.
The first edition of these handmade chapbooks have sold out. The second edition features a stencilled barb wire spray-painted cloth cover and signed Brooke Bond tea cards ‘Freshwater Fish’ illustrated by E.V. Petts. London artist Lisa Cradduck has created an exclusive etching Lumb Falls which also features in the book. You can buy copies direct from Blackheath Books.
Cigarettes in Bed
The final full stop to my city writing which began with my debut Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid. Unlike many writers in the poetry underground, I tried to explore traditional forms; crafting haikus, couplets, and sonnets with a distinctive modern language. Inspired equally by the wilderness poets of Ancient China as I was by Coleridge and Blake this book was the winner of 3:AM’s Poetry Book of the Year Award in 2009.
Cigarettes In Bed comes is a limited edition chapbook complete with individually ‘hand burned’ holes in the cover. This was done by my hot poker, from the fire – and a few by magnifying glasses. No two editions are the same, making them instantly collectible. Copies are available direct from Blackheath Books.You can also buy copies from Word Power Books in Edinburgh.
Some Things are Better Left Unsaid
My debut poetry collection was published in 2008. Influences and inspiration for this chapbook were drawn from the changing face and increased gentrification of London’s East End (Asalam Walai Kum is set on Brick Lane yet, and the sonnet Chequebook Vandalism is a protest piece about the ruthless economic re-shaping of a pre-Olympics East London), out to the rural fields and hills of Britain (including The Lake District and The Black Mountains of Wales), and back to the personal space of rented rooms in the city. Available from Blackheath Books.
Brutalism One: Nowhere Fast
‘Here’s a laptop. Here’s a spell-check. Now write a book.’ In 2006, I was a founding member of The Brutalists, a group of young writers who gained coverage for their back-to-basics approach to poetry. Dogmatika called our debut work “a symphony of the housing estates” while The Guardian wondered “are we witnessing the creation of literary history right under our noses? The Brutalists’ debut co-written collection Nowhere Fast was published in 2008.
This hard-hitting and emotive chapbook contained poems by Ben Myers, Tony O’Neill and myself. Each of us writing about the respective Northern towns of our adolescence – Blackburn, Durham, Tadcaster – Nowhere Fast marked the public debut of The Brutalist Poets. Inspired by the music of punk and reggae, comics and kitchen sink cinema, these were bare-knuckle poems of violence, paranoia, cheap sex, eccentric characters and a desire to escape. The themes of the poems were captured in refined illustrations by the artist, Lisa Cradduck. You can’t buy them anywhere, but if you’re interested, I have a pile of them at home in my attic. Get in touch & I’ll send you one through pigeon post.
Silver: An Eclectic Anthology of Poetry & Prose – Quietism appears in this US collection of poetry, essays, short stories, novel excerpts, and stage play scenes with writers including Gerald Locklin, Ann Menebroker, Jack Micheline, Ben Myers, Pam Miller Wood and Fred Voss. Edited by Joan Jobe Smith.
The Penny Dreadful Magazine #1 – Bad Blood is included in Cork’s literary magazine, alongside Roddy Doyle, Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, Alan Titley, Will Schutt and Mercedes Helnwein. Copies can be ordered here.
Mineshaft Magazine #28 - Stolen Kiss features alongside exclusive work from Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky Crumb, Billy Childish, Christoph Mueller, Luca Donnini, Andrei Codrescu, Brad Barrett, Pat Moriarity, Aleksander Zograf and William Brook Jr.
Counterfeit Crank: Modern Poetry for Private People – Burnt Stubb Haiku is featured in this beautiful limited edition chapbook on Sick Fly Publications alongside Charles Plymell, Ntozake Shange, Gerard Malanga, Fred Voss, Alan Dent, Doug Draime, Edward Lucie-Smith, Joseph Ridgwell, K.V. Skene, Joan Jobe Smith, Tim Wells, A.D. Winans, Rob Plath, and Gerald Nicosia. ISBN 978-0-9553402-9-1. Copies available via this link.
DWANG Anthology 2 - Three exclusive tanka poems appeared alongside Fred Voss, Billy Childish, Doug Blazek, Gerald Locklin, Salena Godden, K.V. Skene, Arthur Winfield Knight, Jenni Fagan, Geoff Hattersley, Joseph Ridgwell, Rob Plath, Steve Ely, Brian McGettrick, Ben Myers, A.D. Winans, Charles Plymell and artwork from Richard Long. ISBN 978-0-9553402-6-0. Copies are available from Tangerine’s website.
Chiron Review #89 - Last Orders, Lost Elation and Quietism appeared in the Winter 2009 ‘Punk Issue’ of the US underground poetry paper, alongside D.C Lynn, Puma Perl, Victor D Infante and Charles Plymell’s essay on The Minutemen. Copies are $7 direct from Chiron’s website.
Mineshaft Magazine #24 - Six new poems from The Brutalists ft Vile Affections and Babylon by Adelle Stripe. Summer 2009 issue of the US underground counterculture magazine . Featuring Robert Crumb’s Dream Diary, Charles Bukowski, Spain Rodriguez, Skip Williamson, Mary Fleener, Frank Stack, Ed Piskor, and James G Mundie.
DWANG Anthology 1 – A William Wantling special hardback edition featuring new work by Dan Fante, Billy Childish, Charles Plymell, Steve Richmond, Fred Voss, A.D Winans and many more. ISBN: 978-0-9553402-3-9. Copies available from Tangerine’s website.