Botanical illustrations from “A Wild Plant Year” by Christina Hart-Davies on tea towels!

plantlife teatowelsPlantlife, the wild plant conservation charity have reproduced two illustrations from A Wild Plant Year by Christina Hart-Davies as tea towels! Check them out in Plantlife’s online shop.

To buy a copy of A Wild Plant Year: The History, Folklore and Uses of Britain’s Flora click here.

 

Wild_Plant_Year_Cover_final

A Wild Plant Year, is  a lavishly illustrated, small-format, picture-led book covering 150-200 common wild flowers and plants, with text giving  botanical information, history and folklore, medicinal or culinary uses.

The book is arranged in a through-the-year format, waymarked by festivals such as Easter, Mothering Sunday, Summer Solstice, Bonfire Night, etc. It follows a rough calendar, illustrating flowers and plants associated with each season and festival. The book has been designed spread by spread and the text is already drafted. The paintings are almost all completed, most of them made directly from life.

It is a sort of commonplace book, an ideal gift; something to dip into when relaxing, rather than a field guide.book on the cultural, social, folkloric and medicinal history of British wild plants.  The perfect gift for any nature-lovers, nostalgia-buffs, folklorists and botanical-art-lovers as well as gardeners – though, in fact,  hardly any garden plants are included; it’s all wild plants!

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whispersWhispers of Better Things: The Social Impact of the Hill Family by Duncan Mackay (author)


Open for Art is back! Friday 30 June – Sunday 2 July, 2017

This weekend, Fri 30th June to Sunday 2nd July, Reading is Open for Art!

Shady_CoverOur very own Geoff Sawers is exhibiting the paintings and drawings from The Shady Side of Town at 142 Castle Hill. (Opening event will be on Friday 30th, 12-1pm).

shady side spread

 

 

 

 

 

This fourth year of Open for Art celebrates design, the arts and creativity, from marking the 100 years since the birth of iconic British Designer, Lucienne Day to exhibiting the work of Reading’s emerging designers, artists, performers and makers of all ages. Come and join us whilst we lead you on walks, hear artists talks and poems, explore Reading’s hidden waterways, take part
in Open Air art classes, create floral headdresses inspired by Frida Kahlo, follow the heritage paths and revel in performances.  For more information on the events of the weekend, click here.

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cinema coverPicture Palace to Penny Plunge: Reading Cinemas by David Cliffe (author)


Deafness and poetry: Susan Utting interviewed for The Limping Chicken

half-the-human-race-front-coverTwo Rivers Press poet, Susan Utting, is interviewed by Juliet England, about deafness and poetry.   Read the interview here.   Two of Susan’s poems “Report to the Department of Audiology” and “Lip-reading the Poets”, appear with the interview.  Both also appear in Susan’s most recent collection,  Half the Human Race:  New and Selected Poems

 

 

 

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Review: The Shady Side of Town gets glorious review

What a pleasure to read Matthew Farrell’s rather glorious review of The Shady Side of the Town.     He writes:

Shady_Cover

The Shady Side of Town: Reading’s Trees by Adrian Lawson and Geoff Sawers is a quirky and inclusive guide to some of our finest and most interesting local specimens and is packed with fond facts and bold art…

Each tree in the book has been carefully chosen for its variety, diversity and uniqueness. It’s expressed in Adrian Lawson’s knowledgeable, loving prose accompanied by original, stark, imaginative painting from accomplished artist Geoff Sawers. They are a class double act…

This lovely compact volume is meant to make you get out there. So when in vacant or in pensive mood you can stuff it in your hoodie pocket and go and see for yourselves. There are well over thirty trees to visit: including such exotic sounding specimens as wild service, black poplar, cedar of Lebanon, Bhutan pine plus our lovely sweet chestnuts, oaks and other natives…

…the very reasonable £8.99 under-a-tennerness. Two pints worth of glorious local and profound knowledge throwing light into our cerebral and spiritual darkness is well worth it in my view.

If you love trees and live in the Reading area you really should get your own copy!

Read the review it its entirety at the wonderful The Whitney Pump.

 

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The 2017 Cookham Festival Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition: Rosie Jackson’s winning poem

The Heaven that Runs Through Everything 

Here’s to the small everyday miracles –
Mrs Baggett with her knitting and pearls,

the lovely daughters of Jerusalem
in their gardens of lilies, laburnum,

gospels and gossip at the regatta,
Sarah Tubb and her heavenly visitor,

courting and baptism along the Thames,
a dustman leaping into his wife’s arms.

Here’s to tulip, rock rose, gypsophila
flowering together, to vases of prayer,

Saint Francis in slippers and dressing gown
up on the roof with hens to catch the sun,

chores doing themselves down in the kitchen
at a wedding where water’s turned to wine,

everything married to everything else –
yearning to show itself as happiness,

as Love. Neighbours who rejoice with tin cans
and cabbage leaves, the ripe summer commons,

skies which open over bulrush, goose-run,
the fresh light making everything new-born,

shot through with flame, each shrub a burning bush
by the tow path. All detail the flourish

of nature to show itself exactly –
not ‘bird’ but swan, cockerel, grebe, quail, turkey.

Blessings on Ricket’s Farm, Rowborough, Pound Field,
the very word ‘Eden’ changed, now this world

is all we need to know of paradise.
Consider the gardens at Cookham Rise

where Adam’s walking backwards to a tree
laden with unpicked apples – the first day

and the last become one, as if heaven was
wanting to reveal its eternal Yes –

earthly desire become beatitude,
everything known to be equally god.

Suffering a page to be folded over,
tenderness up sleeves in the tents of war,

balm poured from seraphs in the guise of men.
Nothing that is not transfiguration –

the dying girl next door raised up, restored
to life, then the quickening of a horde

of spirits, hungry for what death waylaid –
the lost embrace, words not said, love not made.

Here’s to grief unlearnt, grateful breath redrawn,
the rapture of rolling away the stone.

And let’s not forget the man most at home
in sunlight, newly arrived in Cookham,

who walks with disciples up Cockmarsh Hill,
everyone in the crowd a plump angel.

Spencer finalSir Stanley Spencer (1891–1959) was undoubtedly one of the most admired and influential English painters of the twentieth century.  Cookham was a major influence on both his life and painting and his reference to the place as ‘a village in Heaven’ is reflected in his famous series of paintings of Biblical scenes featuring local people.

The 2017 Cookham Festival  Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition invited poets to find inspiration for their own art in the work of this remarkable man. “The Heaven that Runs Through Everything” is the winner of The Don and Jill Cawthorne Prize of The 2017 Cookham Festival Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition.    A selection from the entries to the competition is published in Stanley Spencer Poems An Anthology.  

Congratulations, Rosie

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The 2017 Cookham Festival Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition: Ross Cogan’s winning poem

Zacharias and Elizabeth

An English offering. There in the top
reach of the home meadow, near where it shades
into the scrub as sleep folds into sleep,
he burns the scraps of lamb as one might burn
raked leaves – drawn down and sheepish while he feeds
the pale flesh to the flame. And his wife runs

to him, the rumour of new life in her
like talk of a new war passing from lip
to lip. “In these days he has shown his favour,
and taken away my disgrace” he thinks
picturing heaven’s crisp ledgers. Men chop
wood, mend the hedges, build up the banks

set for the blessing of the October rain
that drops like a libation on the land.
Wind parts his wife’s white hair and sends a skein
of thin smoke skirling skywards, and the small
girl sees all this, sees it and understands
that signs and wonders happen over the wall.

 

Spencer finalSir Stanley Spencer (1891–1959) was undoubtedly one of the most admired and influential English painters of the twentieth century.  Cookham was a major influence on both his life and painting and his reference to the place as ‘a village in Heaven’ is reflected in his famous series of paintings of Biblical scenes featuring local people.

The 2017 Cookham Festival Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition invited poets to find inspiration for their own art in the work of this remarkable man. “Zacharias and Elizabeth” is the winner of The Stationers’ Company Award of The 2017 Cookham Festival Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition.    A selection from the entries to the competition is published in Stanley Spencer Poems An Anthology.

 

Congratulations, Ross!

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The 2017 Cookham Festival Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition: Richard Robbin’s winning poem

Christ Carrying the Cross

a painting by Stanley Spencer, 1920

And we saw someone passing below,
we who jammed the sash of each high window
like twins sprouted from a common waist.
And it was the quiet work below

we noticed first, something no one called
suffering, though it seemed what we’d been called
to bear. We watched ladders, crooked hands, heard
talk proceed as always, saw through old

remarkable eyes. Why, then, be startled
to find ourselves wingèd, some changed world
in the making along ivy and brick?
Someone pulled that slow cross to a hill.

 

Spencer finalSir Stanley Spencer (1891–1959) was undoubtedly one of the most admired and influential English painters of the twentieth century.  Cookham was a major influence on both his life and painting and his reference to the place as ‘a village in Heaven’ is reflected in his famous series of paintings of Biblical scenes featuring local people.

The 2017 Cookham Festival Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition invited poets to find inspiration for their own art in the work of this remarkable man. “Christ Carrying the Cross” is the winner of The Maidenhead Advertiser Award of The 2017 Cookham Festival  Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition.    A selection from the entries to the competition is published in Stanley Spencer Poems An Anthology.  

Congratulations, Richard!

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The Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition: winners

Spencer finalJudges announce winner and runners up of The 2017 Cookham Festival Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition:

The Don and Jill Cawthorne Prize, cash prize of £2,500:
Rosie Jackson – “The Heaven That Runs Through Everything”

The Stationers’ Company Award,  cash prize of £500:
Ross Cogan – “Zacharias and Elizabeth”

The Maidenhead Advertiser Award, cash prize of £500:
Richard Robbins – “Christ Carrying the Cross”

 

Congratulations to all the winners!

To celebrate the awards for the Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition,  3 large pop-up display stands, each displaying one of the three prize winning poems are now on display in Holy Trinity Church, Cookham and provide an interesting perspective from which to read the poems. Everyone is more than welcome to drop in and read them.

Stanley Spencer Poems. An Anthology” contains not only the three prize winners, but 75 other poems which highlight the amazing quality of the over 200 poems submitted to the judges. Order your copy here.

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Claire Dyer’s next novel: The Last Day

Two Rivers Press poets are a talented bunch.  They are not just poets!  Some are novelists, as well!

claire-dyer-home-page-bw31Claire Dyer’s new novel, The Last Day, has just been signed up by The Dome Press.

According to The Bookseller:

The blurb for The Last Day reads: “Since the end of her marriage, Vita has regained her happiness and remained civilised friends with her husband, Boyd. So much so that it seems natural – almost – for him to move back into their marital home as he goes through financial difficulties, even though he brings with him Honey, his beautiful and much younger new love. Vita is fine about it, she really is. But Honey isn’t just blonde hair and long, graceful limbs – she loves Boyd with a passion and is hiding secrets of her own.

Rebecca Lloyd, publisher at The Dome Press, said: “The Last Day has the tenderness of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel mixed with the edginess and unexpectedness of The Girl on a Train. It is touching and unnerving, with richly drawn characters and many-layered relationships that take you by surprise right till the end. I was hooked immediately. Claire is a huge talent.”

Dyer’s previous novels, The Moment and The Perfect Affair and her short story, “Falling for Gatsby” were published by Quercus. Her poetry collections, Interference Effects and Eleven Rooms, are published by Two Rivers Press.

Doherty said: “I am absolutely delighted that The Last Day will be published by The Dome Press in 2018. The novel, focusing on the meaning of love in all its different ramifications and written with acute sensitivity, should attract a large audience.”

The Last Day will be published by The Dome Press in 2018.  Put it on your to read list!

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Reading Cultural Awards 2017: Two Rivers Press nominated

We’ve been nominated for one of the Reading Cultural Awards!

TRP has been nominated in the ‘Made in Reading’ category and ‘Walking Words’ – well done Sally and Adam – has been nominated in that and the Arts & Business partnership category

The Award winners will be announced on 29 June at the Reading Cultural Awards ceremony.

The list of nominations by category as well as more information on the Awards can be found at http://readingplaceofculture.org/awards/

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The Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition 2017: final shortlist

2017 Cookham Festival logoThe following poems have been chosen by the judges to form the final shortlist from which the three prize winning poems will be selected.

 

Poem:                                                                            Poet:

Zacharias and Elizabeth                                             Ross Cogan

Strawberry Moon                                                        Brian Docherty

The Heaven That Runs Through Everything            Rosie Jackson

Bedridden                                                                     Paul Jeffcutt

The Resurrection, Cookham                                     Tony Lucas

The Swans Speak to Stanley Spencer                     Dorothy McCarthy

Christ Carrying the Cross                                          Richard Robbins

Capture/Captured                                                      Pnina Shinebourne

First                                                                               Pnina Shinebourne

Disciples                                                                       Jean Watkins

Hilda, Unity and Dolls                                             Jean Watkins

The poems are listed in the alphabetical order of the poets and not in any ranking order.

The winners of the three prizes will be announced at a special Awards Ceremony at the Stanley Spencer Gallery, Cookham, on Friday 19 May.

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Octopus_Medicine_CoverOctopus Medicine by Becci Louise (poet/artist)


Storms under the Skin front cover finalStorms Under the Skin: Selected Poems, 1927-1954 by Henri Michaux (poet) Jane Draycott (translator)


Wednesday, 10 May 2017: Susan Utting at Loose Muse

You are invited to:

LOOSE MUSE – London’s Premiere Women’s Writers Night

Wednesday, May 10th (and every second Wednesday of the month)

Upstairs @ The Sun Pub, 21 Drury Lane (on the corner of Betterton Street), London WC2B 5RH 

8.00 p.m. – doors open from 7.30 p.m.

£6.00/£5.00 concessions

Featuring:

Susan Utting

Susan Utting

Susan Utting has had poetry published in The Times, TLS, The Independent, Forward Book of Poetry, The Poetry Review and Poems on the Underground. Her fourth poetry collection Half the Human Race: New & Selected Poems was published by Two Rivers Press in March. “Susan’s poetryexplores the social & biological struggles of being a woman, returning again and again to the thrills of being alive.” (Carrie Etter). She makes a welcome return to Loose Muse.

Jane Ulysses Grell is a poet and storyteller from the Caribbean island of Dominica, now living and working in London. A former teacher, Jane now works in a broad range of arts and community venues enthralling children and adults of all ages with her brand of poetry and storytelling in the African-Caribbean oral tradition. She has worked with BBC School Radio, published a Junior History and two books of poetry for children, and has recently published books of poems Praise Songs and White River Blues.

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Lesley Saunders wins Candlestick Press/Cloud Appreciation Society competition

Lesley Saunders

Lesley Saunders

Lesley Saunders’ poem ‘Hazy, Massed, Dappled’ has been selected as the overall winner of the Candlestick Press/Cloud Appreciation Society (CAS) competition. It was picked by judge Katharine Towers,  Candlestick Press Assistant Editor and CAS Poet in Residence, from over 600 poems submitted from all over the world.

The poem will be published in Candlestick’s forthcoming pamphlet Ten Poems about Clouds which is due for publication in July 2017 and will be featured on the Candlestick and CAS websites.

CASInitals-300                    Congratulations, Lesley!

 

 

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Monday, 8 May 2017: Duncan Mackay on the radio!

Tune in!

TRP author, Duncan Mackay will be a guest for 45 minutes between 3 – 3.45 p.m. on the Bill Buckley Show on BBC Radio Berkshire,  Monday, 8 May 2017!

Duncan will entertain with stories he has collected for his most recent book, Reading: The Place of the People of the Red One and share tales of Reading and Berkshire he has collected during the writing of his other books, Bizarre Berkshire and Eat Wild.

red-one-final

 

Buy your copy now!

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20-21 May 2017: Open studios – Caversham Artists and Friends

Saturday 20th May 2017,  3pm at 14 Kidmore Road, Caversham

Garden Reading by Caversham Poets,  including Jean Watkins, Susan Utting, Robin Thomas, Victoria Pugh.  Open Mic.

Sunday 21st May 2017,  3 pm at 63 St Peter’s Avenue, Caversham – in the garden.

Poetry Open Mic – hosted by Robin Thomas

All are welcome to come and to read their own or anyone else’s poem(s),
in any language (we’ve had Dutch, Chinese and Japanese in the past) or just to listen.

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Monday, 1 May 2017: Reading Mayday Tree festival

Shady_Cover

On May 1st, which is bank holiday Monday this year, we are launching a little (170x125mm) book by Adrian Lawson and Geoff Sawers on the trees of Reading: The Shady Side of Town: Reading’s Trees. 

Thanks to the enthusiasm of Reading Tree Wardens and Nature Nurture, we will launch it at a special family-oriented tree festival in Caversham Court Gardens. There will be children’s activities run by Nature Nurture, tours of the gardens run by FCCG, bird song tours run by Adrian, wood turning and other crafts people and, of course, a gazebo full of our books. Please come join us.

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Wednesday, 31 May 2017: Susan Utting in Chichester

Susan Utting is a Guest Poet at Chichester Poetry, 7.30 pm, New Park Community Arts Centre, New Park Road, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 7XY.  Please join us there!

New Park Community Arts Centre

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Friday, 12 May 2017: Poetry reading at Cookham Dean Village Hall

Spencer finalMembers of the public will have a chance to hear selected poems from the newly published Stanley Spencer Poems An Anthology  at this year’s Cookham Festival.  A special poetry event to be held at Cookham Dean Village Hall on Friday, 12 May.

 

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Shady_CoverThe Shady Side of Town: Reading’s Trees by Adrian Lawson (author) Geoff Sawers (author)


Spencer finalStanley Spencer Poems An Anthology by Carolyn Leder (editor) Jane Draycott (editor) Peter Robinson (poet, editor)


14-23 April, 2017 “A Wild Plant Year” at Kingcombe!

Wild_Plant_Year_Cover_finalChristina Hart-Davies will be holding an exhibition over Easter, linked to her book A Wild Plant Year. Original illustrations from the book will be on display, together with books, cards and prints.
When: The Kingcombe Centre, Toller Porcorum, Dorset DT2 0EQ
When: 14th to 23rd April, daily 11am – 4pm

Cost: Free!

The Centre is set in the midst of a wildlife reserve, and has ample parking and a celebrated café.

Christina will be demonstrating on Easter Sunday 16th and Easter Monday 17th – why not call in and say hello?

More details from The Kingcombe Centre, Tel: 01300 320684 www.kingcombe.org.uk

Buy you copy of Christina Hart-Davies’ A Wild Plant Year:  The History, Folklore and Uses of Britain’s Flora year here.

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Thursday, 27 April 2017: Susan Utting reads at The Swan Hotel, Bradford on Avon

Susan Utting

Susan Utting

On 27 April, Susan Utting will be the Guest Poet at “Words & Ears”, 7.15 pm, The Swan Hotel, 1, Church Street, Bradford on Avon, BA15 1LN.

You are invited to join her there and/or to buy copies of her poetry collections, Fair’s Fair and Half the Human Race: New & Selected Poems now.

 

 

 

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Monday, 10 April 2017: Utting reads poetry in Richard Jeffries Museum

 

Richard Jefferies MuseumYou are invited to attend a poetry reading at the Swindon launch of Susan Utting’s Half the Human Race: New & Selected Poems.

When:

 

Where: Poems in the Sitting Room, Richard Jeffries Museum, Marlborough Road, Swindon SN3 6AA

Cost:  a small fee and reservations required

half-the-human-race-front-cover

 

Buy your copy now.

 

 

 

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Friday, 14 April 2017: Susan Utting at Poets’ Café

Layout 1Join us at the Poets’ Café to hear Susan Utting and other poets read their works.

Set up by Two Rivers Press poet, Susan Utting, 20 years ago, the Poets’ Café is Reading’s longest-running and best-loved poetry platform!

Held on the second Friday of each month at South Street Arts Centre, 21 South Street, Reading, RG1 4QU (map here), the night is made up of an open mic section where we welcome anyone to read their work in a friendly atmosphere, and a full reading by some of the country’s finest poets.

  • Doors open at 8 pm, poetry starts at 8.30 pm.
  • Entry costs £5 and £4 for concessions (including those reading in the open mic).
  • Only one one-page poem per poet in the open mic please!

Susan Utting will read from her new collection Half the Human Race: New and Selected Poems:  buy your copy here.

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Launch of Susan Utting’s “Half the Human Race”

201702 Utting launch Half Human Race 3On Sunday, 12 March, 2017, Half the Human Race: New and Selected Poems  by Susan Uttig, was launched!   If you were not at the launch, here’s a summary of what you missed.

(You can still order up your copy of the book here.)

Great Expectations on was jam packed. One person estimates  there were a lot more than 60 there.  It was standing room only! Barbara sold a lot of books! Susan received many thank yous and congrats by email and Facebook and says “I’m still in a state of euphoria!”

The eminent poet Alison Brackenbury was there, all the way from Gloucestershire, and others had come from the midlands, west country, north from Lancashire and Yorkshire – all over the place. K.Phelan, retired of Southern Arts, was there too.201702 Utting launch Half Human Race 4201702 Utting launch half human race 2

201702 Utting launch half human race

Susan is planning to do a mini launch in Wokingham for local people who were so far back they couldn’t hear well, and some who couldn’t get in at all.

 

half-the-human-race-front-coverSusan thanked Two Rivers Press and said “I love the book, the typesetting, the cover design and am so grateful for all the backroom work (TRP) put in to make books and book launches happen!”

Well, we were only to happy to do so, Susan!  Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, 12 March 2017: Launch of Susan Utting’s new collection, Half the Human Race: New & Selected Poems

Come to the launch of poet Susan Utting‘s new collection, Half the Human Race: New & Selected Poems!   This volume includes poems from three previous collections, alongside new work reflecting and developing earlier themes of the lives of women, particularly those who are too often overlooked, unseen, hidden, or silenced – women made to feel “sometimes we take up too much room”.

half-the-human-race-front-cover

 

When:  12:30 – 2pm on Sunday 12th March

Where: The Library, Great Expectations, 33 London St, Reading RG1 4PS

Great Expectations do a roast dinner for £7.95 (£9.95 with dessert!) and they can provide accommodation for those coming from further afield.  The first round of drinks is on Two Rivers Press!

 

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Tuesday, 28 February 2017, 3pm: Susan Utting on BBC Radio Berkshire’s Bill Buckley Afternoon Show

half-the-human-race-front-coverTune in to hear Two Rivers Press poet, Susan Utting, on the Bill Buckley Afternoon Show on BBC Radio Berkshire.

Susan is sure to read one or two of her poems from her new collection Half the Human Race.  

Listen and buy copies for the wonderful women in your life.  It is a perfect way to mark International Women’s Day which is fast approaching (March 8th!).

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Cookham Festival Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition; Poets learn of their fates

2017 Cookham Festival logoUnder the chairmanship of Professor Peter Robinson, the judges of the “Cookham Festival Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition” have announced the list of 76 poems, from the over 200 entries, which they have selected as being of a sufficiently high standard to merit publication in the special poetry anthology which will be published during the Festival in May of this year. This list will now form the basis for the creation of a final shortlist and, subsequently, for the selection of the three final prize winners of the overall competition. The top prize will be the “Cookham Festival Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition Don and Jill Cawthorne Prize”, with a cash value of £2,500. The two runners’ up awards, the Stationers’ Company Award and the Maidenhead Advertiser Award, each carry a cash prize of £500.

spencer-frontThe list of the 76 successful poems can be found on the Cookham Festival website at www.cookhamfestival.org.uk as of February 16, 2017.

Professor Robinson commented to the Advertiser: “I know that it has taken longer than we expected to release the titles of the 76 poems selected for the anthology. The standard of the entries was extremely high and coming to a fair and correct decision proved far from easy. I realise that a few weeks seems an age when you are waiting for the result, but the anthology will last for ever and we had to be certain that our choice was fair to both the entrants and the competition itself.”

Members of the public will have a chance to hear some of the selected poems being read during this year’s Cookham Festival, at a special poetry event to be held at Cookham Dean Village Hall on Friday 12 May. The anthology will also be launched at this event, with copies being available for sale. At the same time, the final shortlist will be announced, with the three prize winners being revealed at a special awards evening at the Stanley Spencer Gallery in Cookham on Friday 19 May.

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Thursday, 30 March 2017: Poetry Reading with Susan Utting, Anna-May Laugher and Claire Dyer

half-the-human-race-front-coverYou are invited to the first Oxford reading of Susan Utting‘s Half the Human Race: New & Selected Poems with special guests, Anna-May Laugher and Claire Dyer reading their own brand new and selected poems.

When: 7 for 7.30pm

Where: the Albion Beatnik Bookshop, Walton Street, Oxford

Buy your copy of Half the Human Race: New & Selected Poems now.  Have Susan sign it at the reading.

 

 

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17 and 25 March 2017: Matt Black’s theatre show “The Storm Officer”, Nottingham

The Storm OfficerWhen: March 17th at 1.30pm. Free.
Where: Djanogly Theatre, Lakeside Arts, Nottingham
Cost: Free, but please book in advance via Box Office on 0115 846 7777

and

Where: Kirkgate Centre, Cockermouth, Cumbria
Www.thekirkgate.com
01900 826448

The Storm Officer
Written by Matt Black

How do storms and extreme weather events affect us? Reflective, funny and poignant, the story of The Storm Officer invites you on a tumultuous and colourful journey, with wild scenes and original music. Featuring real-life accounts of Storm Desmond with tales of flooding, hurricanes and storms from the last thousand years.

This new theatre production from writer Matt Black was inspired and commissioned by the “Spaces of experience and horizons of expectation” (AH/K005782/1) project, which led to the TEMPEST database of extreme weather in the UK.

Directed by Martin Berry; produced by Antonia Beck; music by Julian Butt.
Created in association with Lakeside Arts, Kirkgate Arts, Arts Out West, Live and Local and supported by Arts Council England.

@TheStormOfficer

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2 January 2017: Jane Draycott’s “Italy to Lord” is poem of the week!

What better way for a poet to start the new year than to have a poem selected for Carol Rumen’s Poem of the Week column?

Jane Draycott  photo: Jemimah Kuhfeld / jemimahkuhfeld.co.uk

Jane Draycott
photo: Jemimah Kuhfeld / jemimahkuhfeld.co.uk

And so, 2017 is off to a fine start for Jane Draycott. Carol Rumen selected Jane’s poem, “Italy to Lord”, as her first poem of the week for 2017.   It is a “…gentle, subtle reflection on a child’s-eye view of an encyclopedia’s exotic secrets is also a vision of a lost world” writes Carol.   Here is the first stanza

Italy to Lord

It’s dark in here and forest green: Britannica,
sixteen oak trees in a London living room,
the little girl, my mother, in the bookcase glass.
Italy, Ithaca, Izmail, Japan, each page a mainsail,
turning, HMS Discovery – none of the rivers
of southern Italy is of any great importance…

 

Click here to read the whole poem and Carol Rumen’s  review

 

Posted in 2017 News Archive, Jane Draycott (poet), News | Comments Off

half-the-human-race-front-coverHalf the Human Race: New & Selected Poems by Susan Utting (poet)


Utting’s “Opening the Windows” wins The Poetry Society’s “Getting Out” competition

Susan Utting

Susan Utting

 

Susan Utting’s poem, “Opening the Windows” was  selected by judge Anna Woodford as one of 6 winning poems in The Poetry Society’s ‘Getting Out’ competition.  What a lovely way to end 2016!

Congratulations, Susan!

 

Opening the Windows
                   after Vilhelm Hamershøi, Interior 1909

June, and the ceremony begins. The catch
on a bedroom frame is first – unlocked,
the handle lifted, stiffened hinge eased
to a different angle.

The hairs on her bare arms stir themselves
a little, do not quite rise – there is no thrill
here, simply air on unaccustomed skin.

‘Fresh’ is the word for outside air come in,
but she doesn’t use it – silence is her way,
breath her language. And so the slow
letting-in continues,

pane by pane, catch, handle, hinge, breath,
air that moves, felt along the blood, like a sip
of iced water, like snow after birchwood heat,

petals fallen on dry earth, their cool
restfulness after all that blowsy flowering.

Susan Utting

First published in Poetry News
http://poetrysociety.org.uk/membership/members-poems-2/

Posted in 2016 New Archive, News, Susan Utting (poet) | Comments Off

Just published: “The Red One”…..a book about Reading

red-one-finalA truly pocket-sized history of Reading: 145 million years in 75 pages!

…how a landscape’s deep structures bear shapingly upon its surface textures – and how vital a sense of place is to our dreams, our visions, and the quiet practices of everyday life.

From the foreword by Robert Macfarlane  (author of The Old Ways, Landmarks, Mountains of the Mind  and The Wild Places)

 Starting 145 million years ago, the geology of the natural landscape provides the context for Reading’s historical development.  This book tells the town’s story in terms of its location at the junction of the rivers Thames and Kennet, its landform and the living requirements of its prehistoric inhabitants, medieval communities and industrial forebears. Did you know that Reading’s name is probably derived from ‘the place of the people of the red one’, an Anglo-Saxon settlement for which no physical trace remains?

Reading is a special place where multiple migrations, invasions, battles, plagues, wars, tragedies, songs, writings, artistic works, dogmas, festivities, industries, technologies and ideas have shaped both its people and the fabric of the town.  Be a part of writing its next chapter by understanding its past.

Order your copy of Reading: The Place of the People of the Red One.

Consider also,  Bizarre Berkshire: An A-Z GUIDE to weird things in Berkshire, also by Duncan Mackay.

Duncan Mackay is a former winner of the Henry Ford European Conservation Award for Heritage and former editor of the Twyford and Ruscombe Local History Society magazine. He has worked as Director of the South East region of the Countryside Agency; Environmental Manager for Berkshire County Council; and Deputy Secretary of the Commons, Open Spaces and Footpaths Preservation Society.

He has written 5 books and contributed to others including England in Particular and Bastions of Berkshire.  

 

Posted in 2016 New Archive, Duncan Mackay (author), News | Comments Off

Review: Dyer’s collection “Interference Effects”

Interference_Effects_CoverClaire Dyer’s Interference Effects is reviewed by Emma Lee for  Issue 4 Winter edition of The High Window.

The review begins thus,

The title of Claire Dyer’s new collection is taken from a description of the Morpho butterfly’s wings which have reflective layers creating interference effects. As a result, the  colour that the wings are seen as differs according to which viewing angle is used. It’s a coherent collection that aims to look for the extraordinary in the ordinary and see the familiar in a new way.

and, after looking closely at several poems in the collection, ends thus:

There lies the strength in these poems: their precise language opens and asks questions rather than providing neat, ordered conclusions. At first glance, they flutter into place like butterfly wings but it takes a second or closer reading to notice the engineering driving those wings and how the light reflects, enabling each reader to take away the patterns of light and shade that speak directly to them.

To read the full review click here and scroll down to the review.

Buy a copy of Interference Effects here.

Posted in Claire Dyer (poet), News | Comments Off

Lesley Saunders’ translation of Horta wins Stephen Spender prize

Lesley Saunders

Lesley Saunders

“The translation by Lesley Saunders of Poema, by the Portuguese writer and activist Maria Teresa Horta, recently took first prize in the Open category of the Stephen Spender prize for poetry in translation.”

The original poem and the winning translation can be read in this article that appeared in The Guardian, Monday, 28 November 2016.

All the prize’s winning entries can be read here.

Posted in 2016 New Archive, Lesley Saunders (poet), News | Comments Off

Susan Utting’s prize winning poetry in Half The Human Race

half-the-human-race-front-coverCongratulations to Susan whose poem, ‘Opening the Windows’,  was one of the 6 winning poems in the Poetry Society’s ‘Getting Out’ competition.   Her poem will be featured in the winter issue (2016) of Poetry News and in her forthcoming poetry collection Half The Human Racepublishing March 2017.

Half The Human Race includes poems reflecting and developing themes of the lives of women, particularly those too often overlooked, unseen, hidden, or silenced – women made to feel “sometimes we take up too much room”.

The collection includes poems from three previous collections, alongside new work.   Order your copy now.

Posted in 2016 New Archive, News, Susan Utting (poet) | Comments Off

November 2016 reviews

cookeWe were so delighted to see the review of David Cooke’s poetry collection, A Murmuration in the TLS (August 19-26, 2016). Reviewer, John Greening wrote:

“The book is held together by love of place and a sober fascination with quirkiness, a study of a koala, a portrait of a Belizean woman in a pub, the English language itself…”
“There is much precision workmanship and a welcome lack of showiness in this collection from Two Rivers Press, whose publications are increasingly impressive.”   Woohoo!

David’s collection was also reviewed in Poetry Salzburg.

Chill Factor front cover finalAmazing_Memories_Cover

Gill Learner’s Chill Factor received a favourable review in London Grip: ‘a rich and varied collection’. Mairi MacInnes’s ‘Amazing Memories of Childhood etc.’ featured in Raceme No. 4 and Mairi came down to Reading all the way from York last week to read in the inaugural Reading Literature Festival alongside Claire Dyer, Gill Learner and Kate Behrens.

 

 

Posted in 2016 New Archive, News | Comments Off

Ulric Spencer (1930 – 2016)


It is with sadness that Two Rivers Press announces the death of Ulric Spencer – long time finance and accounts advisor to, as well as supporter of,  the Press.   He passed away after a short illness on November 4, 2016. The funeral is at Reading (Caversham) Crematorium on Tue 6th December at 13:45.


 

Posted in 2016 New Archive, News | Comments Off

Winners of University of Reading’s Creative Writing Competition!

Prizewinners of the University of Reading’s first Creative Writing Competition, on the theme of ‘My ReadingL-R: Millie, Tamanna, Niyati, Edward.

Prizewinners of the University of Reading’s first Creative Writing Competition, on the theme of ‘My ReadingL-R: Millie, Tamanna, Niyati, Edward.

Two Rivers Press would like to congratulate the winners of the University of Reading’s first Creative Writing Competition, on the theme of “My Reading”.

I’m delighted to say we had over 250 entries to University of Reading’s first Creative Writing Competition, on the theme of ‘My Reading’, says Dr Nicola Abram (FHEA) Lecturer, Department of English Literature, University of Reading and Officer for Widening Participation, School of Literature and Languages, University of Reading.

The winner was Tamanna Steven (The Holt School), and runner-up prizes were awarded to Edward Day (Gillotts School), Millie Phillips (Gillotts School), and Niyati Amin (The Holt School).

reading_quizThank you again for your kind sponsorship and provision of the quiz books as lovely, local prizes!

The Department of English Literature at the University of Reading invited submissions for its first Creative Writing Competition, on the theme ‘My Reading’ as part of the Reading Literature Festival and Reading Year of Culture 2016.  For more information on the competition please see the University of Reading’s page about the competition.

Posted in 2016 New Archive, News | Comments Off

red-one-finalReading: The Place of the People of the Red One by Duncan Mackay (author)


Interference Effects by Claire Dyer

Interference_Effects_Cover

 

Take a look at this article by Claire Dyer on writing her recent poetry collection: “The Interference Effect” – OR – How appearances can be deceptive. Very apt in this social media age… Claire is launched her book in Reading on October 20th. And two thirds of the print run disappeared at the launch.  Get your copy here, now,  while there is still stock!

Watch and hear Claire recite her poetry….here.

Posted in 2016 New Archive, Claire Dyer (poet), News | Comments Off

Reading Gaol

BalladThanks to all the interest in Reading’s Gaol inspired by the Artangel ‘Inside’ events, we’re reprinting our version of Oscar Wilde’s Ballad for the third time.

Buy your copy here.

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Classics, News, Poetry | Comments Off

Successes for Two Rivers Press Poets at Wells Festival of Literature Poetry Competition

The 24th Wells Festival of Literature is going on right now:  October 14-22, 2016.

Lesley Saunders

Lesley Saunders

Susan Utting

Susan Utting

The Festival runs a poetry competition each year and announces the winners at the festival.   It is with great pleasure and not just a little button popping pride that we are able to announce that two of our Two River Press poets are prize winners:

 

Lesley Saunders won First Prize,

Susan Utting won Second Prize, and The People’s Prize.

Well done, Lesley and Susan!

Susan’s collection Fair’s Fair  is available here and you can preorder her forthcoming collection (2017) Half the Human Race here.

 

Posted in 2016 New Archive, Lesley Saunders (poet), News, Susan Utting (poet) | Comments Off

Tuesday, 22 October 2016: Book Launch Robinson’s “September in the Rain”

Join us at 6.30pm on 25th October for the launch of the novel, September in the Rain (Holland House), by Peter RobinsonTwo Rivers Press’ poetry editor.

Two young people travelling through Italy are caught in the rain, needing to hitch a lift…and nothing will ever be the same again. A book about responsibility and love, consequences and transformation.

This is event is free to attend but booking is essential; please RSVP through this page to reserve your place or call 01223 463200.

WHEN
WHERE
Heffers Bookshop – 20 Trinity Street, Cambridge, CB2 1TY, United Kingdom – View Map
Posted in Events, Peter Robinson (poet, editor) | Comments Off

Take a look inside “A Wild Plant Year” by Christina Hart-Davies

Click on the cover above and take a peek inside this wonderful book.

Order your copy here.

Posted in 2016 New Archive, Christina Hart-Davies (author, artist), News | Comments Off

6 October 2016: National Poetry Day celebrated with Susan Utting

Susan Utting (640x480)How nice to wake up on National Poetry Day and to find that your poem appears on the Poetry Society page for the day.   That is what happened to Two Rivers Press poet, Susan Utting.

Her poem Elective Mute  was the Poetry Society’s offering of the day.

 

Elective Mute

by Susan Utting

Inside her head she’s eloquent, knows
all the answers, words that tumble out
in perfect clause and cadence, words

like clause and cadence, beautifully
enunciated to herself, alone. Like stories
she makes up, hobgoblin tales where

small girls answer riddles, save lives
of princes tied to trees, win golden
treasure kept in chests and coffers, like

this, her life is charmed, she’s powerful
as a villainess whose thought-spells
turn a pinching boy to jagged stone,

a chalk-faced mistress to a panting toad,
a matron to a pile of linen, waiting to be
scrubbed and starched, flat-ironed, scorched.

 

 

Posted in 2016 New Archive, News, Susan Utting (poet) | Comments Off

6 October 2016: National Poetry Day celebrations feature Claire Dyer

claire-dyer-home-page-bw31The 40 stations of BBC local radio marked National Poetry Day by each broadcasting a poem commissioned from 40 #BBCLocalPoets Each poet has adopted the voice of a characteristic local landmark or mascot: from Lincolnshire sausage (Gemma Baker, BBC Radio Lincolnshire) to Essex’s infamous A12 (Luke Wright, BBC Radio Suffolk).

Two Rivers Press poet, Claire Dyer, created ‘The Oracle’ a poem celebrating Berkshire.

To see Claire walking through The Oracle, reciting her poem, click here.

This is a joint project between BBC Local Radio, the Forward Arts Foundation, and Apples and Snakes.

 

 

Claire Dyer created ‘The Oracle’ a poem celebrating Berkshire.

 

 

Posted in 2016 New Archive, Claire Dyer (poet), News | Comments Off

Friday 23rd September – Sunday 2nd October 2016: BOTANICAL ART & ARTISTS: Christina Hart-Davies “A Wild Plant Year”

Wild_Plant_Year_Cover_finalFor the last six years Christina Hart-Davies has been working on a book called A Wild Plant Year.  It has been officially launched at a large botanical art exhibition of the same name in Hampshire.

Exhibition – A Wild Plant Year

A solo exhibition is a major endeavour – especially when it comprises 234 paintings! ​All the artwork included in the book can be seen in the exhibition and it’s all for sale.  There are also more original works by Christina for sale plus books, cards and prints.
You can see examples of Christina’s work on her website – in terms of Wild Plants,Cultivated Plants, Mosses and Lichens and Monochrome and Line Work for publications.
These are the details:
Posted in Christina Hart-Davies (author, artist), Events | Comments Off

Review: David Cooke’s ‘A Murmuration’ reviewed in the TLS

cooke

We are delighted.  A review of  David Cooke’s poetry collection, Murmuration, appeared in the TLS (August 19-26, 2016).  Reviewer, John Greening wrote:

“There are distinct successes, such as the responses to Rodin’s “The Burghers of Calais” and Bruegel’s “Hunters in the Snow”, and translations from Mallarmé, Supervielle, Jaccottet and Rilke. The book is held together by  love of place and a sober fascination with quirkiness, a study of a koala, a portrait of a Belizean woman in a pub, the English language itself…”

“There is much precision workmanship and a welcome lack of showiness in this collection from Two Rivers Press, whose publications are increasingly impressive. ”

Get your copy of A Murmuration here.

Read more of the TLS review of David Cooke’s A Murmuration here.

 

Posted in 2016 New Archive, David Cooke (poet), News | Comments Off

seatter-front-cover-visualThe Book of Snow by Robert Seatter (poet)


Review: A Wild Plant Year

“I don’t think I have ever seen a more attractive or informative book than A Wild Plant Year…”

“This book is pure joy.”  

Wild_Plant_Year_Cover_final

Thus, Meriel Thurstan begins and ends her review  of Christina Hart-Davies’ A Wild Plant Year:  The History, Folklore and Uses of Britain’s Flora.  Read the book review in its entirety:

BOOK REVIEW
Meriel Thurstan

A Wild Plant Year by Christina Hart-Davies

I don’t think I have ever seen a more attractive or informative book than A Wild Plant Year by SWSBA member Christina Hart-Davies. Christina spent six years researching and illustrating the history, folklore and uses of Britain’s flora, and the result is nothing short of delightful.

Reflecting the seasonal appearance of over 200 wild flowers, the book starts with the New Year and finishes with Yuletide and Christmas, every plant taking its place in its particular season. On the way we are told about special days such as Easter, Mothering Sunday, Hallowe’en and so on, and showcasing the plants with which these days are associated. Every plant is beautifully illustrated with Christina’s characteristic delicacy and detail, embellished here and there with her gentle calligraphy.

I suppose it is pretty obvious when you think about it, but so many plant names reflect their character or use: Greater stitchwort (Stellaria holostea) was said to cure a stitch, that sudden pain in the side; Pignut (Conopodium majus) is adored by pigs and wild boar; Bee orchid (Ophrys aperifera) really looks as though it is hosting a visiting bee; Milkwort (Polygala spp) was supposed to increase the flow of milk in nursing mothers; Eyebright (Euphrasia spp) brightens the eyes. Broom (Cytisus scoparius) is self-explanatory, but although you probably already knew that it was used by witches to fly, did you also know that it was protection against them? And that its bright yellow edible buds were served at the coronation banquet of James II?

Take this book with you when you walk through the countryside and you will be amazed at the number of plants that either have a history, or a medical use, or are simply edible. Our forebears may not have had antibiotics and penicillin, but they certainly knew their herbs and what had healing properties or would spice up their diet.

Or stay at home and read it, enjoy the delightful illustrations – and increase your knowledge of the history, folklore and medical and edible values of our common (and not so common) wild plants.

This book is pure joy.

Review in Palette & Petal, the quarterly magazine of the South West Society of Botanical Artists. Reprinted with permission

Posted in 2016 New Archive, Christina Hart-Davies (author, artist), News | Comments Off

What were TRP’s bestsellers at Reading’s Turbine House event?

As part of Reading’s Year of Culture 2016, and to coincide with national Heritage Open Days, RG Spaces put on an exhibition of art and beautiful books, including Two Rivers Press books,  at The Turbine House. celebrating Reading’s two rivers, the Kennet and the Thames.

turbine-houseThe Turbine House is a unique building that spans the Kennet, with waterside views towards Reading town centre. It houses preserved turbine machinery and hosts occasional summertime art exhibitions and events.

 

Two Rivers Press’ best selling books of the weekend were: John Man’s The Stranger in Reading, Gillian Clark’s Down by the River: The Thames and Kennet in Reading and A Wild Plant Year: The History, Folklore and Uses of Britain’s Flora by Christina Hart-Davies.

If you were unable to make the exhibit, you can still purchase these bestsellers by clicking on the images below.

The Stranger in Reading

Down by the River: the Thames and Kennet in Reading

Wild_Plant_Year_Cover_final

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2016 New Archive, News | Comments Off

Saturday, 10 September 2016: Tour of Broad Street Chapel & Geoff Sawers’ book signing

Broad_Street_Chapel_CoverAs part of the Heritage Open Days in Reading join us on a tour of Broad Street Chapel and book signing.  Geoff Sawers has chronicled the life of the very building in which this Waterstones is located in his book ‘Broad Street Chapel and the Origins of Dissent in Reading‘.

He will talk about the building’s history and lead a short tour around the public areas of the building. His book will also be available for purchase, for him to sign and dedicate.

Please contact the store to book your place free of charge, as numbers are limited to 8 people per tour.

Tours: 12:00 – 12:30 pm & 3.30 – 4.00 pm, starting at Waterstones Reading Broad Street

Book signing:  15:30 – 16:00 at Waterstones Reading Broad Street

Cost:  Free with ticket available in Waterstones Reading Broad Street store (Reading, UK)

Further details: 0118 9581270

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Saturday, 10 September 2016: Book Launch: Peter Robinson’s “September in the Rain”

septemberintherainsmWaterstones Reading Broad Street is  thrilled to welcome the author, Professor Peter Robinson, Professor of English and American literature at Reading University, as he launches his first novel ‘September in the Rain’.

Two young people travelling through Italy are caught in the rain and hitch a lift with chilling consequences.

This is a book about the responsibilities of love; about accidents and decisions; about choices and dilemmas.

This event is free of charge and there is no booking required.

When: 17:00

Where:  Waaterstones Reading Broad Street

Posted in Events, Peter Robinson (poet, editor) | Comments Off

8-11 September 2016: Reading and its Rivers – exhibition

Turbine House

As part of Reading’s Year of Culture 2016, and to coincide with national Heritage Open Days, RG Spaces invites you to an exhibition of art and beautiful books at The Turbine House. The exhibition celebrates Reading’s two rivers.

Step out over the Kennet River – in this Victorian Turbine House with a great view of the weir originally built by monks from Reading Abbey – to see an exhibition of work by 16 local artists on Reading and its Rivers, specially curated for Heritage Open Days. It will be complemented by books from Two Rivers Press, a family trail around this little nook of Reading history, and special deals at nearby restaurant, the Bel and the Dragon.

Opening times (no booking required)

Thursday 8 September: 1000-1800

Friday 9 September: 1000-1800

Saturday 10 September: 1000-1800

Sunday 11 September: 1000-1800

Location: The Turbine House, Riverside Museum at Blake’s Lock, Off Kenavon Drive, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 3EQ

Additional information:  Park in Bel and the Dragon car park which is shared with the small museum which is also onsite (free entry).

Directions: From Reading Town Centre, walk down the Kennet towpath (about 15 minutes). By car or if walking from the station, along Forbury Road at the roundabout by Homebase/Reading jail, follow the brown signs to Blakes Lock Museum down Kenavon Drive. Turn right when you see the Bel and the Dragon restaurant and enter through its car park.

 

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Robinson’s “September in the Rain” book launches

Launch 300 dpi

Two Rivers Press poetry editor, Peter Robinson, has a new novel out, September in the Rain (Holland House).

If you find yourself near one of these bookstores, you are welcome the book launch.

 

1 September at 6:30pm
Lutyens & Rubinstein Bookshop
21 Kensington Park Road, London, W11 2EU

8 September at 7:30pm
Albion Beatnik Bookstore
34, Walton Street, Oxford OX2 6AA

10 September at 5:30pm
Waterstones
United Reform Building, 89a Broad Street, Reading, RG1 2AP

Posted in Events, Peter Robinson (poet, editor) | Comments Off

A WILD PLANT YEAR: New title and Exhibition!

Wild_Plant_Year_Cover_final

 

What plant should you slip into your shoes to ease tired feet?

Which was the proper day to gather Dandelions for the best wine?

Which hayfield flower would make your cows’ milk richer?

 

The answers appear in A Wild Plant Year by Christina Hart-Davies.

Lavishly illustrated with detailed, vibrant watercolours the book will be launched with a major solo exhibition. All the illustrations will be for sale, along with books, prints, cards and other original paintings.

Order your copy of the book now, here.

EXHIBITION
24 September – 2 October 2016
Sir Harold Hillier Gardens near Romsey, Hampshire
Open daily 10 – 5
Free parking Free entry to exhibition

For more information please contact Christina.

Posted in Christina Hart-Davies (author, artist), News | Comments Off

Review: Robinson’s “September in the Rain”

29th August 2016: Ian Brinton, reviews Peter Robinson’s most recent novel September in the Rain, for Tears in the Fence, an independent literary magazine’s, blog.

septemberintherainsm

It is a tale of  two young people travelling through Italy, caught in the rain, needing to hitch a lift…and nothing will ever be the same again.  It is a tale of responsibility and love, consequences and transformation.

Mr. Brinton says, ‘…Peter Robinson’s inner narrative surfaces in this stunningly moving novel.”

Read the complete review here

Meet the author, at Heffers Bookshop, Cambridge UK on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at 18:30.  Reservation required

Posted in News, Peter Robinson (poet, editor) | Comments Off

Interference_Effects_CoverInterference Effects by Claire Dyer (poet)


Ruth Speirs’ Rilke stands up to comparison with other translations

TRP_Rilke_Cover

“IT WAS A GOOD IDEA to collect together Ruth Speirs’ translations of Rilke…

The insistence she makes is that sense has priority, because Rilke’s word choice was precise rather than impressionistic or ornamental. Her task was then to show exactly what Rilke was doing with language at every point of the text. The sense lay in the knots and gaps but also in the reach of the sentence, both involved in the perceptual discoveries made in the writing, which must be rendered free of both obfuscation and reductive forms of clarity. There are no doubt failures, and there are indecisions, but for the most part the result is a balance which even more recent experts cannot seem to manage without wooden awkwardness—…

Ruth Speirs’ Rilke cannot become anyone’s definitive English Rilke, since the impossibility of a book meant that she made no attempt to cover all Rilke’s major works. The Duino Elegies are all here, but only twenty of the Sonnets to Orpheus, with a generous selection from New Poems and a scatter of earlier poems. But as a check on and comparison with other translations I think it would be extremely useful.

An extract from a review which appears in Part Two of an extended essay by Peter Riley on translated poetry, Poetry Notes, published in The Fortnightly Review.

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David Attwooll (1949 – 2016)

Image credit www.sabinedundure.com

Image credit www.sabinedundure.com

We are very sorry to announce the death of the poet, publisher, and street band drummer David Attwooll, whose first collection,  The Sound Ladder,  we published in 2015.  Shortly before his sudden decline, plans had been put in place to publish a second collection in October 2017. Work on this second collection will continue with the aid of  David’s family and colleagues. Our condolences go to his wife and children for their loss. Among David’s many achievements, he was Chairman of the Board for Liverpool University Press. A full obituary notice can be found on their website here.

Posted in 2016 New Archive, David Attwooll (poet), News | Comments Off

Congratulations, John Froy!

Two Rivers Press would like to congratulate John Froy:  He won 3rd prize for his poem ‘Home’ in the 2016 Havant Poetry Competition. Awards were presented during the South Downs Poetry Festival 16-24 July.

Home

She’s flown south to Chile and I keep the image
of her heavy pack, light step on the concourse
looking left and right, but never back.
I drive home, freed too, in a way.

I set off walking, am swamped by kids
pouring from school into the winter afternoon,
and looking up see the moon she sees
rising over rooftops in a scintillating sky.

At Sunday lunch I’m suddenly queasy,
carried away to Rothera on the Peninsula
to help the loading of the James Clark Ross.
She said it would be a bit military.

The moon’s now full and she’s been sailing
five days through the Roaring Forties
to reach the home of the great wanderer.
I’ll have The Ancient Mariner to hand

while she studies senescence in albatrosses,
a season on South Georgia among biting fur seals
weighing, tagging, naming the birds,
climbing daily to the nests in the tussocks.

There’s no email and don’t expect one, remember
when you were hitching rides on the back of trucks
through the Atacama, with never a message home.

She’s on an icebreaker in the southern ocean,
but don’t think that tree can’t fall on you
the next time you open your front door.

Like an Arctic tern, lover of eternal daylight,
she’s flying north tomorrow, and the day after,
last leg of the loop, Antarctica and back,
landing at Brize where I’ll be with our old car.

John is both poet and autobiographer:

EggshellCover

Art_School_Dance_Cover

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Gill Learner launches “Chill Factor” a new collection at Literary Lunch

Gill Learner reads at launch of her collection "Chill Factor"  (July 17, 2016)

Gill Learner reads at launch of her collection “Chill Factor” (July 17, 2016)

On Sunday, 17 July 2016, Two Rivers Press hosted a Literary Lunch at the Great Expectations Pub on London Street, Reading.    Poet Gill Learner read from her new collection, Chill Factor. Other Two Rivers Press authors and editors, Barbara Morris and Peter Robinson,  read from other recent TRP publications including:

 

 

 

Before_And_After_Cover_13_11

Amazing_Memories_Cover

Chill Factor front cover final

Posted in Barbara Morris (author), Gill Learner (poet), Mairi MacInnes (poet), News | Comments Off

Sunday, 17 July 2016: Gill Learner at Literary Lunch at Great Expectations

Join us on Sunday 17th July at the Great Expectations Pub on London Street, from 12pm. Gill Learner will be launching her new collection: Chill Factor this Sunday.There will be a tab behind the bar for the first round of drinks and you can have your lunch there too.

As well as hearing Gill, you will also have the opportunity to hear Barbara Morris read from Edith Morley’s memoir, Before & After and Peter Robinson read from Mairi MacInnes’s Amazing Memories of Childhood, etc. So it really willBefore_And_After_Cover_13_11 be a literary lunch.

Chill Factor front cover final

Amazing_Memories_Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Peter Kruschwitz on Edith Morley autobiography and Sex, Gender Roles, and Hatred

Before_And_After_Cover_13_11Reading University Professor Peter Kruschwitz writes:

In 1908, Edith Morley was appointed Professor of English Language at University College Reading – the institution that eventually became the University of Reading. Professor Morley’s autobiographical sketch, ‘Looking Before and After’ was recently published as ‘Before and After: Reminiscences of a Working Life‘  ….

This is, without a doubt, one of the finest books that I have read all year (so far), telling the story of a remarkable person and a remarkable life, giving a highly personal insight in the history of my own employer as well as the struggles it took a female academic at the time to establish herself in an overwhelmingly male-dominated environment (and many a time, while reading this fine piece, I wondered what progress had been made in some areas).

Professor Kruschwitz goes on to posit that Professor Morley was  “someone who developed a feminei sexus odium, a hatred for (her) female sex, due to her society’s overall gender expectations”? The evidence, he says,  is there in the very first couple of pages of the actual memoirs (p. 11-2):

‘But I did hate being a girl and can still remember my indignation at hearing my brother told that only girls cheated at games and the like, or cried when they were hurt. And how I hated and resented wearing gloves. When quite small I suffered from a thick woollen veil, which was supposed to safeguard the complexion, but my very noisy and voluble protests soon relieved me of that infliction – old-fashioned and unusual in those days. I also resented and constantly disobeyed the rule that I must not slide down the banisters or turn head over heels! I had gymnastic lessons, however, and learned how to swim, but I yearned for more of the team games which girls did not yet play and suffered a good deal from insufficient outlets for my physical exuberance.’

Read Professor Kruschwitz’s review and analysis on his blog, The Petrified Muse.

Buy a copy of Edith Morley ‘Before and After: Reminiscences of a Working Life‘ 

Posted in 2016 New Archive, News, Peter Kruschwitz (author) | Comments Off

Whiteknights Studio Trail 2016…here is what you missed!

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Two Rivers Press had a wonderful time hosting their little bit of the 2016 Whiteknights Studio Trail.   Books were displayed, authors chatted about their books, and everyone was invited to make a bookmark with one of Peter Hay’s stamps.

M.White, author of "The Veiled Vale" (L), talks about the book

M.White, author of “The Veiled Vale” (L), talks about the book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you didn’t make it to us this year, make sure you come to see us next year!

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Thursday, 2 June 2016: Launch of The Veiled Vale by Mike White

Veiled Vale front coverYou are invited  to attend the launch of  The Veiled Vale at The Bear Hotel in Wantage from 7.30.

The Vale of the White Horse and the beautiful countryside of South Oxfordshire is a landscape steeped in thousands of years of legends, history and mystery. Here are witches, monsters and ghosts; old legends and modern-day tales of strange encounters with the unknown. From the mildly curious to the frighteningly inexplicable, The Veiled Vale is a treasure trove of fabulous folklore and modern mysteries.

The author, Mike White, will also be at the Whiteknights Studio Trail to talk about and sign copies of his book:  Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th June 2016 11am – 6pm

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Sunday, 17 July 2016: Launch “Chill Factor” by Gill Learner

Chill Factor front cover finalPut the date in your calendar and join us for the launch of Gill Learner‘s new poetry collection Chill Factor

When: 12pm

Where: Great Expectations, 33 London Street Reading.

It promises to be a memorable afternoon as Gill will be joined by Barbara Morris and Peter Robinson who will read from Edith Morley Before and After:  Reminiscence of a Working Life  and Mairi MacInnes Amazing Memories of Childhood, Etc., respectively.

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 oOo

Posted in Events, Gill Learner (poet) | Comments Off

Sunday 29 May 2016: Poetry Reading in Oxford

Join us for an evening of poetry.  

Three Two Rivers Poets: Kate Behrens, Ian House, Susan Utting  will read from their latest collections and new work, in Oxford at the Albion Beatnik Bookstore  34, Walton Street OX2 6AA on Sunday 29th May, 7:00 pm [£2 entry]

Man with Bombe Alaska front cover

Fair's Fair Front coverNothings_Lost_Cover

 

 

For more information on events at the Albion Beatnik Bookstore visit http://www.albionbeatnik.co.uk/

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Thursday, 12 May 2016….come to Reading Central Library!

Thursday 12th May. South’s launch of issue 53, featuring poems by Two Rivers Press authors and poets, John Froy, Gill Learner, Jean Watkins and reviews of collections by David Attwooll and David Cooke will take place in Reading Central Library (Abbey Square, Reading, RG1 3BQ) 7-7.30pm.

Please join us.

cookeSound_Ladder_Cover_final

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Review: “Silcester: Life on the Dig” reviewed in Berkshire Life

Silchester_Cover_finalIt is always lovely to have one of our books reviewed in the glossy mags. Berkshire Life reviewed Jenny Halstead and Michael Fulford’s Silcester: Life on the Dig (see review below).

You can order a copy of this book for the archaeology lover in your life, here.

Posted in Jenny Halstead (author, artist), Michael Fulford (author), News | Comments Off

Poem: “Lip-reading the Poets” by Susan Utting for Deaf Awareness Week! 

A bit of exciting news from our poet, Susan Utting.

She read her recent poem “Lip-Reading the Poets” at the Henley Arts Trail last week and was asked by a woman in the audience if she could have a copy to submit to her British Sign Language Interpreters’ association. They liked it and posted on-line for Deaf Awareness Week.

Lip-reading the Poets

More than lips, it’s in the whole face,
              meaning beyond the shape of a mouth,
more than puckering oos and grinning ees,
              the open-wides of ah and eye
the press of emm and bee.

The whole body signifies –
              steady as a sonnet’s pulse
then quick as a stop-frame animation.
              There is no signing woman here
to spell out words, spring out her fingers

to say beautiful with everything she’s got,
              but still from here I catch
the poignancy of a poet’s raised shoulders,
              a torso’s earnest forward slope,
the raised chin of a challenge.

The signing woman isn’t here
              to sweep her chest – one hand
for like, two crossed palms for love –
              but still I see her raise her arms
high and wide, jazz-handing her applause.

Susan Utting
www.susanutting.com Continue reading

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Sunday, 8 May 2016: Poetry at the Caversham Arts Trail

CAT2016 FlyerCome into the garden!

Hear five local poets (three of them published by Two Rivers Press) read their poems in a lovely garden, as part of the Caversham Arts Trail.

Jean Watkins, Susan Utting, Robin Thomas, Susan Roberts and Victoria Pugh will be reading on Sunday 8th May at 4.00 as part of the Caversham Arts Trail

There will also be an open mic.

 

Download the full colour flyer. See images and contact details for all 29 artists, note demonstrations during the trail and plan your route in advance.

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Saturday, 21 May 2016: Join one of our walking tours of Reading: Reading Revealed on Foot

Here’s a question….why have experts and not use them eh?

Reading Revealed on Foot: Saturday May 21st. Explore Reading’s rich history and heritage by eschewing the car and internet. Instead, take to your feet and be guided on a walking tour by four of Two Rivers Press’s resident experts who will shed new light on the town you thought you knew.

Tours are FREE but MUST be booked in advance. Please email tworiverspress@gmail.com to book your place, or phone 07834 827611 and leave a message.

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The Reading Detectives tour is the one most suitable for children, although they are welcome on all the tours. They must however be accompanied by an adult.

Tours 1 & 4 Kerry Renshaw and Electra Colios invite readers of all ages to become ‘Reading Detectives’ and uncover the clues about the town’s past that are all around us on buildings, plaques, statues and street signs.

Both tours are 1 hour duration. Meet at the statue of Queen Victoria outside Marks & Spencer’s in the Town Hall Square at 11am (tour 1) or 2pm (tour 4). Finish at the Oxfam bookshop for an opportunity to buy Kerry & Electra’s book there.

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Tour 2 Peter Kruschwitz opens a previously hidden window on Reading by interpreting the numerous Latin inscriptions that grace our monuments and tombstones, explaining who wrote them and what their motives might have been.

Tour 2 is 1 hour duration. Meet at St Laurence’s Church next to the Town Hall at 12pm. 10 people max. Finish outside Waterstones, Broad Street for an opportunity to buy Peter’s book there.

 

Tour 3 The urban landscape of Reading consists of more than just man-made features and Geoff Sawers draws our attention to the majestic trees that grace our town centre, many of which have been here longer than some of the buildings. What events have they witnessed and how might we unlock their secrets?

Tour 3 is 1 hour duration. Meet at the main door of St Mary’s Church on St Mary’s Butts at 1pm. Finish at Reading Museum. Book not available yet (it is due to publish this time next year) but we will have details to hand out.

***

BID logoFunded by the Reading BID as part of their ARENA arts and culture programme  for the town centre.  With this contribution to the Reading Year of Culture 2016, we have been able to put on a series of 4 walking tours in the town centre, based around our books (some published, some yet to be published). This is a chance to hear the stories direct from the authors’ mouths and, of course, to buy the books so you can explore further in your own time.image002

 

 

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Congratulations to Susan Utting

Susan (r) with competition judge and fellow prize winner

Susan (r) with competition judge and fellow prize winner

We’d like to say, “Well done!” to our poet, Susan Utting.  She has won third prize in the  Kent & Sussex Poetry Society Competition.  Not bad considering there were over 1700 entries!  Winners were announced Tuesday, 19 April, 2016.

Of Susan’s poem  Room One, judge Anne-Marie Fyfe says:

Room One: this is a classic poem of isolation, the condition of someone ending up in rooms that aren’t their own: Room One certainly suggests a small hotel or b&b. There’s a certain courage needed to ignore things that might otherwise cause anxiety.  But the positives that the poem offers, the poppies on the mugs and the crimson walls, still feel dated. And you mustn’t dwell on the poppies’ black hearts, a hint of Baudelairean fleurs du mal. Worse, it’s an attic room, so you can’t even see that there’s a world out there. A real evocation of a lonely, transitory moment, or just a lonely life.

To read the winning poems and the full judge’s report visit The Kent and Sussex Poetry Society’s page Prizewinning Poems from our Open Competition 2016.

Posted in 2016 New Archive, News, Susan Utting (poet) | Comments Off

Congratulations to TRP poet, Gill Learner!

Take a look at this…..our Gill Learner took second prize in the Torriano Poetry Competition.   Isn’t that grand?

Winners of the Torriano Competition 2015/16

Many thanks to all who entered the Torriano Poetry Competition.

The winners performed readings of their works on  24 April.

Judged by Ann Drysdale

Chill Factor front cover final1st Ian McEwen (Bedford) Rooks in the Wind
2nd Gill Learner (Reading) In Consideration of Sticks
3rd M. Lee Alexander (USA). Local Hussy at the Kilkenny Village Fete, 1722

Read Gill’s poetry in her collection, The Agister’s Experiment or pre-order her forthcoming collection, Chill Factor (June 2016).

Posted in 2016 New Archive, Gill Learner (poet), News | Comments Off

Sale of Peter Hay works

This past weekend, Two Rivers Press held a sale of works by its founder Peter Hay.   As one Two Rivers Press poet commented afterwards “‘that wasn’t just a nice event, it was a lovely one!’

Peter Hay sale1

Peter Hay sale Martin & Nadja & LesleyPeter Hay salePeter Hay sale2

Poetry was read and art was taken home!

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Saturday, 23 April 2016: Two Rivers Press Present: Slam Sale with Poetry

Come to Reading Museum & Town Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 1QH for a sale of original artwork by Peter Hay.

detail of a Peter Hay painting

detail of a Peter Hay painting

When: Sale 12pm – 3.30pm, poetry readings from 2pm

Cost: Free, drop in

Who: all ages

Peter Hay set up Two Rivers Press and painted and illustrated his way into the hearts of Reading people. Today the Press is sharing the love with a sale of original paintings by Hay at give-away prices. Find paintings full of joyful colour from as little as £10.

Take a break from rummaging through the art and poetry books for a rare chance to hear astonishing poems read aloud by nationally acclaimed poets. Join the poets in the Sense of Place exhibition surrounded by the paintings that inspired them and sit back as their poems bring the paintings to life.

Two Rivers Press logo

Throughout the event Two Rivers Press books will be selling books at discounted prices and after the poetry readings poets will be available to sign books.

For more information about the event see Reading Museum events listing.

 

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Saturday, 23 April 2016, SLAM SALE and POETRY at Reading Museum

Take a break from rummaging through the art and poetry books for a rare chance to hear astonishing poems read aloud by nationally acclaimed poets. Join the poets in the Sense of Place exhibition surrounded by the paintings that inspired them and sit back as their poems bring the paintings to life.

When: Saturday 23rd April, 12.00-15.30, with poetry readings from 14.00
Where:  Reading Museum & Town Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 1QH
Cost: FREE for all ages

detail of a Peter Hay painting

detail of a Peter Hay painting

Peter Hay set up Two Rivers Press and painted and illustrated his way into the hearts of Reading people. Today the Press is sharing the love with a sale of original paintings by Hay at give-away prices. Find paintings full of joyful colour from as little as £10.

Throughout the event Two Rivers Press will be selling books at discounted prices and poets will be available to sign them.

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Claire Dyer at Charles Causley’s Cyprus Well

From “A Winning Week at Cyprus Well”

well-blog1-500x500Saturday: My journey to Cyprus Well has been long and tiring but I arrive to find the afternoon sunlight falling in wide bands across the kitchen.

On the table is a vase of blithe spring flowers and in every room a sense of peace like an embrace. It is different here; this house made of light spaces and tender dark corners is calm and generous.

I spend quiet moments in each room, looking through the bookshelves, at the pictures on the walls, at the displays in the glass cabinets. I sit for a while in the ‘bright glass cabin’ and somehow know he’s here too, in his study, at his desk, weighing words. There’s no rush, he tells me. Take your time.

In February of this year, we announced that  Two Rivers Press poet, Claire Dyer had been awarded 1st Prize in the 2015 Charles Causley Poetry Prize, for her poem ‘Trust and the Horse’.

1st Prize included a week-long residency at Cyprus Well, Causley’s former home in Launceston, Cornwall.

Claire has now spent her week at Cyprus Well.

Read A Winning Week at Cyprus Well and the poem it inspired “At Cyprus Well after Charles Causley” here.

Posted in Claire Dyer (poet), News | Comments Off

Sunday, 24 April 2016: Shakespeare, the V&A and Live Canon’s 154: A Poetry Marathon

file-page1To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, on his 452nd birthday, Live Canon commissioned 154 contemporary poets (including two Two Rivers Press poets, Lesley Saunders and David Attwooll) to each pen a poem in response to one of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets.

In this remarkable six hour marathon, the Live Canon ensemble will launch the publication of the poems with a performance of all 154 sonnets and all 154 responses, in the beautiful surroundings of the V&A’s National Art Library.

 

Live Canon’s 154: A Poetry Marathon

When: Sunday 24 April,10.30-17.30
Where: NAL Centre Room
Cost: Free

Join the Live Canon ensemble for a unique, marathon poetry performance.

Drop in or stay all day for a Shakespeare birthday blowout.

This event is part of the V&A Performance Festival 2016.

 

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30 April – 2 May: Discover local artists and TRP’s own Sally Castle at the Henley Arts Trail

The 2016 trail is on the first May Bank Holiday Weekend  Sat 30th April – Mon 2nd May

Visit artists’ studios and exhibitions in the Henley-Twyford area!

  • Over 150 artists
  • 25 venues
  • More than 10,000 people visited in 2015

The artists will be at the various venues to welcome guests and show their work. Some artists will be doing demonstrations or workshops for members of the public who want to have a go themselves and many venues offer refreshments.

The Grand Opening for the Trail is at Venue 1, The Old Fire Station Gallery on Friday 22 April 2016, 18.00 – 20.00 – all welcome!

Sally Castle’s open studio is venue 21.  Come see her linocuts, letter carving and lettering! For a taste of what you might see at Venue 21, visit http://www.sallycastle.co.uk/index.html

walking-words-wide-v2-600x400Shipping forecast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on the Henley Arts trail and to download the trail map/brochure visit http://www.henleyartstrail.com/

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Review: The Rilke of Ruth Speirs in TLS

“….why given the super abundance of Rilke translations available are we being offered “her” (Ruth Speirs) Rilke?”

This question is at the heart of Charlie Louth’s TLS review, “Untormented”  of The Rilke of Ruth Speirs: New Poems, Duino Elegies, Sonnets to Orpheus, & Others (8 April 2016). He argues that Rilke poses a balance to the well-known translations of J.B. Leishman whose translations were published by Hogarth Press (who had an exclusive agreement with Rilke’s German publisher):

TRP_Rilke_Cover

Hers are some of the most supple, patient, responsive and exact versions of Rilke around….

Speirs marks her difference from Leishman by making no attempt to follow Rilke’s rhyming, arguing ….the “Rilke’s abundance of meaning does not depend on rhyme for its transmission, but bursts upon us in some degree even through a ‘prose’ translation, if only we let him speak in words that, in kindred language, are as closely equivalent to his own as is possible to render them.”  Whatever the truth of that, it is clearly better to have plain, accurate versions that do without rhyme rather than overwrought, hit-and-miss versions that are impeded by it, and it is not much of an exaggeration to think of Speirs’ Rilke as an “anti-Leishman”…. Her translations have a sense of quietness, the language seems sure footed, unforced, tending to tone down rather than work up, finely attentive to the German but not in awe of it or even tempted to abandon its own measured resources.  And her versions are not ‘prose’ and don’t pass up opportunities to hint at the rhyme or to compensate for its absence by other means.  She follows and has faith in the sense, in Rilke’s and her own.

The Rilke of Ruth Speirs is available here.

Posted in John Pilling (author, editor), News, Peter Robinson (poet, editor) | Comments Off

A reminder! Grey Hen Poetry Competion deadline 30 April, 2016

Grey Hen Poetry Competition 2016 – Closing date 30th April

For women over 60.

Poems up to 40 lines on any theme.

Judges: Maggie Butt and Anne Stewart.

Prizes: £100, £75, £25. Rules and entry form (essential) at www.greyhenpress.com or write with sae for further details to

Grey Hen Press
PO Box 450
Keighley
W Yorks
BD22 9BG
United Kingdom

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Shining a light on Edith Morley, UK’s first female professor

Prof. Alison Donnell, Head of School of Literature and Languages (University of Reading) tells BBC’s Anne Diamond about the UK’s first female university professor, Dr Edith Morley:  “She really had to fight for it”. Listen to the radio interview here.

Anne was clearly so moved by Edith Morley story,  that on Wednesday, March 9, just a day after International Women’s Day, Anne suggested that a statue would be fitting tribute to Edith’s hard-won achievements.

Read Edith Morley’s memoirs Before and After: Reminiscence of a Working Life.

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Read All About It: ‘Before and After’ by Edith Morley

This post, by Yen-Yen Lu, was posted on March 11, 2016 on the Inpress website.

Before_And_After_Cover_13_11We celebrated International Women’s Day this week to commemorate the achievements of women in history and in contemporary culture. It would be impossible to leave out one of this week’s most exciting new titles, Before and After from Two Rivers Press, a memoir of Edith Morley, the first female professor in the UK.

Since childhood she ‘hated being a girl'; understandable, considering the fact that she grew up in late Victorian era. She was aware of the restrictions put on her simply from ‘being a girl’ and made every effort to break through them, from defying her father’s wishes and attending school rather than being educated at home, to her later life when she overcame many different obstacles as she navigated through a male-dominated environment of Edwardian academia. She was appointed Professor of English Language at Reading in 1908.

I spoke to Sally Mortimore and Barbara Morris (editor) of Two Rivers Press about the book and of the significance of Morley’s achievements and what they mean today.

What stands out to you about Before and After, and what will stand out to readers? The restrictions placed on girls and women in the early part of the 20th Century, though we read about them, are hard to take on board until you read a first hand account from an intelligent and energetic, personable woman. Edith’s memoir makes you wish you could have invited her to dinner. Such was her range of knowledge and pursuits, her clear interest in others and her pragmatism, it’s easy to imagine late night conversations full of laughter and name dropping! Her memoir is easy to read and resonant of a life-affirming personality. She is honest about the challenges she faced, about her own personal weaknesses and about the people she came into contact with. The result is the reader’s opportunity to go back in time, experience the events that made our lives what they are today and make a commitment to future generations to live our ordinary lives as if they matter.

What makes Edith Morley an important figure, in her time and ours?             Edith Morley was an ordinary woman. Ordinary in that her circumstances and upbringing were typical of many women of her time. But she possessed extraordinary determination and energy which she used to change the course of her life and the lives of many women following in her footsteps. Although her personal achievement was tarnished by the attitude of her peers to the women in leadership positions, nevertheless, the status she did manage to attain paved the way for future female academics of all ranks to fulfill their potential.

What would you most want this book to achieve?  Huge sales! But also an understanding amongst women today that the path we tread was laid by some unassuming but determined women, many of whom are not noticed by history, but whose legacy was hugely significant. We can but aim to do likewise.

Purchase Before and After  here.

Posted in Barbara Morris (author), News | Comments Off

2016 Paragram Paradox Prize

Claire Dyer is to be the judge for the 2016 Paragram Paradox Prize. There will be three genres in the new competition, humour, poetry and petite-prose, with a prize in each.

More information about the competition will be posted at

https://para-gram.com/

Posted in Claire Dyer (poet), News | Comments Off

Irish Times article about Before and After Reminiscence of a Working life, the Edith Morley autobiography

Before_And_After_Cover_13_11(2016-Mar-09)   The Irish Times has published an article by Barbara Morris, the editor of the recently published autobiography of Edith Morley,  the first female professor in Britain or Ireland.

Barbara says Before and After: Reminiscence of a Working Life will appeal to anyone with an interest in women in academia, the work of Fabian socialists and the women’s movement.

Indeed it should be of interest to anyone interested in social history.

 

The book is available now, directly from Two Rivers Press, here.

Posted in 2016 New Archive, Barbara Morris (author), News | Comments Off

Review: The Bookbag reviews Edith Morley autobiography

Before_And_After_Cover_13_11

The Bookbag has published a full review of Edith Morley’s autobiography  Before and After: Reminiscence on a Working Life, edited by Barbara Morris.

Morley was involved in the early feminist movement and later worked in setting up the Reading Refugee Committee which assisted Jewish refugees in world War II – work for which she would be awarded the OBE. Her descriptions throughout the book are vivid, concise and memorable and have a directness which brings situations to life in a way which is not often encountered. For the first time I felt that I was really present in a Victorian childhood or with refugees. It’s an interesting and varied life although the author makes rather less of it than is usual in such memoirs. There’s an underlying need to give credit to others and minimise criticism which is refreshing.

Many years ago I was a woman in a position where women were still unusual and many of the struggles which Morley encountered were familiar to me, but I did feel grateful for the groundwork which she and others like her had done and which made what I did possible.

(Excerpt from the review)

Posted in 2016 New Archive, Barbara Morris (author), News | Comments Off

Before and After: Reminiscences of a Working Life by Edith Morley launched

Before_And_After_Cover_13_11Yesterday, 8 March 2016, was  International Women’s Day and Two Rivers Press launched a most appropriate new publication, the autobiography of Edith Morley, the first woman appointed to a chair at a British university-level institution.

This book is getting reviewed widely, perhaps an indication that the challenges facing women today are disappointingly not so different from those faced by Edith Morley over 100 years ago.

Buy your copy here.

 

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Lesley Saunder’s poem, Asylum, on Youtube

I will take you myself on my shoulders

and the task will not weigh heavy on me

-Vergil, Aeneid II, 708

So begins, “Asylum” by Lesley Saunders, recited here by  Eva Traynor.

“Asylum”  is a poem in a collection  Lesley Saunders is preparing.

Posted in 2016 New Archive, Lesley Saunders (poet), News | Comments Off

Academic and feminist: Edith Morley! Memoirs published today

Before_And_After_Cover_13_11BBC’s Woman’s Hour takes up the story of the UK’s first female university professor, Edith Morley, her  professional struggles and political convictions around equality in the early twentieth century relate to on-going campaigns for equality and diversity in higher education today.

You can listen to the podcast here and/or buy a copy of Edith’s memoirs, published on this International Women’s Day 2016, here.

Posted in Barbara Morris (author), News | Comments Off

Tuesday, 8 March, 2016: Claire Dyer on air on Paul Ross Show

claire-dyer-home-page-bw31Our very own poet and author, Claire Dyer is a regular guest on The Berkshire Book Club on the Paul Ross Show on BBC Berkshire.

Unexpected inheritanceTomorrow she will be on air at 2.00 pm talking about ‘The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra‘ by  Vaseem Khan.

 

 

 

 

 

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Review: June Purvis reviews Edith Morley memoir in THE

Before_And_After_Cover_13_11This memoir of a scholar who fought for recognition will strike a chord with many women, says June Purvis, professor of women’s and gender history, University of Portsmouth, in her review of Time Higher Education review of Edith Morley Before and After Reminescences on a Working Life.  Here is an extract of that review…

 Writing in 1977 in The University of Reading: The First Fifty Years, historian J. C. Holt drew a hostile portrait of Morley, describing her as “provocative, disturbing, aggressive, intransigent…a very different sort of person from her male colleagues”; a woman who “frightened” even “the most extrovert of men”. Morley’s memoir presents a very different picture that challenges such misogynist views. She also writes about her active life after her retirement, when she set up Reading’s Refugee Committee and assisted Belgian Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany…

Before and After is a poignant first-person account by a pioneering feminist who struggled for recognition in her academic life, and her story will resonate with many female academics today.

Read the full review of Before and After: Reminiscences on a Working Life, by Edith Morley here.

Purchase your copy of Before and After here.

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PBS Bulletin: Behrens’ Man with Bombe Alaska

Man with Bombe Alaska front coverIMG_3102IMG_3103Have you read the Spring 2016 edition of the PBS Bulletin?   Kate Behrens’ collection Man with Bombe Alaska gets a mention in the new book listing. The entry reads:

Kate Behrens’ second collection follows The Beholder in 2012, also published by Two Rivers Press.   These poems journey between London, Turkey, Italy, Spain and the English countryside and carry a strong sense of place, with each poem grabbing and holding the reader’s attention and drawing us into a beautiful tableau, where “Horizons have turned / to the singular.” Reviewer Adam Piette describes it best when he calls it “a very haunting, emotionally fraught and entrancing collection,” which will reward repeated readings and resonate long aft the page is turned.

Buy your copy here.

 

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