Read all about Edith Morley Before and After Reminiscences on a Working Life in the review “Rising up the career ladder – voices of the past” which appears on workingmums.co.uk.
Or read the book yourself.
Buy your copy here!
Edith Morley’s memoir has been carefully and honestly edited by Barbara Morris. Edith’s strength of character permeates the text. Her account of her personal struggles vacillates between self-deprecation and absolute confidence in the rectitude of her actions. It is abundantly clear that she was a very formidable woman. There is a quiet restraint in her description of the barriers she faced individually but she is keen to illustrate her refusal to compromise her commitment to women’s right to participate in intellectual and public life on an equal footing with men. It is not always clear who she imagined the audience of her memoir to be, she defends the suffragettes and suffragists actions in a tone that feels directed to a somewhat less than sympathetic ear. One can imagine that as the first woman professor in Britain she must have become highly skilled at attenuating her arguments to win over her male colleagues and it seems to me that in part the memoir is engaged in a dialogue with them. Professor Morley’s (I cannot bring myself to describe her as either Morley or Edith given her discussion on the new informality in terms of address in the text) description of her Victorian childhood and the constraints of being a girl child in even a very liberal family is especially vivid and engaging. She traces how a girl of ‘her class’ ended up in the very unexpected position of being in full-time academic employment and situates her own progression within an account of how the class structure, gender relations and access to academic life changed beyond recognition throughout her life time. Professor Morley dedicates considerable energy towards describing the extra curricula organisations that she helped to form and participated in attributing to them central importance in the development of university culture. In an environment where colleagues are more often deep in conversation about the REF and now the TEF the idea of participating in regular collective poetry and dramatic evenings seems, sadly, extraordinarily remote and is a timely reminder of the original aims of a university education. The memoir provides brief first-hand accounts of the activities of the Fabian Society, the Suffrage movement, the Workers’ Educational Association , refugee societies, women’s organisation during the wars and of course women’s organisation within academia. I would strongly recommend Edith Morley’s memoir to anyone with an interest in any of these social movements and to the general reader as a fascinating insight into a tenacious woman who helped to make things rather better for the rest of us.
Dr Rosie Campbell, Assistant Dean for Post Graduate Research School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy
Birkbeck, University of London
Two Rivers Press’ own Clarie Dyer has been awarded First Prize in the 2015 Charles Causley Poetry Competition for her poem ‘Trust and the Horse’.
“The top prize of £2000 and a week-long residency at Cyprus Well, Causley’s former home in Launceston, Cornwall was awarded to Claire Dyer who will join us at Cyprus Well in April 2016 for her residency, during which she will be giving a public reading of her work.
Head judge, Professor Caleshu, had this to say about the winning poem:
“There’s a quiet confidence in this poem, born out of ‘wisdom and rhythm’. We join the speaker on horseback, travelling toward the poem we want to read, and so the poem we want to write. The couplets move us forward with controlled momentum, a strong trot made from a straight-forward language. And yet the poem, with each turn of phrase, surprises us, turns into those spaces which are genuine, and by which we find ‘trust’: trust in the poem to make the right steps, ‘trust’ that it will carry us into a new world order — of ‘hope’, and, at the poem’s unexpected conclusion, of numbers. This poem adds to that great tradition of poetry about poetry, a quest narrative which is both of this earth and its animals and of the ‘blue air’, where the imagination triumphs.”
Claire is from Reading, Berkshire. Her poetry collection, Eleven Rooms is published by Two Rivers Press and a further collection is forthcoming in 2016. Her novels, The Moment and The Perfect Affair and her short story Falling for Gatsby are published by Quercus. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, University of London and teaches creative writing for Bracknell & Wokingham College. She also runs Fresh Eyes, an editorial and critiquing service. Her website is www.clairedyer.com”
From The Charles Causley Trust Poetry Prize page.
Two Rivers Press would also like to congratulate 2nd Prize winner, Russell Jones and 3rd Prize winner, Nell Farrell!
Born in Bayswater in 1875, Edith Morley ‘did hate being a girl’, though she found the middle-class conventions of the day restrictive rather than repressive and benefited from a good education thanks to her surgeon-dentist father and well-read mother.
She obtained an ‘equivalent’ degree from Oxford University (the only type available to the few female students at the time) and was appointed Professor of English Language at University College, Reading, in 1908, becoming the first female professor in England. She is best known as the primary twentieth-century editor of Henry Crabb Robinson’s writings (the author of a comprehensive biography) and for her Women Workers in Seven Professions: A Survey of their Economic Conditions and Prospects (1914), published while she was a member of the Fabian Executive Committee.
This memoir, Before and After, written in 1944 a few years after leaving the post at Reading, was ‘intended to relate my experiences to the background of my period and to portray incidents in the life of a woman born in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.’ She was made a member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1950, for her work setting up the Reading Refugee Committee and assisting Belgian Jewish refugees in World War II. She died in 1964.
Our very own Sally Castle has designed a series of 9 bronze panels that tell the story of Reading’s past (text and research by Adam Sowan) in words and pictures. They were commissioned by Muse Development as part of the redevelopment of Chatham Place and will be installed in the garden there on the 18th February.
They are absolutely beautiful and Sally has also designed a gorgeous map so that we can bring the artwork into our homes. On it she explains the inspiration behind the images and letterforms on the panels.
The map will be available at each of the 9 Walking Words events that jelly have organized to celebrate the commission as part of Reading’s Year of Culture. The events – involving local artists, arts organisations and art practices – are themed around the stories told on the panels.
One of them, A Much-maligned Town, is a light-hearted romp through Reading’s grimy years with Ashley Harrold, Gill Learner and Adam and Barbara. Held at Haslams, Friar Street on Friday 12th February at 7pm, the event will include extracts from newspaper reports about the crime-ridden back-to-backs at Somerset Place, quotes from Reading’s unimpressed visitors over the years and the performance of a song about the notorious Reading baby murderer, Amelia Dyer.
Although they are all free, you will need to book for many of the Walking Words events.
He judges the collection to be “… a cluster of cleverness – some brilliant ideas, some very unusual sideways approaches to getting a decent poem...”; a collection of “…wide ranging glances and off beat complexities…“.
Read and judge for yourself.
This month the Poets’ cafe have a special local guest, the mighty and magnificent Kate Behrens, launching her latest collection, Man with Bombe Alaska, which is out.
In addition to Kate’s reading, of course, there will be plenty of room for the regular open mic, so bring a poem, come and read. Or just listen. It’s up to you.
Poets’ Cafe – South Street Arts Centre, South Street, Reading – 8pm doors – £5/£4
Three Two Rivers Press Poets, introduced by Peter Robinson, will read at the Camden and Lumen Poetry reading, on Tuesday, 15 December, 2015:
David Attwooll, The Sound Ladder (2015)
Kate Behrens, Man with Bombe Alaska (2016)
David Cooke, A Murmuration (2015)
Venue: 88 Tavistock Place WC1H 9RT
When: 7.00p.m.(doors open 6.30)
For more information visit Camden and Lumen Poetry London Poetry Project Supporting the Cold Weather Shelters
Find some gorgeous gifts and have some festive fun at Waterstone’s Christmas Shopping Evening – events include:
6.15pm and 7.15pm: Storytime and book signing at in the children’s section. Local children’s author Holly Webb will be reading from a selection of her books, followed by a book signing.
6.30pm – 8pm: Book signings with local authors Peter Kruschwitz, Jenny Halstead
and Mike Fulford will sign and dedicate their books: The Writing on the Wall: Reading’s Latin Inscriptions and Silchester: Life on the Dig respectively.
6.30 – 7.30 pm: Festive Music from a selection of singers from Reading Bach Choir will
sing carols to get us in the festive mood.
Festive nibbles will be provided by Artigiano – the vibrant espresso house on Broad Street that becomes a buzzing bar at dusk.
8pm: Party at Artigiano with brilliant singer/guitarist Richard James.
Other interesting tidbits:
Volunteers from local Reading Homeless Support Charity Launchpad will gift wrap customers’ purchases for a suggested donation of £1.
Discount – Customers will get 10% off any purchase in store, unless it is in any other offer, between 6 and 8 pm.
Buy Books for Syria – Buy a book while stocks last from our Buy Books For Syria campaign and every penny from every sale will go direct to Oxfam’s Syria Crisis Appeal.
Waterstones Reading Broad Street
89a Broad Street, Reading, RG1 2AP, T: 0118 9581270
This year Freedom from Torture celebrates 30 years of being the only UK based human rights organisation dedicated to the treatment and rehabilitation of torture survivors. The anthology, Hands and Wings is the creation of the Oxford Freedom from Torture supporters’ group, who have promoted the organisation since 2001.
Philip Pullman CBE, author of His Dark Materials, will launch a new anthology with poems by over 50 contemporary and award-winning poets, in aid of the charity Freedom from Torture. Pullman, who has also written a foreword to the book, will launch Hands and Wings’ on Wednesday 25th November 2015 at Blackwell’s Bookshop in Oxford, from 12- 2.00pm.
Contributing poets include Welsh National Poet Gillian Clarke, T.S.Eliot Prize winner Philip Gross and winner of the OxfordWeidenfeld Translation Prize Susan Wicks. Oxford based poet Dorothy Yamamoto has edited the anthology, which will also include new poems by Two Rivers Press poets, including Susan Utting and Claire Dyer!
The Spanish Civil War memorial (pages 16 and 110, trail 1, question 7) has migrated from the old Civic Centre to the east end of the Forbury Gardens, near King Henry’s cross (see page 65). And Adam, Libby and Karen (pages 41and 124, trail 2, question 7) have danced away to who knows where; we hope they will reappear somewhere soon. Be a real detective and find out where they are, then let us know!
The answers to these and many other questions are waiting to be discovered and the clues are all around, on buildings, statues and street signs. Follow our walking trails (four different routes) to find out for yourself who lived in and visited Reading and what they got up to. Use the extra information we’ve provided with the answers to reconstruct the past and uncover Reading’s hidden history.
Aimed at children aged approx. 8 -13, but read what one customer had to say:
Grandson and I did 1-18 of route 2 after collecting the book from the museum. Rained off; the pages became too wet to write on! We resumed the trail the next day and completed it. He really enjoyed doing this activity. My husband now wants to buy a copy for us so that we can explore Reading together! A highly recommended book.
A lovely review of A Murmuration in London Grip. It is very positive and gets to the heart of what the poet is thinking.
Read the review.
The annual Stanza Poetry Competition began in 2007. There is a winner, two joint runners-up and ten commended poets. The theme for the competition is the antithesis or balance to that year’s National Poetry Day theme.
This year, the theme was “Darkness”.
This year’s judge, Jo Bell, picked Graham’Burchell’s poem: ‘A Closeness’ from a total of 317 poems sent in by 185 poets on the theme of Darkness to be the winner.
Two Rivers Press would like to congratulate the winners and commended poets:
Winner: Graham Burchell
And the ten commended poets: David Attwooll, Chris Bridge, Janet Dean, Claire Dyer, Clive Eastwood, Andy Jackson, Charles Lauder Jr, Marilyn Longstaff, Julia Webb, and John (F J) Williams.
For a full reportage on the 2015 competition winners and the judge’s feedback to all the entries, click here.
Two Rivers press poets read at The Reading Poetry Festival:
David Cooke reading from A Murmuration
Jane Draycott reading from The Rilke of Ruth Speirs
David Attwooll reading from The Sound Ladder
Place: Building 22, London Road Campus, University of Reading
Visit the Reading Poetry Festival site to book your tickets.
The Reading poetry festival is a three day extravaganza 23-25 October 2015.
Tickets: Entry to the Gerald Finzi Memorial Lecture is free. A full weekend ticket costs £80, a one-day ticket £50, and an individual event ticket £10. The festival is free for University of Reading students and members and guests of speakers.
For more information about three days of events, visit The Reading Poetry Festival.
At Two Rivers Press, we pride ourselves on producing beautiful books. It is especially gratifying when someone else agrees that they are indeed beautiful.
The London Magazine, tweeted about the beauty of the cover of David Cooke’s A Murmuration.
Get your copy here.
Who is Evilcyclist?
Well, Evilcyclist describes himself as:
“..a vegetarian with an M.A. in International Relations and former United States Marine originally from Cleveland, Ohio. Since then (he) left the corporate world to become a bicycle mechanic and wheel builder. He live a car-free life in the suburbs of Dallas, TX and read in every spare moment.”
And did what does Evilcyclist make of Two Rivers Press’s new volume, The Rilke of Ruth Speirs: New Poems, Duino Elegies, Sonnets to Orpheus, & Others?
…the only thing more difficult than writing great poetry is taking the poet’s work and translating it to another language and still maintain the poet’s thoughts. To read poetry in English and forget that you are reading a translation is literary transcendence. The poems presented in this collection will have the reader believing that English was the original language…
Rilke’s poems capture moments in time from a time long past. The detail of her descriptions such as in “The Merry-Go-Round” put the reader in the Jardin du Luxembourg. It is not too far fetched to think you hear the carousel’s music playing in your head. The poems maintain rhythm and imagery that throughout the collection.
Speirs’ translation of Rilke’s’ work is nothing short of superb…
The whole review can be read on Evilcyclist’s Blog, where you can also read book reviews of a wide variety of books.
Claire Dyer, author of ‘The Moment’ and ‘The Perfect Affair’, and the poetry collection Eleven Rooms, has taken up a teaching post at Bracknell & Wokingham College giving students her knowledge and experience of the creative writing industry.
Having an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, University of London, two novels, poems published in anthologies, magazines and poetry journals, a collection of poetry published by Two Rivers Press and another collection on the way – Claire has plenty of insider knowledge to pass on. Read her advice: Don’t keep it to yourself. Published author shares her knowledge.
Do you live in Reading (UK), or know anyone who does? Have you taken the The Great Reading Street Name Quiz?
The questions and the answers come from this perfect gift book: Abattoirs Road to Zinzan Street: Reading’s Streets and Their Names.
The study of place-names can tell you a lot about local history and biography; likewise street-names, though their origins – even the recent ones – are often hard to track down. This gazetteer of 300 streets in Reading (UK) includes much lore, gossip and urban myth, along with a necessary dose of pure speculation. The book is illustrated with Peter Hay’s distinctive rubber-stamp vignettes and lettering by designer Sally Castle.
The perfect present for anyone from Reading or in Reading.
Buy your copy now!
Two Rivers Press would like to thank the organizers of the annual convention of the International Rilke Society, which takes place in London from 16 to 18 September 2015 for inviting us to come with our newest volume: The Rilke of Ruth Speirs: New Poems, Duino Elegies, Sonnets to Orpheus, & Others
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) is universally recognized as among the most important twentieth-century German-language poets. Here, for the first time, are all the surviving translations of his poetry made by Ruth Speirs (1916-2000), a Latvian exile who joined the British literary community in Cairo during World War Two, becoming a close friend of Lawrence Durrell and Bernard Spencer. Though described as ‘excellent’ and ‘the best’ by J. M. Cohen on the basis of magazine and anthology appearances, copyright restrictions meant that during her lifetime, with the exception of a Cairo-published Selected Poems (1942), Speirs was never to see her work gathered between covers and in print.
This volume, edited by John Pilling and Peter Robinson, brings Speirs’ translations the belated recognition they deserve. Her much-revised and considered versions are a key document in the history of Rilke’s Anglophone dissemination. Rhythmically alive and carefully faithful, they give a uniquely mid-century English accent to the poet’s extraordinary German, and continue to bear comparison with current efforts to render his tenderly taxing voice.
To buy a copy please click here.
The results have been announced in Ambit’s second Annual Poetry Competition judged by Dan O’Brien:
First Prize goes to Geraldine Clarkson (the winner of last year’s 2nd Prize) for her poem ‘Brother’
Second Prize goes to Josh Ekroy, for ‘Blood Qur’an’
Third Prize goes to Lesley Saunders for ‘News’.
Runners up are Brian Docherty, Michael Prior and Geraldine Clarkson.
Two Rivers Press would like to congratulate all the winners, but most especially, their very own Lesley Saunders! Well done, Lesley!
All winning entries will be published in Issue 222 of Ambit, out at the end of October. The competition ran from May 1st to July 15th and was judged anonymously. There were over 600 entries and an excellent overall standard. Winners receive £500 for 1st, £250 for 2nd and £150 for 3rd prize, along with publication in the magazine.
There is an open invitation to a celebratory event with readings by the winners, and by Dan O’Brien and Alison Moore on Tuesday, October 27th at 7pm at The Sun and 13 Cantons, 21 Great Pulteney St, London W1F 9NG. Entrance is free with a purchase of the magazine or a donation of £5 (free for Friends and Angels) and the cash bar will stay open until late.
If you subscribe to the Poetry Business’ magazine, The North, you may have seen a review of Susan Utting’s collection, Fair’s Fair, in The North, issue 54, Autumn 2015, in which the reviewer, poet Philip Gross writes:
Utting unashamedly loves language, and it seems to love her back. This is not a careless rapture. There is method and consideration, in a whole book structured around poems led in two by two on facing pages (‘creatures coupled in a strange ark’) – sometimes mirroring, sometimes answering each other, sometimes simply exchanging a nod. There is a jouissance in the sheer enumeration of things.
The original review is a longer affair. The part dealing with Fair’s Fair follows, and is reprinted with permission. You can also purchase copies of The North, issue 54, from The North’s own website for the full review.
Susan Utting, Fair’s Fair, Two Rivers Press
(reviewed with Helena Eriksson’s strata, translated by Jan Teeland and Wendy Klein, Shearsman Books)
…where Eriksson mistrusts, almost shrinks from, her language, Utting leaps into the heart of it and rolls it around.
Look at her flirt in her flash-vivid bolero,
lash flutter, hair-flick and kiss-me-soft smile:
she’s wearing the sequins and satin, gold thread
embroidery, pleated-sleeved, edge-to-edge moiré
coatee, that was bargained for, haggled and smuggled,
swaddled in khaki, shouldered by kitbag through
mud-fields and cart-track, held river-high ocean-dry…
I am ending this extract in media res, so as not to be carried right through in one breath to the end. As much as Eriksson’s Elizabeth, this ‘Picture of my Mother as a Young Woman’ is historical (Second World War), and is a poem of a picture, representation of a representation of a deliberate performance of a self. Utting unashamedly loves language, and it seems to love her back. This is not a careless rapture. There is method and consideration, in a whole book structured around poems led in two by two on facing pages (‘creatures coupled in a strange ark’) – sometimes mirroring, sometimes answering each other, sometimes simply exchanging a nod. There is a jouissance in the sheer enumeration of things. One poem riffs on Cornelia Parker’s exploded shed, and Utting’s procedure can seem like self-fuelling fission, an implosion, even. The energy produced, though, can be as questioning as Eriksson’s. The young woman celebrated in the lines above could be equally the victor or the spoils of war. One of the most moving of this manner, ‘Lament for Susie Green’, is as much a pibroch as a rhapsody:
No more the wicked tongue, the lizard skin shoes,
the cerise and black, no more the oyster and blue;
no more the filthy look, the thrupenny bits, no silver
or bronze, no more sixpence-suspenders, no lash-glitter.
No red hat, no fur coat, no Chantilly lace, no pins in the mouth,
no grosgrain or petersham frogging or darting, no snowing-down-south.
No more the dog-see-the-rabbit, no go joe, no rabbit, no cricket, no score,
no peplum or jabot, gadget or slingback, no hip-shimmy heel spin; no more.
The Two Rivers Press Heritage Open Day (HOD) events will be hosted by Waterstones Booksellers Ltd, 89A Broad Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 2AP. Plan accordingly. Come and join us.
11.00am – 12.00pm Book Signing and Photographic Exhibition: ‘Caught on Camera: Reading in the 70s‘ by Terry Allsop – come and meet the author and view a small exhibition of photographs. This intimate portrait of Reading in the 1970s shows a variety of scenes and locations and is brought to life by the people who inhabit the photographs, demonstrating the vitality and diversity of the town – aspects that live on despite changes in fashion and car design! – For more information click here.
12.00pm – 1:00pm Tour of Broad Street Chapel followed by book signing: Geoff Sawers author of ‘Broad Street Chapel & the Origins of Dissent in Reading’. 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.
Booking is necessary as numbers are limited to 8 places for this event. Tickets are free of charge available in store. For more information click here.
3:00pm – 4:00pm – Book signing: ‘The Writing on the Wall: Reading’s Latin Inscriptions’ by Peter Kruschwitz. Meet the author and hear about some of Reading’s Latin inscriptions. Let this book take you on a journey of discovery through the remarkable and chequered history of this town, uncovering some of Reading’s hidden treasures and recalling the individuals who have made the town what it is today. – For more information click here.
Two Rivers Press would like to congratulate Susan Utting.
Susan’s “Self-Portrait as a Ticked Box” took 2nd prize in the McLellan poetry competition.
Self-Portrait as a Ticked Box
I would paint myself green for the luck of the Irish, purple
my mouth for a Bow bell’s chime, one arm banded black
for the death of a king, dress in red for the wake of my sister.
For the stones on a South coast beach I’d wear rubber shoes,
for my sea-worthy father a hat made of canvas, cut from a jib.
I’d be sitting up straight, for uncle Joe’s Friday night dinners.
At my back I’d sketch bulbfields for Freda and Eddie,
their glasshouses still on the Great Ouse’s banks, no floods
but a windmill with still sturdy sails for my grandfathers.
For my foremothers I would put fat Russian dolls, full of dear
little girls, on collapsible tables, with linen and crochet hooks,
cooking pots, stained with pearl-barley, and chicken-bone soup.
I’d be dancing a jig, a mazurka, an old-fashioned waltz, would spin
on blocked toes, paint my feet bloody. I’d be carried away on a longboat,
a horse-drawn cart, hay wain, or curled in a home-crafted coracle.
I would sign myself small, with a borrowed name, in fine rain
from the North, touched with good fortune’s red from the far,
Far East, shot with silk, spun out in the West. But here, I must
write myself clear, flat as a Midlands vowel, glottal-stopped, tick
as I’m asked, I must paint myself funeral, statistical, invisible, other.
Simon Armitage was the competition’s judge. Susan says delightedly “Simon is, and always has been, one of my poetry heroes.” Nice to be recognized by one of your heroes. Well done, Susan!
“Mining his family roots in the west of Ireland and his Catholic upbringing in Berkshire, A Murmuration is a moving meditation on heritage and identity, exploring the notion of landscape as a mirror that changes as it marks the changes in us. Probing his loss of faith and the conversion of his daughter to Islam, the masterpieces of Bruegel and the existential lessons of wildlife documentaries, Cooke’s lyrical insight and precision makes the personal universal.”
Asked how he felt about such an endorsement, David replied, “…they do sound enthusiastic and the last sentence is very flattering. So all in all, I’m pretty chuffed.”
And so are we, David. So are we!
Get your copy of A Murmuration to read this autumn!
There is only one week left to enter the Poetry Book Fair poetry competition!
Deadline is 1 September 2015.
They are looking for short poems (max. 10 lines) on the theme of “books”.
The full poetry competition rules and information are available here.
Recently, David Attwooll’s poem Greengrocer’s Apostrophe was awarded first prize in the Havant Poetry Festival Poetry Competition 2015. The competition adjudicator, Joan McGavin, had this to say about the winning poem:
I liked the play on words in the title of this poem, but it was the poem itself which then caught and retained my attention. It’s a ‘voice’ poem – where part of the interest lies in working out just who is speaking to us, and in what situation. The clue, of course, is in the title. It seemed to me to be a credible voice, that draws you in as a reader, with colloquialisms that work well. It’s also a voice that conjures up a strong and memorable picture of the person being addressed in absentia and the incident being described. The topicality of the subject-matter interested me, also, as did the poem’s ability to prompt complex emotions as much by what is not said as by what is said – always a sign of an excellent poem.
More poems by this award winning poet can be found in the collection, The Sound Ladder. Get yourself a copy.
And now, the winning poem, Greengrocer’s Apostrophe….
(apostrophe: mark of omission, possession, or speech to absent person; from apostrephein, ‘turn away’)
It was a morning like this
they came for you, those Border
Force creeps. You’d slipped out the back –
just saw a blur of your blue
sleeve, a flick of pony tail.
Know what I think?
If those bastards hadn’t come
you’d have been a keeper.
From the moment you pulled on
the overall, arm in a dancer’s curve:
reminded me of wrapping Christmas
satsumas in blue tissue paper.
The way your accent skipped
syllables, like hiccups or giggles,
when you turned from the till –
those delicate gestures.
Not being funny, but you
left me standing in a scatter
of onion skins, cold catch of draught
on the back of my neck, wondering.
It is with great pleasure that Two Rivers Press republishes the results of this year’s Havant Poetry Festival Poetry Competition 2015, especially as not one but two poems by our poet, David Attwooll, are acknowledged.
If you are interested in meeting the poets and hearing them read their poems you have a chance. Come to the Havant Literary Festival Poetry Day Saturday 12th September 2015. The prize winners will be offered short readings to include their winning entry.
David Attwooll will most likely read from his new collection, The Sound Ladder. Buy a copy, follow along and have David inscribe it!
And now…without further ado….a drum roll, please!
The results as determined by the Adjudicator, Joan McGavin, for the Havant Poetry Festival Poetry Competition 2015 on the theme “Boundary” are as follows:
1st Greengrocer’s Apostrophe by David Attwooll of Oxford
2nd Untrammelled by John Foggin of Ossett, Yorkshire
3rd Buddleia by Margot Myers of Oxford
Commended poems, in no particular order:
Friday 21st August – Poets’ Cafe – South Street Arts Centre, South Street, Reading, RG1 4QU – 8pm door – £5/£4
As performance artist, TRP poet and now famous children’s literature author, A.F. Harrold wrote in his newletter:
While I’m up north pretending to be a modern Philip Larkin poetry continues in Reading with our very own regular monthly night of… poetry. As usual we don’t have a guest in August (even poets need holidays) and so the height of the summer is given over to our open mic special with the ‘Covers Night’ theme. Eleven months of the year we have to listen to people going on about their own poems, but this month we encourage them to share poems by other people, living or dead, famous or obscure. Even people who aren’t poets can get up and read, and with that in mind my stand in this month, the person pretending to be me is one of these rare non-poets, Mr Claire Dyer, Jez Dyer himself. Treat him well. Do as he says. And if you can please turn up to give him and South Street your support.
Who has not delighted in listening to the shipping forecast? There is something so poetic about
Artist, Sally Castle, has captured the poetry of that radio broadcast favorite in her linocut, “The Shipping Forecast”, prints of which are available at the Robin’s Nest Gallery Summer Exhibition 2015 going on now.
The Summer exhibition from the 16th of June to the 30th August is entitled ‘Water’. Come see the wonderful eclectic mix of new artwork and three dimensional pieces for every budget.
The Robin’s Nest Gallery, 72 High Street, Wargrave, RG10 8BY.
Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm daily, and 11am to 2.30pm on a Sunday.
It is summer time and the Two Rivers Press web editor is digging around to find stories that somehow did not get posted in a timely fashion. Amongst the treasures found, a wonderful review in The Guardian, exactly one year ago, of Ian House’s poem “Look-out”.
For now the city’s at peace. The sniper’s rifle
is upright between his knees, his hands
are soothed by the barrel and he’s posted
in an armchair at a crossroads
among dangling balconies, torn-off dresses,
jagged whisky bottles, sandbags, dolls
and listens to vanished disco tunes.
Coffee is a memory he tastes and smells.
He knows, he knows, the cafes will re-fill
with statesmen, poets, astronomers, good-time girls;
there will be public worship, evening strolls,
bookshops, bakeries, banana splits
and table scraps that can be left for dogs.
Here is just a bit of Carol Rumens’ review:
“The Arts of Peace, writes Adam Piette in the introduction, turns from “anniversary fuelled flag-waving and fake tearfulness towards a measured and felt solidarity with those who have suffered, as well as a quiet celebration of the peacetime that is so easily lost, so quickly taken for granted, so undervalued.” House finds symbols of that easily undervalued peacetime in a moment of ceasefire, abstracted from any specific war or battle, but not thereby neutralised. Look-out seems both local and universal.
We’re all familiar, if only at second hand, with the unreal-seeming juxtapositions of war. The poem begins, as a news report might, with a bizarre but almost comic combination: a sniper, who appears to be, or perhaps ought to be, on “Look out”, is actually relaxing “in an armchair at a crossroads”. The tenuousness of possession and occupation is cunningly underlined. Detritus is scattered around; in fact, the armchair is part of it. The sniper himself hasn’t laid down his arms, though the rifle ledged “upright between his knees” is a reassurance, a kind of phallic comforter. Is his dreamy calm justified by the situation? The odd boldness of his presence in such a public place might suggest he’s traumatised or high – that somehow he has gone “over the edge” into his private memories of normality. The “vanished disco tunes” he listens to must be in his own head, like the memory of the taste and smell of coffee. How soon will his dream be shattered?…” – from “Poem of the week: Look-out by Ian House” by Carol Rumens (The Guardian, Monday 11 August 2014 14.26 BST)
The whole review in The Guardian is here and well worth reading.
Can one commemorate war with poetry about peace?
That was what the editors, of anthology The Arts of Peace, asked themselves when they set out to mark the First World War centenary in 2014.
A long piece, by poet and professor emeritus, John Matthias, entitled, On Being Asked for a (Peaceful) War Poem appeared in Notre Dame Review no. 38. It is an essay, a survey of war literature, a self analysis, and it is replete with illustrative poems. It is well worth a read:
Here are several extracts, published with permission.
From On Being Asked for a (Peaceful) War Poem by John Mattias:
The whole genre of “war poetry” is a problematic category, but as the editor of another nthology once remarked, it’s well to remember that “The best war poetry is also the best poetry: Homer and Shakespeare.”Anyway, like Beaven, Riley, Logan and the others, I wrote a poem. After afew months passed I felt uneasy about having done that, vaguely embarrassed, even ashamed. What kind of purchase could I possibly have on the First World War, by what authority should I open my mouth at all, what wound gave permission to speak? Many poets in the anthology, it appears, approached the war obliquely, but I took my assignment to be some kind of direct address…
It has been said that the history of philosophy consists of footnotes to Plato; it could also be said that all of the terrible wars of our century have been extensions, in one way or another, of The Great War, “the war to end all wars” that didn’t, the war with no living survivors as of some years back, the war fought by the thousands and millions now pushing up poppies. I say “our century”; but of course I am a 20th century refugee who has
washed up on to a 21st century beachhead and doesn’t expect to hold his position for very much longer. Historical amnesia gets worse and worse. I retired from teaching at about the point when a significant number of my students in a course actually called “The Literature of World War I” clearly thought that conflict had something to do with defeating the Nazis…
As many poets resigned, or declined to write, during World War II, the novelists took over… For the poetry of modern war, with a few important exceptions, one still reads work by the poets of World War One. Or at least one should. It’s amazing how alive and fresh and heartbreaking even some of the standard anthology pieces still seem, whether modernist or Georgian…
So what did Peter Robinson and Adrian Blamires want us to do? They took their title from Andrew Marvell’s “Horatian Ode upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland,” which speaks of “the inglorious arts of peace.” Adam Piette’s Introduction remarks that Cromwell in Marvell’s ode begins to embody “history-as-warfare” and “Marvell subtly sets up his own status as poet practicing the arts of peace as a self-sanctioned rival to Cromwell and his arts of war.” There are many poems in this anniversary volume that do not deal directly with World War I, but all counter the Cromwellian art of war with whatever art of peace can be mustered. For all the poets, Piette says, “poetry is itself a peace-making activity.”
For the full article, please consider purchasing the Notre Dame Review No 38.
If you haven’t already read it, take a look at the review of David Attwool’s “The Sound Ladder” posted on londongrip.co.uk, an international online cultural magazine.
The reviewer, Wendy Klein finds much to enjoy in an ambitious new collection.
Order your own copy here.
Two Rivers Press artist, Sally Castle’s artwork for “Henley Regatta” in the recently published “Thomas Hardy: Places and Other Poems” is part of the Summer Exhibition 2015 at the Robins Nest Gallery, as is, the fish print for the cover of Ian House’s poetry collection “Nothing’s Lost”.
Make it an outing. Visit The Robins Nest Gallery.
The Robin’s Nest Gallery, 72 High Street, Wargrave, RG10 8BY.
Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm daily, and 11am to 2.30pm on a Sunday.
The Robin’s Nest Gallery is a contemporary art and gift gallery based in the picturesque village of Wargrave on the river Thames. The Robins Nest Gallery is the idea of jewellery, needlefelter and illustrator Jo Sinclair who has lived in the village for 37 years. She wanted to bring beautiful handmade work, from across the U.K. to the local community.
Located on the high street in the centre of Wargarve, The Robins Nest Gallery sells many beautiful pieces of work from jewellery, glass, textiles and ceramics to original artworks, sculpture, prints and much more.
Two Rivers Press artist and letterer, Sally Castle, is exhibiting in the annual Summer Exhibition at The Robins Nest Gallery. Come and enjoy Sally’s and the other artists’ exploration of the exhibition theme, Water.
Where: The Robin’s Nest Gallery, 72 High Street, Wargrave, RG10 8BY. For map, click here.
When: Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm daily, and 11am to 2.30pm on Sunday.
The Robin’s Nest Gallery is a contemporary art and gift gallery based in the picturesque village of Wargrave on the river Thames. The Robins Nest Gallery is the idea of jewellery, needlefelter and illustrator Jo Sinclair who has lived in the village for 37 years. She wants to bring beautiful handmade work, from across the U.K, to the local community.
Located on the high street in the centre of Wargarve, The Robins Nest Gallery sells many beautiful pieces of work from jewellery, glass, textiles and ceramics to original artworks, sculpture, prints and much more.
More information on the Robins Nest Gallery and the Summer Exhibition is available here.
Posted on the InPress website, June 30, 2015 by Pete Hebden:
David Attwool’s great new collection The Sound Ladder (Two Rivers Press, 2015), contains, among other fine poems, a sequence called “Ground Work”, made up of one poem for each month of the year, reflecting on the seasonal changes of a floodplain bordering Oxford and the Thames.
See what you think of July’s entry:
after Philip Sidney & Charles Mingus
The moon in jive-ass slippers dances close
to offer back neglected things we lost:
a partner’s kiss, a porkpie hat, a face
that brightens as she coolly circles past.
Two weeks of heatwave and the hottest day
for seven years unpacked by warm fat rain:
the scents of earth and river, dung and hay,
sweet and rotten, beneath a perigee moon.
The ghost of a riff on moonlit ground
– Boogie Stop Shuffle and a walking bass –
the furthest supernova ever found,
a faint signature at the edge of space
ten billion years ago. We stray
in Mingus landscapes here, places to play.
A weekend of inspiring and inspired activity – Free for the whole family!
The Whiteknights Studio Trail is a fantastic opportunity to see a fabulous range of art and craft in the area of Whiteknights, Reading. This free event, now in its 15th year gives visitors the unique chance to meet local artists and see their work, methods and tools in their studios, homes and public buildings.
Visit Two Rivers Press at 24 New Road (location 11 on the trail).
For more information, visit the Whiteknights Studio Trail website.
The results of the the RSPB and The Rialto’s Nature Poetry Competition are in. The competition has been a great success, with over 3300 poems entered. The judge, none other than, Simon Armitage, selected four prize winning poems and seven highly commended poems. David Attwooll’s poem “Otmoor” was one of those seven.
As the organizers of the competition said “Given that so many poems were received of a very high standard, this really is quite an achievement. Congratulations!”
“Otmoor” appears in the collection, The Sound Ladder.
For a full listing of the winners and other commended poems, visit The Rialto website.
Radio 4 Extra is re-running ‘A Good Read’ with Sarah Lefanu – this episode includes a discussion of Jane Draycott & Lesley Saunder’s “Christina the Astonishing”: a collection of poems inspired by the life of an obscure medieval saint, Christina the Astonishing.
Tune in online at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0075n31
This episode from 1999 features with a fascinating discussion with actress Souad Faress and writer and lecturer Professor John Sutherland, about Salman Rushdie’s “Midnight Children.”
Both Faress and Sutherland rave about the beauty of the production values of the book. Again, well done Two Rivers Press.
Two Rivers Press poet, Gill Learner, has a new poem in the new anthology, Dance published by The Emma Press. And Two Rivers Press poet, Claire Dyer, will be reading from that very same anthology!
So dance right over to the launch (downstairs in the Rambert HQ’s Archive Room, London) for this new anthology, armed with Gill’s Two Rivers Press collection, The Agister’s Experiment and Claire’s collection, Eleven Rooms. Show the world you are a Gill Learner and Claire Dyer fan!
For details about the event visit the Emma Press website.
RSVP to queries [at] the emmapress [dot] com if you’d like to come.
Two Rivers Press poet Victoria Pugh and Robin Thomas are giving a poetry reading and holding an open mic as part of the Caversham Arts Trail on Saturday 16th May 2015 at 3.00.
Victoria might even read a poem from her collection Mrs. Marvellous, or maybe she’ll read something else. Come along and find out.
Details of venue etc download the Caversham Arts Trail Flyer: http://www.cavershamartstrail.co.uk
Two Rivers Press poet, and children’s fiction author, A.F. Harrold sent us this note about upcoming open mike dates in Reading (UK).
Sunday 10th May – Speakeasy – Oakford Social Club, 53 Blagrave Street, Reading, RG1 1PZ – 7.30pm? – £?
This is a farily new open mic night, as I understand it (music and spoken word and whatever), in Reading at which I’ll be doing a little guest spot.
Friday 15th May – Poets’ Cafe – South Street Arts Centre, South Street, Reading, RG1 4QU – 8pm door – £5/£4
This month our special guest, squeezed between all the open mic poets, is Joe Duggan, a man I have met and liked. Come and meet and like him too. And take part in the open mic, or just listen, etc.
Two Rivers Press loves local spoken word performances and encourages you to get out and show your support for your local artists, or be a local artist and perform. Either open mikes are wonderful community building events and a fun night out.
Ad Hoc Poets
will be reading at
Church Street, Caversham RG4 8AU
Thursday 14 May
For this event Ad Hoc Poets are:
John Froy • Michael Hutchinson • Gill Learner
Robin Thomas • Clare Waters
Two River Press’ very own Claire Dyer has been asked to be a regular on BBC Radio Berkshire’s afternoon show’s new book group BBC Radio Berkshire Book Club.
Tune in this week, at 2.00 pm, for a discussion of Poldark, Winston Graham’s series of historical novels, upon which BBC One’s drama series of the same name is based.
The discussion of Poldark began in the first broadcast of the BBC Radio Berkshire Book Clun on April 7th. “Wwe’re discussing the book again. In the first programme we introduced the book in the hope it would encourage people to read it and then we’ll discuss it in more detail during the second programme,” says Claire Dyer.
When: Sunday 3 May at 6pm
Where: The Albion Beatnik Bookstore, 34 Walton Street
Oxford OX2 6AA
What exactly: David Attwooll and Peter Robinson will be reading from their respective new books, this time joined by the brilliant jazz pianist Frank Harrison.
Tickets: Tickets are £4.
Reservations: Dennis Harrison, Albion Beatnik Bookstore, 07737 876213, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lesley Saunders, Susan Utting and Claire Dyer are scheduled to read with other invited poets at d:two in Henley on Sunday 3rd May @ 8.00 pm as part of the Henley Arts Trail. Treat yourself to some word music, word painting, word play…some poetry.
Where: d:two, 55-57 Market Place, Henley, RG9 2AA
Make a cup of tea, a cup of coffee, pour a glass of wine and sit down and read “Looking For Clues” by our poet, Kate Behrens. It appeared in the winter issue of Blackbox Manifold, issue 13, an online mag for experimental poetry.
And while you are catching up, treat yourself, or a friend, to The Beholder, a volume of Kate’s poems from Two Rivers Press.
You are Invited!
What: the launch of David Attwooll’s poetry collection, “The Sound Ladder.” There will be poetry and music. Come meet the poet, David Attwooll, and the illustrator, Andrew Walton
Where: Great Expectations, 33 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS
When: Sunday 26th April, 2015, 12:00 noon onwards.
Parking: see map
You can buy your copie of “The Sound Ladder” on the day, or online here.
This year is the first year that the The London Book Fair will host a Poetry Pavillion!
Two Rivers Press poet, David Attwooll will join other poets in live readings at The Poetry Pavilion Party & Main Stage, 3.30-5.00pm.
Don’t miss David at 3:40pm! He will be reading from his new collection, The Sound Ladder.
There are poetry events all day Tuesday and Wednesay and the full schedule is available here.
The Arts of Peace forces “…us to consider the possibility that war and peace are almost as unavoidable as they are inextricable. It is the fact that The Arts of Peace does not automatically accept war as a human and a literary phenomenon, however, that is the catalyst for these questions, and is one of the anthology’s most laudable achievements, along with its demonstration of the breadth of poetic reaction that these issues generate.” So says, Owen Lowery in his recent review of the anthology for the English Association Newsletter.
To read the full review, click here.
To purchase a copy of The Arts of Peace, click here.
Two Rivers Press has been shortlisted for Independent Business of the Year in the Alt Reading awards.
Please take 10 seconds and vote for us. It would be nice to be recognized for our mostly volunteer efforts to publish beautiful and interesting books in and about Reading.
Please share the link below with your family and friends.
Select Independent Business of the Year.
Vote for Two Rivers Press.
Voting ends Sunday 4th April.
Thank you for all your support.
Two Rivers Press poet Claire Dyer (Eleven Rooms) is also the author of the novels The Perfect Affair and The Moment. In March Claire Dyer visited Reading College to speak to Access to Higher Education Diploma students.
Claire spoke to the Education Professions pathway students about her amazing career as an author and poet and also her academic studies as an adult learner. The students had the chance to be inspired by a great role model and learn more about becoming a poet and author, first hand.
For a full account of Claire’s visit, click here.
It is with great excitement that we announce the forthcoming publication of David Attwooll’s poetry collection, “The Sound Ladder”: evocative poetry alongside evocative illustrations from Andrew Walton.
“The Sound Ladder” will be published in April 2015 but you can pre-order the book now here.
19 March 2015 – Two Rivers Press would like to congratulate its poet, Claire Dyer, on her recent win of the 2015 Torriano Poetry Competition! There is nothing quite like reading the words:
1st Prize One Small Act of Survival, Claire Dyer, Reading, Berkshire.
For more information about the Torriano Poetry Competition Prize Winners 2015 see
During half term there are three opportunities for children to be inspired by Allen Seaby’s wildlife art at Reading Museum:
Printing: All creatures great and small: 16 Feb 2015
Try your hand at a simplified version of the block printing Allen Seaby worked with. Ages 5+, Families. 1-hour sessions starting at 10am, 11.15am, 1pm & 2.15pm £3, pay on the day, drop in. More information here.
Pony Rosettes: 17 Feb 2015
Take a look at Seaby’s pony prints and make your own brightly coloured glittering rosette. Ages 5+, Families. 1-hour sessions starting at 10am, 11.15am, 1pm & 2.15pm. £3, pay on the day, drop in. More information here.
Make & Take Rocking Horses: 18 Feb 2015
Make a cheery card rocking horse to take away. Families. Half-hour sessions between 10am – 12pm & 1pm – 3pm. £1, pay on the day, drop in. More information here.
Arty Stationery: 19 Feb 2015
Find out more about Allen Seaby’s repeat pattern making and create your own bright and fabulous stationery to show your friends in this hands-on printing session. Ages 7+. 2-hour sessions from 10am – 12pm & 1pm-3pm. Cost £7. Booking essential. 0118 937 3400. More information here.
Please be aware that the drop-ins are very popular…
Poet and educationalist Lesley Saunders is running two workshops at the Museum on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th February from 10.30-2pm. £25. To book email email@example.com
Join acclaimed poet and educationalist Lesley Saunders for one of two workshops exploring the meanings of nature in our lives and particularly our childhood contact with it. After some semi-structured exercises to develop your imagination, study Seaby’s art work and other writers’ poetry and stories before drafting your own creative writing. Bring something to write on and with.
Lesley’s recently won the Frogmore Poetry Prize 2014 – follow the web link below for details.
Who: Adults 16+
When: 10.30am – 2pm
Where: Reading Museum & Town Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading, RG1 1QH
How Much: £25, click here for further information and to book
Website of poet and workshop leader Lesley Saunders
Running from: 11 Oct 2014 To: 22 Mar 2015
Venue: Sir John Madejski Art Gallery, Reading Museum & Town Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading, RG1 1QH
NOW OPEN. The first retrospective of this important artist and much-loved local man. An illustrator, teacher and novelist, Allen Seaby (1867–1953) is well known for his bird and animal paintings. However, with increasing interest in early twentieth century printmaking, his role in introducing Japanese woodblock techniques to this country is exciting art historians.
Seaby was the longest serving Professor of Fine Art at Reading University and fondly remembered by students such as Kathleen Hale. Ageing bookworms may remember his children’s pony stories or his illustrations of birds and their eggs in the famous Ladybird book British Birds and Their Nests, some of which feature in the exhibition.
The museum also has a programme of Seaby-related activities for adults and children, including a study day ‘Art and Nature: the Work of Allen Seaby’ on Saturday 21 February 2015 – browse the museum’s What’s On pages for more information.
A beautifully illustrated book, Allen W. Seaby – Art and Nature by Martin Andrews and Robert Gillmor, has been published by Two Rivers Press to accompany the exhibition and is on sale at the Museum for a special price of £10. Cards, coasters, a poster and other related books are also on sale and make lovely gifts for any occasion.
Review of Nothing’s Lost by Ian House
Review by Wendy Klein, published in The North, no. 53, Autumn 2014.
In his second collection, Nothing’s Lost, Ian House portrays the world with all its objects, creatures and relationships through his own unique lens. His is a vision of utter originality; there is not a simile or metaphor in this short collection that does not tingle with freshness. In the opening piece (‘Peregrine’), the birds ‘floats’ to the falconer’s hand. ‘…hooks to the leather fist / like the other self he sees in the mirror, / inches from his eyeballs and a world away.’ The relationship between bird and master is ‘one untrammelled by love or pity.’ This poet’s cow is the perfect essence of cow-ness: ‘…massive and dainty, a ton / perched on four spindles…/ Her tail conducts a zestful orchestra.’ (‘Discovering Cows’). He notes ‘How sexy bream are, ‘industrious lap dancers / in slinky chainmail.’ Objects removed from their original localities; a boar’s head sculpture in front of Reading Museum, returns to life through House: ‘He thunders into the land of the dead. / I follow. We rootle together.’ Family memories unfold in scenes of such vividness that the reader experiences a grandmother: ‘Her kiss-soft whiskery mouth. / Her witchy hump.’ A family game of monopoly is revisited in lines that echo Dylan Thomas: ‘It was all joy: / the clatter of bones, the held breath, … / unctuous Deeds.’ (‘Real Estate’). After a chance meeting with a past girlfriend (at 18), the poet remembers her as she sways back down the street ‘…dancing through a joss stick room.’ (‘How We Are’). There is humour here too as House muses on his ‘On-Off Affair with Anxiety’: ‘What will my life be / without the frissons you’ve given?’ Humour and pathos intertwine when Gogol’s nose is liberated from his coffin: ‘Think / how that promiscuous nose / will weep for men at the back door of restaurants;’ (Gogol on the Loose’). These poems invigorate the imagination, inviting the reader to join in their verbal aerobics. Like the peregrine, House can ‘strip life / to the bone like poetry…’ – highly skilled and totally authentic poetry , a must-read collection.
Friday 16th January – Poets’ Cafe, at South Street Arts Centre, South Street, Reading, RG1 4QU – 8pm doors – £4/£5
To start the year off, Adrian Blamires and Terry Cree, both fine Two Rivers Press poets, will appear at the Poets’ Cafe. That’ll be good, and wrapped around them is the usual open mic. So come and read, listen and go home again.
It’s worth noting that this event will, for one time only, be held in a yurt. The yurt will be in our usual room, which makes it practically civilised. (The yurt will be there because this show is on the following week and we’ll be interrupting rehearsals.)
Buy Adrian and Terry’s poetry collections.
by Terry Cree: Fruit
Two Rivers Press wishes everyone a happy and healthy 2015 and offers this new poem.
Trick or Treat
It’s the evening when the borders between the worlds are open.
The doorbell rings: “Trick or treat, Mister,” say two little witches.
A bag of sweets stands between our walls and a swift egging.
Behind the children, a man waits in the yellow edges of a streetlamp.
We think he’s a neighbour, come with his kids. So we invite him in.
The witches set off to annoy the Singhs at number twenty-four.
“Do you remember me?” he says. We’re not sure; we say ‘of course’.
“I’ve brought you a letter. I thought you’d want me to bring it round.”
I look in the envelope – the sea at Whistling Sands is running inside it.
We’re in the bursting blue white foam that’s seething at our ankles,
coiling us, pulling us in, curling us tight inside the deep core of a wave.
This blue white spume we stored away and kept as a box of delights.
You take the envelope, look inside, look at me, tell me that it’s empty.
We’ve been so stupid. Next day he’s walking up the path in uniform.
“Hello,” we mumble. “Oh no,” I say. “He’s our relief postman.”
We laugh, half-heartedly. A ghost of a smile runs over his lips.
Mairi MacInnes was born in 1925 in County Durham and educated in Yorkshire and at Somerville College, Oxford. In 1954 she married the American scholar and writer John McCormick and went to live with him in West Berlin, then an enclave in Communist East Germany, and from 1959 to 1988 in America, except for years in Mexico and Spain. She and her husband now live in York, England. Widowed in 2010, she now lives in York, England.
Awards and Fellowships
Doctor of the University of York (D.Univ.) honoris causa
National Endowment in the Arts Fellowship
New Jersey Arts Fellowship
Ingram-Merrill Foundation Fellowship
Witter Brynner Fellowship
Isn’t social media wonderful? Everyone can get excited together. New Two Rivers Press poet, David Attwooll’s collection The Sound Ladder will be published April 2015 but already friends and loved ones are getting excited. Jenny Lewis has posted the following generous plug on Facebook:
“Terrific news to announce that David Attwooll‘s first collection,The Sound Ladder, will be published by Two Rivers Press in 2015 with art work by Andrew Walton Many congratulations, David and Andy, this will be a stunning debut, intelligent, curious, sharp, lyrical, wide-reaching, humane and infused with the excitement and pleasure with which this poet (drummer and jazz fan) seems to respond to life generally.”
When: Friday 19 December; Doors open at 8pm, poetry begins at 8.30pm
Where: South Street Arts Centre, 21 South Street, Reading, RG1 4QU
Cost: Tickets £5, £4 readers
Writer, comedian and champion of all things poetical, A.F Harrold comperes Reading’s longest running and best loved poetry platform. Every month the night is made up of an open mic section welcoming anyone to read their work in a friendly atmosphere and a full reading by some of the country’s finest poets.
This month’s guests are…Susan Utting, Claire Dyer & Lesley Saunders.
From November 20th to December 20th, 2014 we coupled up books into special bundles and applied a 20% discount in honour of Two Rivers Press 20 years in Reading.
Searching for something perfect a colleague, friends, family for Christmas? Consider this….
Follow a link to one of the books in the gift combo of your choice and click on the gift combo to place your order for both books.
Come one! Come all! The Reading Poetry Festival takes place this weekend!
Reading Poetry Festival 2014 will bring together many of the most exciting talents in contemporary UK poetry, with a strong emphasis on local writers and presses and on young and emerging poets. Among the weekend’s readings, lectures and conversations will be themed events on War Poetry, on two poets born a century ago, John Berryman and Dylan Thomas, and one who died a decade ago, Michael Donaghy.
Two Rivers Press poets will be there: Peter Robinson, Gill Learner, Jane Draycott, Adrian Blamires and A.F. Harrald. Book your ticket to attend our special event, “Writing War: The Arts of Peace” on Sunday, 9 November 2014.
For a list of events on each day of the festival, please visit the festival website.
On Remembrance Sunday, join us for readings from First World War poetry and from The Arts of Peace: An Anthology of Poems, edited by Adrian Blamires and Peter Robinson.
This gathering of newly composed poems addresses peace and war from an unusually varied range of angles.
For the festival’s finale, contributors to the anthology will read their own work and their choice of poems associated with World War One, introduced by Adrian Blamires: Adrian Blamires and Peter Robinson, co-editors of The Arts of Peace, with Conor Carville, Jane Draycott, Gill Learner, Lesley Saunders and Matthew Sperling.
Where: Lecture Theatre, London Road campus
Cost: £8 / £4 concessions
Where: 24 New Road, Reading, Berkshire UK