On Saturday 30th November, from 4pm until 10pm, we will having a party to celebrate 25 Years of Two Rivers Press publishing and to launch our new book, ‘The Art of Peter Hay‘.
We have booked the Waterside Centre’s upstairs room which overlooks the river as it’s the closest place to ‘where two rivers meet’ that we could find. There’s a great view from the balcony, although given that it will be nearly mid winter, it will be rather dark… But inside it will be warm, convivial and cheerful! We hope you can join us.
The Wokingham Waterside Centre is at the end of the A329M just on the edge of town at Thames Valley Park, Reading, RG6 1PQ. There is parking available at the centre or on the adjacent Thames Valley Park Drive (free at weekends).
Come and listen to our recently published poetry! Conor Carville and James Peake will read from ‘English Martyrs’ and ‘Reaction Time of Glass’ respectively (both published this autumn) and Peter Robinson will also be reading from ‘Bonjour Mr Inshaw’ (officially published in Jan 2020 but advance copies will be available). Next Thurday – 21st November, 6.30pm in London.
This Saturday 9th November, at 4pm, Claire Dyer, Lesley Saunders and Susan Utting will be performing in the Peter Pears Gallery: a conversation on gender, its complexity, perplexity, its poetry. You can book here.
Trial By Combat- Fry’s Island, Reading
In April 1163, a great concourse of people assembled.
The King himself was there. Essex and Monfort were
ferried over to the island , and were bidden to fight out
their quarrel. Let God judge between them!
Royal Berkshire History
David Nash Ford
Water lapped the island’s edge
and branches swayed in calm.
On banks across the silver-streaked,
carp-brown water, crowds would swarm
anticipating death as righteous judgement.
A faith was placed in truth and falsehood
travelling through the flesh where two men lived.
Startled crows would fleck the near-sky
as metallic crash of combat played.
The accuser’s limbs found ease
in iron confinement and they sprang
heavy-handed blows upon the accused.
Years after disgrace in sinew and muscle,
followed by the ghost-pulse of survival,
came years filled with monastic, faceless living.
The man who’d been Henry of Essex would say
a vision of St Edmund the Martyr loomed
between the island and the clouds,
all vitality draining from his limbs.
Damon Young has been published in a variety of journals, is a winner of the Alzheimer’s Society Poetry Prize, has been commended in the Prole Laureate Prize, long-listed for the Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year and short-listed for The Robert Graves Poetry Prize, The Wells Festival of Literature Poetry Prize, The Brian Dempsey Memorial Prize and the Welshpool Poetry Prize. He helps to run the Reading Stanza of the Poetry Society and Reading’s Poets’ Cafe.