Events! Events! Events! Our debut authors go on the road

March 22nd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

It’s all about our debut poetry books when it comes to events this Spring and Summer. They are all receiving great reviews (we only pick the best), clips of which are reproduced below.

Bethany W Pope will be in conversation with Richard Jenkins at The Dylan Thomas Centre on 9 May 2013, and is reading from her debut poetry collection A Radiance at the Cafe des Arts, Guildford on 18 June 2013.

Sarah Coles writes in New Welsh Review:

Pope subtly alludes to King Lear throughout to portray the complex love Ruth has for her deeply flawed father. There is even a ‘wise fool’ who appears in ‘The Altar’. In ‘Cordelia’, the mystery-loving Ruth keeps the chair – or throne – that belonged to her father and the suppurating wounds are cleansed by Pope’s pen…

… Pope’s unselfconscious language retains no anger or bitterness … [she] brings to light and life these remarkable family stories, which would probably, without her curiosity and determination have remained buried forever

Hilda Sheehan is reading at the Poetry Cafe, London on 27 April 2013 and will be launching her debut poetry collection The Night My Sister Went to Hollywood on 10 May 2013  in Swindon, as part of the Swindon Festival of Literature. Review copies have only just been posted out, but here are some delicious comments by readers

I ate your book from cover to cover and didn’t need cooking or even a sprinkle of salt. It was like three square meals by Heston Blumenthal -sublime wing-smoked bacon ice-cream in twelve textures, deep-blood forest-gateaux, larks-tongue parfait – and he did all the dishes afterwards. Cristina Newton

I think your book should definitely be issued free by the government. Rosalie Challis

Richard Thomas is reading from his debut poetry collection The Strangest Thankyou in Plymouth on 23 May and 31 May 2013.

Steve Smith writes in Reflections:

here are mermaids, good sex, and pigeons in Italy, and the obligatory poem about writing poetry. And feelings. Responses. Feeling… “the vines of the sun/ that wrap you/ whole.”

Great book.

Please do take a look at the Events page for more details, and click on the book titles above to find out more about each book, or go to out Books page to find out about all our titles.

Each of these three books costs £8 plus £2 post and packaging. Buy two or more copies of any book, and post and packaging are free.

The Strangest Thankyou reviewed in Reflections

March 21st, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Book Review: The Strangest Thankyou

by Richard Thomas

By Steve Smith for Reflections

[with thanks to Steve Smith for permission to reproduce his review]

Poetry should…

Scrap that.

Poetry shouldn’t do anything. It doesn’t have to. It shouldn’t be so constrained; I think. But, as I think… as I read… maybe we should feel and think through the poet’s eyes… senses… and reflect upon ourselves. And reflect upon the world/art/artifice/stuff. And be emboldened; and further think. And wonder.

Well, this book- nice cover!- popped through our letterbox for review, the first book by Richard Thomas. Richard has been published in this magazine- or, journal, if you will- and other carriers of words, both real and handheld or virtual screens.

What might poetry do? Take the reader on a journey; fix the mind to a moment, a view? The smallest part- or universal love, or a universal rage, or simply, a kiss?

I don’t want to discuss technicalities, they bore me: Vicky’s doing a university course that would kill poetry at a glance, as it rips apart the entrails without seeing the animal, free, running and sleeping and making love. And seeing. And wondering.

When I read poetry, or listen to a singer of songs (same thing?), I want to feel. Structure is important: it is the beat of hearts, and art. And Richard structures well. And is fluid. He is not stuck. And form, most importantly, does not overide feeling.

Did I mention ‘journey’? This book takes me on one. It begins with a journey, in ‘Nature’, and a choice: “towering grey pylons” or the “sweet abstract of trees.” The poet longs to be part of “gentle nature… take your oath and make a grand old oak.” The poet’s affinity with Nature- or a longing for that affinity- reappears throughout the book. It is there with the mystery of cats, “in magnificent beams of sunlight dare/ to yolk your yellow diamond eyes then leave”, in ‘The Colours of the Cat’. It is there, more exotically, in ‘Flamingo’ and ‘Kingdom’, based on the painting ‘Nature’s Myth’ by Catherine Bleck.

But Richard is more than this. Plots thicken. He responds. There are mermaids, good sex, and pigeons in Italy, and the obligatory poem about writing poetry. And feelings. Responses. Feeling… “the vines of the sun/ that wrap you/ whole.”

Great book.

The Strangest Thankyou by Richard Thomas is published by Cultured Llama

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rave reviews for ‘A Radiance’ and ‘The Strangest Thankyou’

March 12th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Bethany W Pope’s debut poetry collection A Radiance is reviewed by Sarah Coles in the latest issue of New Welsh Review.

The review begins:

In Bethany W Pope’s A Radiance, darkness and light play before the eyes with extraordinary and often disturbing effect. This debut collection narrates a family history in the Southern Gothic vein, where Pope appears as a sensitive and unconventional character – Bethany – fiercely critical of the world which has wronged her and her family, but filled with such love and warmth that no trace of bitterness comes through. The collection’s first four lines resound with the deep blues of American folk tradition and yet their skewed scansion hints at the unease that is to follow.

Daniel Ball, the farmer’s son,
fell for the girl on the veranda;
a catlike child with auburn hair
and a wistful, deep-blue expression.

We are immediately immersed in a sensual world of hickory smoke, breakfasts of fried squirrel and ‘pink squares of quivering Spam’…

To read more, buy a copy of New Welsh Review from this link. Click on the book title to learn more about A Radiance and buy a copy of the book.

Richard Thomas’s debut poetry collection The Strangest Thankyou is also receiving rave reviews as he launches the book at a number of events in the West Country

Chris Muirhead writes:

The writing of Richard Thomas is playful, self-aware and comical in one strand and artful, weighty and serious in another. These contrasting approaches wrap around one another throughout the book in a way that pulls the reader through the high reeds of his sometimes lyrical lake, twisting and tightening until you find your feet in his delivery. These poems are perfect for reading aloud and Thomas’s eloquence bends the poems back and forth from how you experience them on the page, to how you hear him onstage.

To read the full review, click here for London Grip.

Steve Spence writes:

Richard Thomas is a fresh young voice from Plymouth whose work combines a surprisingly direct yet engaging take on the surreal with a more romantic and passionate approach to his subject.

To read the full review, click here for Stride magazine. Click on the book title to find out more about The Strangest Thankyou and to buy a copy.

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