‘Never mind the bucolics’ and other poems

October 25th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

There are Boats on the Orchard, Maria C. McCarthy’s illustrated pamphlet of poems has been reviewed in The Frogmore Papers, and two of the poems have been posted on Abegail Morley’s The Poetry Shed. Jeremy Page writes:

There is a distinctly elegiac feel to many of the poems in Maria C. McCarthy’s latest collection, which ‘chronicles seven years of living alongside the disappearing orchards of Kent.’ A sense of loss together with a keen awareness of what we are losing is expressed in language that is deeply felt but never mawkish.

Our favourite comment following the launch of the pamphlet, courtesy of Roundabout Nights in Chatham, is ‘Never mind the bucolics, here’s Maria C. McCarthy.’ Others have said:

I love the juxtaposition of the extraordinary and the mundane, the natural and the human … the human as natural. The clever crafting that doesn’t wear its heart on its sleeve. A beautiful elegy to lost ways of life, parts of life that we leave behind (willingly or unwillingly), and a gently spoken hint at renewal. Moving and accomplished; it’s a lovely thing.

The two poems posted on The Poetry Shed are ‘Boy on a Ladder’ and the title poem of There are Boats on the Orchard,  both of which are accompanied by Sara Fletcher’s illustrations (see below).

Order the pamphlet for £7 plus p&p: There are Boats on the Orchard

Order two or more books from this website and postage and packing are free.




Two Cook(e)s reviewed – poetry by Rose Cook and David Cooke

October 25th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Robert Garnham reviews Rose Cook as both a performer of poetry and a page poet with ‘the deftest of touches’. Of Rose Cook’s latest collection, Hearth, Garnham says:

The family is at the core of this collection. Many of the poems are meditations on her relationship with her mother, or the shock of a life-threatening injury to her own son. At such points there is real emotion, though never overblown or overwrought. Rose has the most deft of touches and can, with a very simple or honest phrase, provoke real emotion and universal sentiments […]

The world is a better place with Rose in it, from the turns which bring truth to the fore throughout her poems, to the humour she brings to the everyday. And if, like me, you’ve been lucky enough to hear her perform, her voice will stay with you throughout this wonderful collection.

Read the full review here.

Order a copy of Rose Cook’s latest poetry collection for £10 plus p&p: HearthAdd a copy of Rose Cook’s Notes From a Bright Field to your order, also £10, and postage and packing is free.

David Cooke’s After Hours is reviewed by Rachel Playforth in The Frogmore Papers:

This is a subtly elegiac collection, dedicated to the poet’s late father-in-law. The title sequence switches between the days and weeks following his death and scenes from his ‘stage Irish’ life, adding up to a lovingly realised portrait of a man and his allegiance/ to a place that doesn’t exist/ beyond exiled memories. Memory and history within Irish immigrant families and beyond are explored throughout the book, with decades melting away and generations united through a painting, a voice, an heirloom or a ritual. This culminates in ‘Biscuits’, an unlikely and masterful sestina conjuring up not only abstemious teatimes but a whole way of life.

Order a copy of David Cooke’s collection for £10 plus p&p: After Hours

A Short History of Synchronised Breathing – ‘quirky blueprints for getting by’

October 19th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

A Short History of Synchronised Breathing and other stories, by Vanessa Gebbie, has been reviewed in the lovely Frogmore Papers (a favourite litmag at Cultured Llama HQ). Here is what Charlotte Gann has to say:

These stories are elegantly varied while strangely united. Peopled by characters living in some degree of dislocation or isolation, they’re funny, serious and compassionate. (I’ll remember the divorced taxi driver, Frank, carrying his fare without direction.) Often surreal, many contemplate past relationships, especially marriages, and are riddled with irreverence, ribaldry and flights of fancy, as well as reflections on the process of writing. Overall, they seem to me quirky blueprints for getting by – most, arguably, more sustainable than a nationwide programme of synchronised breathing!


A Short History of Synchronised Breathing and other stories costs £12 plus [email protected] Order two books or more and post and packing is free.

Readers have great things to say about The Lost of Syros, stories by Emma Timpany. An anonymous reader says:

This short story collection is a joy to read. I had a sense of the generosity of the writer, as I entered each story and found it to be a different world. In a strange way, the experience was somewhat like the satisfaction I had reading ‘The Examined Life’ by Stephen Grosz (a brilliant, heart-warming book), because what Emma gives the reader is a series of insights into very varied lives. Emma Timpany is a writer’s writer: one of the best. Her style is unobtrusive, but lyrical. Often I don’t read every story in a collection, but with this one, I found each one had something very different to offer. These stories are revealing, intriguing, funny at times and shot through with beauty.

Victoria Field adds:

Accomplished and riveting short stories mostly centred on the experiences of girls and young women, always vividly located in a specific place. There’s a sense of loss and confusion, of things not always being what they seem, a kind of fugitive grief., even if as in one story, there’s a happy ending when the lost child is found. I loved this book.

The Lost of Syros costs £12 plus [email protected] Order two books or more and post and packing is free.

Poetry of hope – Hearth, by Rose Cook

October 16th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Rose Cook’s Hearth has been reviewed on Literature Works:

From the outset of this powerful collection, there is an inescapable warmth of feeling which is clear and consistent in the poetic voice. As one delves deeper into it, every passing poem causes one to consider that term ‘hearth’. There is a real sense that these are poems to be shared at the epicentre of one’s home considering as they do matters of life, death, togetherness, loneliness and what it means to be alive.

Sandra Tappenden says:

I needed this book, and didn’t know until I’d read it. It’s a mindful, sensitive collection of poems that echo life’s hidden work, where fracture is a constant threat but wholeness is promised through reflection. It’s poetry of hope, and how good is that?

Buy the book for £10 plus p&p: HearthAdd in Rose Cook’s Notes from a Bright Field, also £10, and get free post and packing, as you will when you buy two or more books from this website.

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