A Powerful and rich collection, Flood by Jessica Mookherjee

September 27th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

Jessica Mookherjee’s debut poetry collection, Flood, is reviewed in both The Frogmore Papers and Tears in the Fence.

In The Frogmore Papers, no. 92, Rachel Playforth writes:

This is a powerful and rich collection, with a perfect title. Mookherjee’s poems have momentum, ‘a lifetime of stories’ rushing to meet us on a tide of sensation, emotion and colour […] Sex, death, faith and doubt permeate the pages as fairy tales and myths from India, Wales and everywhere in between are rewritten in nightclubs and supermarkets, London parks and limousines. And if the reader needs a life raft, there is Mookherjee’s skilful use of repetition to cling on to, whether in poetic forms and in free verse where it acts as a mantra, echo or spell.

The current issue of The Frogmore Papers also has poems by Cultured Llama poets Michael Curtis and Rosie Jackson, who is the first runner up in The Frogmore Poetry Prize 2018.

In Tears in the Fence, no. 68, David Caddy writes:

The poems are filled with detail, inventive, musical, and the contours of a Bengali-Welsh woman gone walkabout in England. Mookherjee is at her best when she is boldest and takes risks in combining both elements of her cultural and feminist identity. The poem ‘Red’ covers a range of issues, such as the treatment of and violence towards Indian women, shaming, gender and menstruation, by suggestion and thus moves beyond testimony to provide wider hinterland for the reader. ‘The Milk’ similarly indicates a combination of dislocation and amusement, which makes the poem memorable.

Jessica Mookherjee’s debut poetry collection costs £10 plus p&p: Flood

Postage and packing is free if you order two or more books. So why not add in Michael Curtis’s Family Likeness or Rosie Jackson’s The Light Box. Or order all three!

London Calling tours London. Jeremy Page’s novella and stories

September 24th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

There is a thing going on of Cultured Llama books literally (and literarily) going on tour (see Unusual Places in unusual places). Jeremy Page’s London Calling and Other Stories has been spotted, on Twitter, on the top of a Routemaster bus in Piccadilly and in other London locations. Jeremy Page is well-known as the editor of The Frogmore Papers. Jeremy doesn’t ‘do’ social media, but @FrogmorePress has been taking the book out and about.

At the heart of Jeremy Page’s collection of long, short and flash fiction is the eponymous novella, London Calling, a comic tour-de-force set in a 1980s squat. Other stories feature a woman who remains in bed due to ennui, murder in a crime bookshop, and all the small resentments of a marriage condensed into two paragraphs. These are stories for our strange, unsettling times.

978-1-9164128-1-1. Cultured Llama. PB. 203×127mm. 152pp. September 2018. Short Stories. £12.00

In these clever, surprising stories, Page’s delicately delineated fictional characters struggle with marital micro-aggressions, the pathos of loss, and the mythical significance of a can of Special Brew. These are fictions which explore, with admirable poetic compression and superb control of imagery, the nature of reality; seemingly innocuous ‘realistic’ situations rapidly slide into alarming surreality. Language and meaning should be fixed and stable, but aren’t; miscommunication and misunderstanding cause the ground beneath characters’ feet to tilt, often alarmingly, leaving the reader both satisfied and unsettled. These are stories for our strange, unsettling times.

Catherine Smith, Writer, author of The Biting Point

Order for £12 plus p&p: London Calling and Other Stories

Post and packaging is free if you buy two or more books.

Our first ebooks, As Long as it Takes and Unusual Places

September 20th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

Until now, Cultured Llama books have only been available in paperback. Not anymore! Our first two ebook publications are Unusual Places, a new story collection by Louise Tondeur, and As Long as it Takes, by Maria C. McCarthy, first published in paperback in 2014.

Grandma’s stories, ‘…would always start in the place where we were,’ and so it is with Unusual Places. Human remains are concealed in the Greenwich Tunnel in a world where London is a prison; a market is the setting for sexual and sensual awakenings; a professional picnicker finds love. Louise Tondeur’s stories skip along, rich with detail and musical prose, only to trip us up with turns and surprises: the unusual lurks in the most ordinary of places.

These are the stories you might feel surging around you as you walk down a crowded city street, every one its own world of tenderness, violence, absurdity and joy.

Joanne Limburg, author of Small Pieces, A Want of Kindness and The Woman Who Thought Too Much

Tondeur’s eye for detail is so precise, you might fear being in her presence, lest she see your secrets, too. What a tender, dark, nuanced book: a quiet storm.

Leone Ross, author of Come Let Us Sing Anyway, All the Blood is Red andOrange Laughter

The ebook costs £5.99 and is available from Cultured Llama and all the usual online retailers: Unusual Places

As Long as it Takes gives voice to the lost generation of Irish women who sailed to England to look for work in the middle of the twentieth century. Maura Flaherty and her daughters struggle with identity, belonging, love, sexuality and grief – and dilemmas such as whether to like punk or Elvis.

With no concessions to nostalgia or sentimentality, this deeply moving and beautifully written book, by a second-generation Irish writer, tells the interwoven stories of an immigrant family. Maria C. McCarthy skilfully weaves the historical and cultural significance of Anglo-Irish relations into a half-century of family life.

Maria C. McCarthy was the winner of the Society of Authors Tom-Gallon Trust Award 2015. The winning story, ‘More Katharine than Audrey’, appears in As Long as it Takes. Here are the judges’ remarks:

The writer weaves a sensual, tactile, restrained and ultimately very stylish story of loss cut through with make-belief. Because the writing is so clean, and the handling of pace so clever, the story is allowed to tell itself. It’s an unusual, rich and extremely satisfying picture of lives not lived, but ‘dreamed of’. Elanor Dymott

Impressively compressed. Aamer Hussein

The ebook costs £5.99 and is available from Cultured Llama and all the usual online retailers: As Long as it Takes

 

New poetry The Other Guernica and Family Likeness

September 20th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

Two new poetry collections are available from Cultured Llama:

The Other Guernica: Poems Inspired by Spanish Art, by Derek Sellen

Family Likeness, by Michael Curtis.

Inspired by Spanish artists from the 15th century to the 21st, The Other Guernica invites us into worlds of violence and love, war and domesticity, in a collection that is both a coherent homage to the painting of Spain, and a daring exploration of what might emerge when word meets image. Read with or without the images that inspired them, Derek Sellen’s poems are equally powerful.

This is a work of outstanding richness and variety, imagination, thought, storytelling, full of vivid imagery and the pleasures of language.

Professor Janet Montefiore

Links to the paintings

Buy the book for £10 plus p&p (free postage and packing if you buy two or more books from Cultured Llama): The Other Guernica: Poems Inspired by Spanish Art 

 

In Family Likeness, Michael Curtis describes a vivid and at times unsettling world. There are moving and apt memorials to war dead and to family members, some only recently uncovered from a hidden past. Alongside a portrait of post-war life as a child in Liverpool and perfectly rendered scenes of Kentish life here and now, these poems span time with compassion and insight to make a substantial and impressive collection.

Buy the book for £10 plus p&p (free postage and packing if you buy two or more books from Cultured Llama): Family Likeness

Also by Michael Curtis: The Fire in Me Now 

Unusual Places in unusual places. Stories by Louise Tondeur

September 20th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

To mark the publication of Unusual Places, Louise Tondeur has been returning to each of the places where the stories began, and leaving a book for a stranger to find. Louise writes:

I wrote these stories on location in various places, mainly in London, including Greenwich Park, the Tate Gallery, outside the Roman Amphitheatre and in a café near the smallest house in London. I ended up with a set of intriguing characters – such as woman conceived in a marmalade factory, a girl who finds true love (and a bed for the night) over a card game called Scrummage, and a professional picnicker who finds love because of a blue plastic bag.

Follow Louise on Twitter to discover where books were left and who found them @LouiseTondeur

There are now TWO ways to read Unusual Places: in paperback or ebook. Both formats can be purchased direct from Cultured Llama or the usual suppliers.

Grandma’s stories, ‘…would always start in the place where we were,’ and so it is with Unusual Places. Human remains are concealed in the Greenwich Tunnel in a world where London is a prison; a market is the setting for sexual and sensual awakenings; a professional picnicker finds love. Louise Tondeur’s stories skip along, rich with detail and musical prose, only to trip us up with turns and surprises: the unusual lurks in the most ordinary of places.

Paperback, £12 plus p&p: Unusual Places. Ebook, £5.99 

 

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