Our latest poetry collection is Cold Light of Morning by Julian Colton. Not only are the poems marvellous, but there is also a beautiful cover image, a photo by Rozee Colton. Let’s add a quick word, too, in praise of our unsung Llama-hero, designer Mark Holihan, who makes our book covers so attractive. But it’s all about the poems, and here’s a word or two about them:
Cold Light of Morning strips the world down to its elemental and dialectical parts – birth and death, war and peace, landscape, love and loss. Drawing on the Scottish Border Ballads, by Sir Walter Scott and James Hogg, Colton writes about the flora, fauna and folk of the Borders with a strong sense of place and a bleak sense of foreboding for the future.
Andy Croft, Smokestack Books
To find out more about the book, and buy a copy at £8 plus p&p, go to: Cold Light of Morning.
Rave reviews continue to arrive for other recent poetry books. The Fire in Me Now by Michael Curtis is reviewed by Liz Bahs in The Frogmore Papers:
Michael Curtis’s twelfth collection of poetry begins by dealing with an undercurrent of rage […] As the collection continues, the poetry moves through images of war and grief to the beautifully developed third and fourth sections […] Here Curtis immerses the reader in the ‘ripeness’ of desire, the arrival of love and the ruse of safety in a world where ‘pandemonium’ may be just around the corner. One of the gems of the collection is the poem ‘Chalk’, a trapeze swing into and away from fear: I throw myself to him / over rows of upturned eyes / fly on grace, on sparkling legs.
Go to the book’s page to buy a copy for £8 plus p&p: The Fire in Me Now
The collection includes ‘Patna to Sauchiehall Street’, reflections on a meandering bus ride through hills where “the coal’s long gone”, leaving “thin men with starved spirits” leaning against the wall of a “boarded up-institute”, and ending in a racist confrontation in Glasgow that leaves its perpetrators “secretly shamed”.
Another poem explores the characters and stories revealed by graffiti in a rural bus shelter – Murphy and Shanks, Bella, queen of the Jelly Fish Prozzies, and the Spoons Boys. Jones revels in the Rabelaisian accounts she finds in the shelter, and imagines that “Murphy is deep in Bella’s cleavage / … when Shanks heads for the bog, / he is followed by a smirking Spoons Boy.” (‘Graffiti Tales’)
Jones faces up to the years to come. A poem about anticipation and dread of losing a partner is titled ‘After Kerouac’s Visions of Cody’: “The black side of love is fear of loss, / and one of you is going to get it.”
You may have noticed that the books on our website are now sorted into Poems, Stories and Curious Things. Some, of course, belong in more than one category, like Digging Up Paradise: Potatoes People and Poetry in the Garden of England by Sarah Salway, which offers poetry, history, writing prompts and curious things about 26 gardens in Kent. A perfect gift for gift for Mothers’ Day, go to the book’s page to buy a copy at £12 plus p&p: Digging Up Paradise: Potatoes People and Poetry in the Garden of England
Buy two or more books to get free p&p.