Coming up on the podcast this week Bristol poet Ted Sherman talks about writing poetry for children and his new collection Dungeon Days for eight to 12-year-olds. Here’s the first poem from the collection, The Gnome, illustrated by Marcus Kielly and designed by Ollie Francis.
I wrote this book you’re here to read a fact I’m proud of, yes indeed!
It’s true I am a tiny gnome but the tales contained within this tome are bigger than you’ll ever find, these stories here will blow your mind.
I’ve written ‘bout a dungeon deep where creatures lurk and monsters creep. Ever since I was a lad I’ve worked in here, it ain’t half bad
There is one thing I know is true my tales are fun and fresh and new. What I give is something real, words to make you see and feel all the struggles and the strain of the average and mundane the trials and tests which we all face but set within a magic place.
So, to every girl and every boy thanks for reading – please enjoy!
Adele Cordner performs a poem from her new collection The Kitchen Sink Chronicles. The poems, written in the last year, reflect on the strangeness, fear and uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic. But Adele also finds moments of hope and joy in these uncertain times. Look out for Adele on the next podcast when she will be sharing more poems from the collection and talking about how to write poems of hope and perseverance.
Adele’s book is available now. Copies purchased via her website support the charity Crohn’s & Colitis UK www.adelecordner.com
Newport poet Des Mannay performs On The Buses from his debut collection Sod ‘Em – and Tomorrow. Des has won multiple awards and his poems have been published internationally. Look out for the next podcast when he will be sharing more poems and advice on writing and getting your work noticed.
Ella Duffy reads a poem from her pamphlet New Hunger. Ella draws on mythology and the natural world in her vivid and powerful poems which she will be discussing on this week’s podcast.
Bio: Ella Duffy’s poetry has appeared in Ambit, the Rialto and the North, among others. Her debut pamphlet, New Hunger, was published by Smith|Doorstop in May 2020. Her recent pamphlet, Rootstalk, was published by Hazel Press in November 2020.
Purchase Ella’s book and books by former podcast guests via the Poetry Non-Stop bookshop and help cover the running costs of this podcast.
The first guest of 2021 is Abbie Neale who will be talking about her debut collection Threadbare on the next podcast. Here is one of her more recent poems broadcast on BBC Radio Norfolk and recorded by BBC Voices.
Abbie Neale is a writer, actor and painter. She holds a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Warwick University, with an intercalated year studying Acting and Scriptwriting at Monash in Australia. In 2019, she won the international prize in the York Mix Poetry Competition and the New Poets Prize run by The Poetry Business, who published her debut pamphlet ‘Threadbare’ this June. Her poetry has appeared in The North,Strix Magazine, Whirlagust, Re-side, Crannóg, Bath Magg and Abridged.
You can find her online at Instagram: @abbie.neale, Art Instagram: @abbie.neale.art, Twitter: @AbbieeNeale
You can buy Threadbare here. Poetry Non-Stop receives a commission for purchases made via this link.
The next guest on the podcast is Helen Ivory. Here she is reading a poem from her latest collection The Anatomical Venus. Helen’s readings are always captivating. The poems contain striking language and vivid imagery and her explanations about where they came from are fascinating. Helen will be sharing some more poems from The Anatomical Venus and discussing how she wrote them along with how to use primary historic texts to write poems.
Here’s a poem from upcoming podcast guest Ramona Herdman. Ramona lives in Norwich and her latest pamphlet, ‘A warm and snouting thing’, was published by The Emma Press in September 2019. It is shortlisted for the 2020 East Anglian Book Awards.
How can we blame you for blurring life with alcohol and barbiturates, when we all want to rub our faces blind on your soft stomach, your breasts,
have you breathe sad bourbon fumes into our mouths, sing a song then sparkle a quip, tap a tune in perfect syncopation?
You were born with one bit of luck (your looks) and you used it like a mountain – years of work, snow-blindness, crampon hooks, and the whole of your life climbing.
They tell your marriages like a fairy tale – the boy next door, the sports star, the sensitive intellectual – like counting to three means happy ever after.
Holly Golightly was written for you: wild animal, living on change for the restroom. The mean reds, the blues. Poor slob, poor cat with no name.
Marilyn, you’re the ghost of trying. Snowfield face and sequinned sheath. Work and wanting and wanting in that white-out smile. You make me hold my breath.
I watch you shimmy, in clothes too tight to walk in – jello on springs, kissing Hitler – in heels that hurt, thigh sliding round thigh, down the platform. Hassled by steam and a wah-wah tune. Perfect.
This week’s podcast guest is Paul Chambers. Paul is an award-winning haiku poet and the Editor of the Wales Haiku Journal. To date he has published two full-length collections of poetry, and has had work appear in some of the world’s most prestigious journals and anthologies, including Modern Haiku, Presence, Frogpond, the Heron’s Nest, the Atlanta Review, and the Red Moon Anthology. A selection of his haiku has also been published in the celebrated North American poetry series, A New Resonance.
He will be be discussing this ancient and often misunderstood poetic form and offering a simple exercise to help anyone write a haiku. Here is a selection of his work:
freeing itself of itself the thawing stream
magnolia scent… sunlight in the hairs along my son’s ear
pre-dawn stars… plumes of breath from a cattle truck
morning coolness the meadow holds the shape of a deer
Nigel Kent responds to John McCullough’s prompt to write a poem using stationery as a metaphor. For a chance to be featured, send poems inspired by one of the prompts on the podcast here.
We are the pencil boys not the posh propelling ones but the shitty bookie’s kind you find on our estate.
We never bring pens to lessons yet our teachers don’t lend us theirs: they think ink’s too permanent and pencil’s easily rubbed out.
Pushcart Prize nominated poet, Nigel Kent, has been shortlisted for several national competitions and his poetry has appeared in a wide range of anthologies and magazines. In 2019 Hedgehog Poetry Press published his first collection, ‘Saudade’, following the success of his poetry conversations with Sarah Thomson, ‘Thinking You Home’ and ‘A Hostile Environment’. In August of this year Hedgehog Poetry Press published his pamphlet, ‘Psychopathogen’. Website: www.nigelkentpoet.wordpress.com Twitter @kent_nj
Jonathan Davidson is the next guest on the podcast sharing poems from his latest book, A Common Place. It is a collection of Jonathan’s poetry and much more. There is a commentary, a selection of influential poems by other poets, a gazetteer with all the places mentioned in the book and footnotes – a lot of footnotes!
You can find out why Jonathan chose to publish in this unusual format on the podcast as well as hearing a few poems. He will also be offering valuable advice and inspiration from a writing career of more than 30 years.
I walked with my invisible father out into the fields on the edge of town. But they are gone now: new roads, new names, new people.
Dad, stay here for a while, I said, and I’ll go and find out what has happened to our lives. He sat on the newly installed bench.
And when I returned, furnished with stories of change, I found him utterly dead, his cold eyes on the cold world closed. So
many years he had lived here and then this: his roads re-named, his fields built over, his people now coming into view as strangers.
By Jonathan Davidson, from A Commonplace (Smith|Doorstop, 2020)