by Philippa Crundwell
(2015) 9 in x 6 in, 102pp., pbk.
"There is a clarity in these poems, a fresh voice, unencumbered by the baggage of age.The writer looks you in the eye and tells how it is for her. Honest writing,moving writing.” - MICHAEL MORPURGO, OBE, acclaimed writer and former Children's Laureate
"Philippa Crundwell blends inner with outer landscapes, overlaying nature with moods - from contemplative sorrow to blind fury - from mountains to flocks of starlings...One to watch..." - ALI SPARKES, best-selling author of the SHAPESHIFTER series"I’ve been really impressed on my first look by the breadth of subject matter and depth of maturity of Philippa’s poems. She shows a maturing beyond her years. And I particularly liked Land of Lost Gifts!" - PETER JAMES, international best-selling British writer.
Once in a while, a poet comes along whose work
surprises you. This can be for a variety of reasons. Wordsworth and Coleridge,
for instance, surprised their readers, on the publication of Lyrical Ballads in 1798, by their use of
plain, simple, everyday language and simple, traditional forms. John Donne
surprised his audience by his conversational tone and by "affecting the
metaphysics” in what Dr Johnson later called "metaphors far fetched”. Philippa
Crundwell’s first collection, Seventy
Beats, stands out not least because of the astonishing range of her
attempts at various voices and personaeother than her own. You might expect his from somebody like Browning or W. B.
Yeats in his Celtic twilight years, assuming yet another of his masks, but to
find it here in a writer not yet twenty years of age is nothing less than astonishing.This is a book which sets down a marker, a book which
says here is a new voice, a book which introduces a name to watch out for in
the future, one which, if the author doesgo on to fulfil the tremendous early potential contained in these pages, it will
be impossible to ignore. You heard it here first, but if independent
confirmation were needed, then there is the fact that she won the Ocado/Peace
One Day UK-wide poetry competition in 2013 at the age of only 15, with her Poem For Peace.
by Joel Duncan
(October 2015) 9 in x 6 in, 72pp., pbk.,
A new poetry collection from Joel Duncan:
the first, in fact, from the critically-acclaimed Calderdale Young Poet
Laureate, 2014-15. Joel Duncan began writing poems because he felt a
explain the world, both to himself, and to his young peers. "Teenage” is
a word that arrives with its own bad rep and baggage. We all know, don’t
we, that teenagers can’t
bear to be surgically removed from their Iphones and never tidy their
right? Some people wince at the very
mention of the word, especially if it’s combined with that other
word, "poetry”. There’s something
intensely introspective and personal
running through these poems, though, which goes way beyond the
caricature of "it’s not fair.” He’s a poet who is not afraid to hold up
himself, and the world as he sees it, to inspection, often with
results. One of the hallmarks of good
poetry is its ability to open up the door and welcome you in, showing
poet’s view of their internal landscape, with all its quirks and
foibles, and then
to surprise you by demonstrating the universality behind the experience.
So, those who dismiss poetry about and by people under the
age of twenty should maybe think again. This book is the
first formal utterance by a fresh new voice, and it is a voice you will
hearing much more in the future.
One of the Yorkshire Post's "best five books", 12 February 2016
(Code: 978 1 909548 65 7 )
by Matt Nicholson
(2016) 9in x 6in., 80pp., pbk.,
Matt Nicholson was born in the year of decimalization, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, in the shadow of the city of Hull. He remained in Yorkshire for the best part ofhis first nine years before moving south with his family, in search of a promised land. While down south, he completed his education, worked for a living, fell in love and got married, and then, in 2013, he brought his wife and all their worldly possessions back to the East Riding. And, if you ask him on a good day, he will tell you that he is both pleased and proud to be home, in Hull and that he had only been There and Back to See How Far it is.
Matt Abbott, the poet whose work was recently featured in the Nationwide Building Society’s TV advertising campaign, said of Matt Nicholson:
"At times, these are bare, naked, bloodshot beat ballads. At other times they carry the lyrical realism of D. H. Lawrence. But the constant is Nicholson’s voice: visceral, poignant, unapologetic and demanding of your time. An outstanding début collection from one of the best new voices on the scene. This won’t feel out of place on my bookshelf.”
(Code: 978 1 909548 66 4)
by Vicky Foster
(2016) 9in x 6in., pbk.
Vicky Foster has lived all her life in Hull, a city where the rivers can still stop the traffic, where waters can overrunthe streets and where festivals and nights out are held on piers and marinas. Living there, she has developed a great love for her city, but also the realisation that there are some things you can never control and that often the best thing to do is learn to ride the tides. Like the water, poetry has always been there for Vicky – but at the age of 18 she decided to put down her pen and go and find something to write about. In her unique poetic voice, Vicky shares with us vivid images of the many changes which life has washed up, in the years between then and now. Changing Tides is her first collection of poems.
"One of the most exciting new voices which Hull's City of Culture has allowed us to hear so far..." - Ian McMillan.
Listen to Vicky Foster read her poem Why I Love Where I Live on BBC Radio 3's The Verb [19 mins 48 seconds into the replay]
by Steve Rudd
(2016) 9 in x 6 in., pbk.,
Fish Town is Steve Rudd’s sixth collection of poetry and his first in the Humber Sound series. The "Fish Town” in question being Hull, of course, his place of birth, his hometown, and the site where he first saw the light of day, in a prefab in Sweet Dews Grove, off Newbridge Road, in 1955. Despite being born completely naked, and unable to walk or talk, he eventually overcame these difficulties and began writing poetry at school. Fortunately, none of that early work survives.
The main part of this book sees a series of thematically linked poems examining the author’s now-distant relationship with the East Riding (although he does still live in Yorkshire). The themes in question are mainly nostaliga, love, and loss, for places as much as people - in fact, in some cases, even more so. He points out that he believes strongly that each one of us makes up our own reality on the hoof, so his Hull might not be the same as your Hull, although of all the places he has lived, Hull is actually likely to be the one with the most common ground and shared experience. And it is a city which deserves its love songs.
The second section of the book is inspired by his love of old English, Anglo Saxon and old Norse poetry and sagas, and ends with two linked cycles of poems, Nocturnes and Maggots, which represent some of his more recent work
(Code: 909548 58 9)
A poetry anthology by the poets of the King's England Press
(2016) 9 in x 6 in, 78pp., pbk.,
In October 2015, two women in the towns of Buxton and Glossop, Pam Lake and Jo Gregory, founded The Hummingbird Project, and began collecting aid for refugees and sending it out to various camps and "hotspots”, helped by an army of volunteers along the way. In their first year they raised over £15,000 and now the organisation has its own combined shop and drop-off point, in the High Peak town of Buxton.
The Staring Owl is a collection featuring the poetry of Philippa Crundwell (Ocado prize-winner, 2013) Joel Duncan, Vicky Foster, Matt Nicholson, J. D. Taylor, Deborah Tyler-Bennett (former MacDiarmid poetry prize winner) and Gez Walsh, the man who single-handedly invented Potty Poetry for children and then went on to become a children’s novelist, a writer of young adult fiction, and a storyteller, stand-up raconteur, and radio presenter. (The volume’s title is part of a quotation from Shakespeare’s Love’s Labours Lost and is already thetitle of the Press’s poetry blog page on Facebook).
Because the contributors have all agreed to the use of their material for free in this collection, and waived all financial recompense, this means we can donate to the Hummingbird Project the entirety of the difference between what it costs to print the book and what we sell it for. W H Auden once famously said that poetry "makes nothing happen”, directly contradicting Shelley, who claimed that poets were "the unacknowledged legislators of mankind”. As creative artists, people who write poetry are perhaps not always best placed to deal with the practicalities of rattling a collecting tin, or loading an aid lorry. However, what they can do is raise money by writing entertaining and thought-provoking poetry, so if you want to celebrate the power of poetry, and make a difference, look no further!
by Deborah Tyler-Bennett ISBN 978 1 909548 69 5 (2017) 9” x 6”,pbk.,
A new poetry collection by Deborah Tyler-Bennett is always an event, and this one promises to be a landmark.Those who already know and love her work will not be disappointed, and those to whom she is a new voice will be surprised and entertained by the breadth and quality of her insights and her poetic craft. The book is split into four broad sections – the first of which is firmly grounded in the author’s East Midlands roots – memories of Mansfield, and aged Aunties who comb the obituaries of the Sutton-in-Ashfield Chad in search of people they knew. Books of the Village - Diseworth and Kegworth, the next part, is inspired by the lads who never returned from Flanders to these tiny rural Leicestershire communities. Going South, the following section, takes us to the seedy world of Brighton and the South Coast. Finally, in a much more wide-ranging section of poems inspired by radio, films and TV, DeborahTyler-Bennett expands the themes of ennui and the vacuity of a society based on the uncritical mass consumption of popular culture.
This is also a book which hardens, and darkens, as you progress through each section. It is possibly her darkest book to date for the King’s England Press but in terms of coherence and consistency, it achieves a difficult balancing act – to contain both elegiac wistfulness with nostalgia, contemplation of the inevitable, and justifiable anger about what could be done better – make no mistake, this is also, politically,possibly, her most committed book, drawing parallels between Britain today and the 1930s, and it can, surely, only be a matter of time before this book, and its author, receive the recognition they truly deserve.
by Deborah Tyler-Bennett
(October 2015) 9 in x 6 in 72pp pbk.,
A new poetry collection from Deborah Tyler-Bennett, her first since Revudeville and once more she draws on her East Midlands roots. The landscape and the memories of the East Midlands can be found almost around everycorner in these poems – not only the physical landscape, but the interior one which is made upof families and memories. The dedications of some of the individual poems inthis collection give an indication that in this collection, DeborahTyler-Bennett is not only paying her dues, but also paying her respects. In this collection, the people and places arevery much her own, or at least of herown. Deborah Tyler-Bennett may well produce betterpoems in the future, and if she does, her many fans will look forward toreading them. But on mature consideration of this collection, we might at leastbe allowed to say that it represents possibly some of her finest work to date.
As reviewed in LONDON GRIP