art, poetry

Unfolded

It’s always a special day here at Maytree HQ when we reveal a new cover – the promise of a wonderful collection of poems lovingly presented in one of our unique cover designs –  the perfect antidote to this strange world we find ourselves witnessing.

Every cover is special but non more so when you invite a favourite artist to create a work uniquely for the project. For unfolded we asked the brilliant Alice Parker – who many will remember created the image for the award winning, The Collective Nouns For Birds – to respond to some of Olivia’s poetry.

Alice chose a particular favourite poem of ours and created the wonderful enigmatic image, Unstil.

Unfolded by Olivia Dawson will be released in September. Look out for more information very soon and don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter to get news of all our new releases, offers and submissions direct to your inbox Join our mailing list

unfolded cover

 

art, poetry

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art, poetry

Jonathan Humble – Cover Reveal

It’s always an exciting time here at Maytree HQ when we release a new cover out into the world but even more so when it features artwork by one of our favourite artists that we’ve been keeping under wraps for the last eight months.

For Jonathan’s cover there was certainly a case of a wind change after a butterfly had flapped its wings somewhere. We had known from an early stage, possibly as soon as we had received Jonathan’s manuscript, that we wanted to use Suzi Thompson’s artwork on the cover. Both David and Amanda are huge fans of Suzi’s work and have had the privilege of visiting her at her South Yorkshire studio as well as indulging in some prints which are strongly represented at galleries local to Maytree’s home.

The decision to use Suzi’s work was way back in those heady free days of summer 2019 so in many ways the idea was firmly put to the back of our minds whilst other work took priority. That was until the Marsden Jazz Festival in October when Jonathan made the journey across the Pennines and also stumbled into those same galleries and was introduced to Suzi’s work. We’d already had the go ahead from Suzi so imagine our delight when Jonathan began mentioning how much he enjoyed her work – we’re rubbish at keeping secrets so had to let him know that his new found favourite artist was also going to be his cover artist. I think we made a poet very happy that day. Fledge features the artwork, Edgelands. We had to crop the original version a tiny bit so that it would fit so here’s the original version:

edgelands

Fledge will be released on the 31 July 2020. It’s a wonderful evocative collection with it’s heart set firmly in the natural world. A delightful read for summer 2020.

Many of our regular readers will be familiar with Jonathan’s work, particularly as a reviewer but for those who have missed out you can find out more from his entertaining blog northern jim

Suzi is represented by galleries across the UK and also has a wonderful website and online gallery which you can find here

fledge cover

art, poetry

First Kiss, First Prize

In case you didn’t hear our exciting news from the weekend, Maytree Press is now not only home to some of the most wonderful poetry pamphlets available but also officially the home of award winning poetry.

For a small press just over a year old we were absolutely thrilled to see two of our books on the shortlist for best poetry pamphlet at the recent Saboteur Awards but imagine our amazement when one of them actually came home with the top prize.

Amanda Huggins’ wonderful debut, The Collective Nouns for Birds featuring cover art by Leeds University student, Alice Parker was crowned the 2020 best poetry pamphlet which, considering that we only launched the book in February, is an incredible result.

Commiserations to Pauline Rowe, whose heartbreaking collection, The Ghost Hospital equally deserved top prize but unfortunately on the day only one title could win – thankfully it was a Maytree one!

We were, of course, saddened not to be at the awards supporting our poets. Had things been different, Maytree had been booked to be there throughout the day celebrating our books and publishing journey so to have a winner would have been a nice end to the day – perhaps next year.

As a reminder, we can only continue to publish these award winning collections if people buy them. Please take a look at our shop where you’ll find all our books available with free postage together with some great offers. We don’t keep your details and you won’t receive any marketing or spam.

In other news, let’s now raise another glass to (fingers crossed) a future award winner:

First Kiss is the fantastic debut from Cara L McKee and if you enjoyed The Collective Nouns for Birds then you will love this collection.

Poems of love, loss, coming of age and independence, Cara vividly explores memories of adolescence and young adulthood with writing that is both accessible and enriching.

Originally from Ilkley in West Yorkshire, Cara now lives on the West Coast of Scotland.

First Kiss is release world wide on the 22 May 2020 – you can join Cara for a on-line launch via her Instagram page – more information here

first kiss

 

art, poetry

The Kingdom – Matt Duggan

To celebrate World Poetry Day 2020 we thought we’d give you a sneak preview of the forthcoming Maytree 14.

The Kingdom by Matt Duggan will be released on the 10 April and each copy comes with a free art card.

The book is currently available to pre-order directly from Matt – contact here

Copies will be available from our on-line webstore and all good book shops following release.

 

Reflections on my 49th Year

I dreamt that we were once beautiful
kicking white leaves in autumn daylight —
collecting cloud speech bubbles
while we danced on crystal paths of sun
allowing the breeze to ease around my body.

Hear that sound — like birds in flight
whispering as the rats are singing;
ears have sharpened teeth
when time can be so ruthless?

How praise became a crooked blade —
a reflection held inside a tinted mask
that only smiled at its own self-deception.

We hear the price of folly
stripped away as a disguise for a dime of popularism —
how those actors came and went —
like changing costumes in a badly performed
tragedy of somebody else’s life.

Matt Duggan