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

 

poetry

Saboteur Awards 2020

We’re absolutely thrilled to see two of our pamphlets on the 2020 Saboteur Awards shortlist. Huge congratulations to both Pauline Rowe and Amanda Huggins whose pamphlets, The Ghost Hospital and The Collective Nouns for Birds have made it on to this prestigious list. You can find both of these wonderful collections along with many more Maytree treats in our on-line shop.

Voting opens again on the 19 April to choose the winning collection and we’d be delighted if you could support team Maytree. Full details of the awards and full shortlist can be found by following this link.

 

poetry

Green Fields: sorted for songs

The time has come – check whether your favourite made it onto the festival mix-tape.

Play loud at 17.45 and together, in our minds, let’s meet on the ledge. Enjoy!

Here’s the list:

Intro: Pink Floyd v David Bowie
I Wanna Be Adored – Stone Roses
Starman – David Bowie
Can’t Stop – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Touch the Sky – Kanye West
All You Good Good People – Embrace
Sorted For Es and Whizz – Pulp
Hey Joe – Jimi Hendrix
Jolene – Dolly Parton
No Surprises – Radiohead
Meet Me On the Ledge – Fairport Convention
Any Colour You Like – Pink Floyd

Mixed by DeC – from the kitchen 2020.

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our virtual launch of Green Fields over on the Poetry Village during week – here’s a fitting end from one of our editors with a few memories of better times.

In the End (festival party)

The garden is tiered
and falls away from the house
towards the one road
that leads both in and out.
As bright as any ocean
against the sky blue,
the trees that we planted
are now shaped by
storms, their shadows
part of the land.

Together we paint signs:
Green Fields, Shangri-La,
and Cirque du Soleil,
that point our guests
past lavender, rosemary
and thyme and on towards
the shelter of leaf-light
and the Maytree hedge
that offers shelter
from so much unknown.

Then the fire is lit:
Ian downs a Pot Noodle cup
full of local ale;
Wendy paints the moon
and stars above a child’s eyes
as Michael recites poetry
to a small but appreciative crowd.

Later we find Zak,
half asleep and seeking something
he’ll never find at the bottom
of Gardenia’s best Tupperware.
Three months from now
the good souls will stand shoulders
with him at the crematorium.
They’ll wear black.

And all this is pretend.
Hushed voices circle past trees
towards stars eclipsed
by distant city lights.
The dawn will soon cast a mix
of pinks, blues and a new green
over the tiered garden washed
clean with summer dew.
Then the birdsong: first a solo,
tentative, before a chorus
of call and response.
The sky still holds a moon.
Only sometimes can we feel
the Earth’s dizzying spin.

David Coldwell

 

 

greenfinalcover

 

 

poetry

Maytree 17 – Aziz Dixon

We are very pleased to announce details of Maytree 17 which will also be the second Three Trees special edition released this year.

Because of the War by Aziz Dixon will be released in July and we’ll be posting more details about this stunning debut in the coming weeks.

The cover features the photograph, Remembrance by Marsden photographer Ian Ladbrooke taken at the Remembrance service held annually at the top of Pule Hill, Marsden.

War cover