We are very pleased to reveal the cover for Joe William’s forthcoming Maytree collection, The Taking Part.
The Taking Part is a short collection of poems on the theme of sport and games, though as is often the case with poetry, most of it isn’t really about sport and games at all. The cover features the painting, Back Street by Northern artist, Walker Scott. The Taking Part will be released in late May with an official on-line launch event featuring some wonderful guest readers on the 29 May – we’ll have more information on how you can join in the fun nearer the time.
About the author:
Joe Williams is an award-winning writer and performing poet from Leeds. His latest book is the pamphlet ‘This is Virus’, a sequence of erasure poems made from Boris Johnson’s letter to the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic. His verse novella ‘An Otley Run’, published in 2018, was shortlisted in the Best Novella category at the 2019 Saboteur Awards. His poems and short stories have been included in numerous anthologies, and in magazines online and in print. Despite all of that, he is probably most widely read thanks to his contributions to Viz.
We are delighted to share the cover for F R Kesby’s forthcoming Maytree publication, Shul.
Shul will be released on the 23 April 2021. The word Shul is both a Yiddish word meaning synagogue (derived from the German for ‘school’) and a Buddhist concept of emptiness left behind when something has moved on; hollows left after houses have been removed, footprints on paths, the wearing of rocks by a river. In Buddhism this emptiness is sought out, the relief of the space left when one stops worrying about the emotional marks you have left.
In this collection of poems F R Kesby has sought to explore those marks they have left on their own world and the relationship between their memories of physical and emotional spaces. From comparing the memories of their home town compared to what it looks like now to viewing their relationship through one small bed to exploring places heard about every day in the news, each poem links place and soul in a way that respects the history of the word Shul, both Buddhist and Jewish, while being intensely personal.
The cover was inspired by a photograph taken by the author of a heart etched onto the road. Local sculptor, George Coldwell who specialises in working with concrete and found objects, was commissioned to create an image based on the photograph. We think you’ll agree that it’s an amazing piece of art that wonderfully captures the essence of the book.
F. R. Kesby is a poet and storyteller from Leeds. They have creative writing credits including Strix, Writers Café, Riggwelter, Runcible Spoon, Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis, 100Thousand Poets For Change, The Pangolin Review, Wanton Fuckery, Leeds Disabled Peoples Organisation and Leeds Savage Club as well as non-fiction credits with Women’s Republic, Walking in a Wireless Wonderland and View From a Walking Frame. They have also had a radio play featured in Chapel FM’s Writing on Air Festival, have done numerous guest spots and headlined for Stirred, Word Club, NeurodiVERSE and Verse Matters as well as winning the Stirred Invisible Disabilities Poetry Slam 2018 and the Leeds Lit Fest Flash Fiction Slam 2018 as well as running their own events independently and as part of Leeds Lit Fest and Leeds LGBT+ Virtual Lit Fest. They and their partner also started their own inclusive arts organisation, AirEvents, through which they help run performance nights and art classes and are currently working on a range of children’s books about gender and sexuality. They are also a life long learner with an interest in linguistics, especially its relationship to culture and politics, they are currently rounding up the worlds slowest degree and are already planning what modules to take on to their masters. When not wrestling with language they work in the charity sector and are a proud bunny parents to Sherlock Fluffs.
For those who didn’t receive our newsletter earlier in the week will have missed the news of a surprise release for March.
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by David Coldwell had initially been planned for release in April 2020 but… well, we all know what happened.
Many of our regular readers will be familiar with David’s work as both editor at The Poetry Village and here at Maytree Press and as an award winning poet and visual artist. As David had to take a step back from editing duties for this publication we were thrilled to work with some of our Maytree authors and friends creating a book that has been described as a poignant and beautiful collection.
The poems in The Beekeeper’s Apprentice have been written over a number of years and and are now brought together for the first time. Together they form a deeply emotional sequence exploring the author’s personal family relationships and his bond with the natural world where poems are set against vivid landscapes of wild moorland, remote mountains and tidal rivers.
Featuring cover art by Maytree favourite, Alice Parker and also supplied with unique art card, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice will initially be limited to 100 signed copies so don’t miss out.
I had nothing left to say. Take the long way: out, through Oxenhope, out past farms into sky
filled with curlew, grouse and clouds forced into shapes by a wind that beat living things out of sight, back into the moor, back to earth.
Out, out, across the moor I counted the milestones hidden by the wayside, changeling crayons, crumbling.
Milestone upon milestone, cut by ghost hands that traced our journey; winter ghostlings marked by cuts, numbers.
Northerlies turned April showers to snow as it inched before us like scattered ashes over roads with the memory of wind in the lee of walls and trees
and the barriers of modern day that cut deep into our view. The milk glass tinged with green before a landscape scarred by man. Snow left us,
and we freewheeled from sky leaving holy ghosts in moorland mists; our journey slowly slipping from one world into the shadow of another.
It’s cover reveal time and we are thrilled to again be working with Saltaire based artist, Paula Dunn.
The Sound Recordist by Seán Street (Maytree 24) features the wonderful image, Evening Stillness created by Paula in 2020. The collection will be released on the 26 March 2021.
Seán describes the book as a sequence based on a life’s work in radio and a fascinating insight into British broadcasting.
About the author:
Seán Street is a poet, radio practitioner, teacher, and a writer of many prose works that explore the philosophical nature of sound. He spent his schooldays in Sheffield and student years in Birmingham where he embarked on a career as an actor, initially at the old Birmingham Repertory Theatre, before moving into radio. He has published nine full collections of poems, the latest of which, Camera Obscura (Rockingham Press, May 2016,) examines his preoccupation with time, space and communication, as did his anthology of radio poems, Radio Waves (Enitharmon , 2004). His latest prose work is The Sound of a Room: Memory and the Auditory Presence of Place. (Routledge, 2020.) Between 2017 and 2019, Palgrave Macmillan published his Sound Poetics trilogy: Sound Poetics (2017) Sound at the Edge of Perception (2018) and The Sound Inside the Silence (2019). Other prose includes The Poetry of Radio – The Colour of Sound (Routledge, 2013), which was published in 2013, followed by The Memory of Sound – Preserving the Sonic Past, also by Routledge, (2014). In 2015 Rowman and Littlefield published an updated, extended and revised edition of his 2006 work, The Historical Dictionary of British Radio. Other prose includes The Dymock Poets (Seren, 1994, new edition, 2014) and The Wreck of the Deutschland (Souvenir Press, 1993), an historical study of events surrounding the writing of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s great poem. He is a regular collaborator with the English choral composer, Cecilia McDowall and their work is published by Oxford University Press. Cecilia and Seán are currently engaged on a major three-part work commissioned by Glasgow School of Art Choir, to be premiered in 2022. In the Spring of 2020, BBC Radio 3 commissioned their work, Photo 51, about the crystallographer Rosalind Franklin.
Seán sees no divide between his practice as a radio writer, producer and presenter, his research into sound aesthetics, and his poetry, pointing to the subtitle of the second of his Palgrave trilogy to underline the fact that his interest above all is ‘the aural minutiae of sand and other worldly murmurings,’ and how deep listening helps to explain living. His most recent poetry grows out of a lifetime working with sound, reflecting on its crucial place within and around us, and this new sequence comes directly from listening, using the metaphor of the microphone and recording machine as a non-judgemental witness to Place and history, through pain and cruelty to the consolations and inspirations of art and music and the natural world, finally moving towards a quest for silence and stillness. Isolation, alienation, exile and loneliness are themes; but above all the human voice – its dialects, timbres and its sense of communicating a self – is a recurring motif.
Seán is Emeritus Professor at Bournemouth University, where he gained his PhD in 2003. He now lives in Liverpool.
For our twenty third publication we are thrilled to announce a very special collaboration with Leeds Church Institute. Reflections: A Poet-Theologian in Lockdown Leeds features a collection of stories, observations and poetry by Leeds based author, Hannah Stone.
The project began in Spring 2020 as England entered the first lockdown. Hannah was appointed Poet-Theologian at Leeds Church Institute. Hannah’s brief was to comment on the impact of lockdown on the communities of Leeds, using poetry as a medium for reflection.
Initially presented as an interactive blog, Reflections: A Poet-Theologian in Lockdown Leeds is a collection of those blogs written during the most extraordinary year that we could ever have imagined.
Featuring contributions from Jane de Gay, Nick Allen, Amir Darwish, Brian Bilston, Carolyn O’Connell, and more, the book is both a celebratory and, at times, poignant vignette of lives lived through a pandemic.
The book will be distributed through Leeds Church Institute with a very limited number available through our on-line store.
Hannah Stone was born in London and moved to Leeds over 30 years ago. She holds a BA in English Literature and Language (University of London), an MA and PhD in Theology (University of Leeds), and an MA in Creative Writing (Leeds Trinity University). As Hannah Hunt she enjoyed an academic career at Leeds Trinity University, where she was Reader in Eastern Christianity. She has been extensively published in her specialist fields of Patristics, early Christian spirituality and the Byzantine Church (including two monographs) and travelled globally to deliver conference papers. In addition, she is an Associate Lecturer and Honorary Research Associate for the Open University, tutoring both English Literature and Religious Studies. An MA in Creative Writing completed in 2015 propelled her into a new focus on writing, editing and facilitating poetry. Since then she has published four volumes of her own poetry, as noted above in acknowledgments; three major collaborations, An After Dinner’s Sleep (with Gill Lambert and Maria Preston, Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2015, which was the inaugural volume in the Wordspace Imprint she established to publish creative writing associated with Leeds Trinity University); Holding Up Half The Sky (with Rosemary Mitchell, Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2019); and, during lockdown, Fit to Bust (with Pamela Scobie, Runcible Spoon Press, 2020). She has also been published in many print and online journals. She comperes the monthly ‘Wordspace’ Open Mic; curates the monthly ‘Nowt But Verse’ discussions for the Leeds Library, and convenes the ‘Poets-Composers Forum’ for Leeds Lieder Festival. In July 2020 she became editor of Dream Catcher literary journal, published by Stairwell Books in York. She has also worked in conjunction with Leeds University’s Electrifying Women project to edit several volumes of creative writing responding to the centenary in 2019 of the Women’s Engineering Society. She runs poetry workshops and participates in spoken word events. Hannah collaborates with visual artists and composers, most notably Matthew Oglesby with whom she wrote the Penthos Requiem in 2018 (see website at penthos.uk). In other lives, she sings in two local choirs, walks in the Dales, grows her own fruit and vegetables, volunteers at a community farm, and fosters young hedgehogs. Hannah was delighted to be appointed Poet-Theologian in Virtual Residence in the spring of 2020, with a brief to comment on the impact of Lockdown on the communities of Leeds, using poetry as a medium for reflection.