poetry, Publishing

The Everyday Unspeakable

As part of our summer publishing schedule, Maytree 38 will be available from the 15 July 2022.

The Everyday Unspeakable by Tom Clucas is a personal record of non-belonging and of struggling to find a home in, what the author describes as, this “beautiful bastard of a world”.

Spanning a variety of contemporary forms and voices, the poems grapple (as the title implies) with the unspeakable aspects of everyday life. Stretching the boundaries of language, the pieces in this collection seek to voice marginalised experiences and create new bonds of commonality through their searching exploration of illness, poverty, overwork, displacement, conflict, and death. Yet they also remind the reader—through their heightened rhythms, images, and cadences—of the wonder and startling brevity of human life, building through the fleeting visions of a series of outcast speakers to their own unexpected image of utopia.

The Everyday Unspeakable will be available from the 15 July 2022.

About the Author:

Tom Clucas writes about belonging and the lack of belonging from the outside perspective of an LGBT+ poet with an autism spectrum condition. Having won the Lawrence Sail poetry prize at a young age, he went on to complete his DPhil at Oxford, supervised by the poet Lucy Newlyn. While there, he published poems and articles in numerous journals and won further competitions, including the Lord Alfred Douglas and Poem on a Sacred Subject prizes, judged by Simon Armitage, Bernard O’Donoghue and Michael Schmidt. Tom then moved to be with his civil partner in Germany, where he worked as a Deputy Professor, continued to publish both poems and articles and was shortlisted for the Melita Hume prize by Mark Ford. Following their struggles to find citizenship and a home after Brexit, he and his partner retrained as lawyers and moved to London, where he realised a longstanding fascination with the City and now advises on billion-dollar fundraisings. In the small hours, he continues to hone his writing, with craft and challenge being the watchwords of his poetry.

Don’t forget – we are currently celebrating the launch of our new on-line shop with a half-price sale – all items have been discounted – take a look Products – Maytree Press

art, poetry, Publishing

Maytree 37 – cover reveal

We’re are very excited to reveal our cover for Maytree 37 as, what turns out to be a first for our press, we have been able to combine the author’s own artwork within the design.

The Storm in the Piano by Christopher James features poems inspired by history and music; peacocks and swimming pools, and are peopled by the famous, the tragic and obscure. From Charles Blondin teetering on a high wire strung around the Earth, to Buddy Holly being blasted from a basement in Damascus, they cross borders of space and time. Whether it’s Picasso wing walking on a French biplane, or the Warden of Pluto patiently waiting to be relieved, the poems all explore our potential and what it means to lead a good life. 

Christopher James is a first prize winner of the National Poetry Competition (2008) the Ledbury, Oxford Brooks and Bridport prizes. He is also a recipient of an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors. He has published several collections, including Farewell to the Earth (Arc, 2011), and The Fool (Templar, 2014). He has also published three Sherlock Holmes novels, including The Adventure of the Ruby Elephants (MX, 2015). He lives in Suffolk with his family, folding bicycle and ukulele.

The cover features Christopher’s cut-up, The house of poet Stephen Spender at 15 Loudoun Road, St. John’s Wood, London.

Christopher describes the inspiration for his artwork as follows:

In 2020, inspired in equal part by Matisse and Peter Blake, I started creating paper cut-up collages – first of still life (especially instruments and fruit) then architecture and landscapes. I typically work to A3 size, but have gone as large as a metre square, and as small as A4. I cut up the pieces, as if assembling my own jigsaw. Once I’ve got everything in the right place, I take a photo to make a note of the positioning. Only then do I start the painstaking process of sticking things down. Pritt Stick is my glue of choice, as it gives you about five seconds’ grace, when you can reposition things if they’re not quite right. One of my biggest projects has been a sequence of 20 ‘houses of the poets.’ I started with Dove Cottage, home of Dorothy and William Wordsworth and the logical next move was Coleridge’s rather grander residence at Greta Hall. Keats’ House in Hampstead followed, as did John Betjeman’s flat in Cloth Fair, London, and the Bronte parsonage.  At the same time, I reread their poetry. The process is totally immersive and takes you very close to the spirit of the poet and their work. Working for half an hour on a window Sylvia Plath might have leant out of, takes you uniquely close. I enjoy exploring different styles of architecture; the effect of different lights and times of day — from Pablo Neruda’s surrealist self-designed house in Chile to Edward Thomas’ very ordinary cottage in Surrey. I find my artwork the perfect companion (and antidote) to writing poetry. As someone once said: ‘you can’t write poems all the time.’ 

And here’s a link to Christopher’s online gallery: Houses of the poets – The Friday Poem

The Storm in the Piano will be officially released on the 17 June 2022 and we can’t wait!

Don’t forget that it’s not too late for a chance to see your work published as a special Three Trees Edition later this year – you have until midnight on the 30 April 2022 to enter our Portfolio Award. Enter here Three Trees Portfolio Award | Maytree Press (bigcartel.com)

art, poetry, Publishing, Theology

Maytree 36 – Magdalena

For those who read our last post will have already had a sneak preview of the cover for Maytree 36 which features the photograph, Sunlit Tree by our very own, Roy Marshall. If you follow Roy on social media (and why wouldn’t you) you’ll know that as well as being a wonderful writer, poet, translator and editor, he’s also got a good eye for a great photograph.

Magdalena by Antony Christie started out about eight years ago as a reconstructed autobiography in verse of Mary Magdalene, based in part on the confusion of Maries in the New Testament, in part on the Apocryphal Gospels, and reinvigorated by a journey through the South of France that included sites associated with her.

The present text is an expansion of the original poems. The collection now includes
characters like the necromancer, who profits from superstitions and myths surrounding Mary who is herself, after death, still bound to her earthly existence, imprisoned in her own skull in the rituals that are associated with the annual procession it takes through the streets of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume. The mention of a potent charm given to her by an admirer perhaps complicates the picture, as does her desire to find her own God reincarnated, which draws her, in the mid 20th century to Manubehn, the niece of Mahatma Ghandi.

So Mary is a character with whose humanity the reader can empathize, but also a mystic who takes out of body journeys, a devotee of her living God, an object of worship herself, a disembodied spirit, and through all her multi-faceted existence retains this humanity at her core.

Magdalena will be available from the 20 May 2022. Look out for news of launch events coming very soon.

About the author:

Antony divides his time between a farmhouse in the South Tyne Valley and a renovated one room school in Grey County in Ontario. His poetry has been published in magazines in England, Ireland and Canada, including Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, Smiths Knoll, Other Poetry and Poetry Ireland Review, in anthologies, three pamphlets and two full length collections. He has read his work in co-ops, bookstores, village halls, libraries, a farmers’ market, and at local and international festivals, including StAnza and the last Hollingwood Wordstock. His latest pamphlet, The Archaeologist’s Daughter, was published by Wayleave in April 2019.

art, Award, poetry, Publishing

Past, Present, Future

As we mark the third anniversary of our first publication and look forward to the release of our thirty fifth book, we thought it would be a good excuse to celebrate all the wonderful collections we have had the privilege to work on over the past few years and offer you a little treat.

Looking back over our short life its incredible to see some of the amazing poets and artists we’ve worked with and come to know as our friends. It’s been a great adventure watching the Maytree family blossom.

The future looks just as exciting as we welcome our new editor, Roy Marshall to the fold, look forward to finalising work on our 2022 list, and start planning for 2023.

We will have a short open submissions window again in the autumn plus news of our portfolio awards and a new single poem award plus anthology.

Our cover reveals continue to make the news but we thought we would do something a little different for Maytree 36 and give you a sneak preview in our Future section.

Magdalena is the forthcoming collection from Antony Christie and features the image Sunlit Tree by our very own Roy Marshall. Magdalena is scheduled for release on the 20 May 2022 – look out for a more in-depth feature coming soon.

Don’t forget that you can subscribe to our Newsletter on the sign up page here

Our 2022 Portfolio Award closes in just 22 days. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to be part of our story and see your work published later this year – enter now

And finally, all the above previously released titles are available from our online store here and to say thank you for your support we’d like to offer you 10% discount on all book orders for the rest of April. Please use the code April22 at the checkout.