poetry, Uncategorized

Maytree 23 – Reflections

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.

Scheduled to be officially launched at the Leeds Literature Festival on the 05 March 2021 with an on-line event. Full details here: Reflections: A poet-theologian in Lockdown Leeds with Hannah Stone (leedslitfest.co.uk)

You can find out more about Leeds Church Institute here: Leeds Church Institute | Learning and Conferencing Centre (lcileeds.org)

About the author:

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.  

art, poetry

The Weight of Snow – Pauline Rowe

We are delighted to reveal our first cover of 2021 and welcome back Pauline Rowe.

Author of the 2020 Saboteur Awards shortlisted, The Ghost Hospital, Pauline returns with another poignant and moving collection, The Weight of Snow.

Described as a family story of bereavement, the book focuses on the accidental death of a child and the reverberations of loss over generations and how grief becomes emotional inheritance and impacts upon formation and love.

The cover features the painting, Untitled by David Coldwell.

The Weight of Snow will be available from the 26 February 2021

poetry

January

This November sees the long awaited release of Sarah Barr’s stunning collection, January.

Review copies are now being sent out into the world and we’ve already received this wonderful endorsement from award winning poet, John McCullough.

Sarah Barr writes subtle poems that probe the edges of uncertainties, the details of objects and landscapes gradually revealing her speakers’ unease. The disjunctions in the title piece evoke the sudden leaps of a mind actively thinking, the white spaces between stanzas inviting us to imagine what’s going on beneath the clipped surface of the language. Elsewhere, simple phrasing holds carefully nuanced images: the menace of cracking ice, a long-married couple surrounded by ‘masks / and stiff-limbed, velvet-dressed dolls.’ The writing carries on unfolding inside the reader long after their eyes have left the page.

January 

This time I’m taking more notice – 
the sandbags, submerged fields,
flooded crypt, the marooned town.

There’s more water than the land
can use, or the skies hold.

Perhaps it’s natural
to shiver with excitement
at this odd, reflective world.

A swan wings upward, abandons
its mirror-image on the bright lagoon.

Are there going to be two
of everything, including me?

I think about new surfaces
and new below-the-surfaces.

Don’t miss out – January 27/11/20

art, poetry

Catching Air

We are delighted to introduce Vinny Glynn-Steed who will be launching his debut pamphlet with Maytree in early December.

Vinny, from Galway, is widely published in poetry journals and anthologies both in Ireland and abroad. His work has recently featured in Crannóg, Ofi Press Magazine, Boyne Berries, Windows 25th edition and the Cinnamon Press anthology. He was recently the featured writer in the American based journal Parhelion.

The cover features the painting, The Valley by David Coldwell.

Look out for more information on this stunning lyrical collection in the near future.

art, poetry

Coming of Age – Maytree 21

It’s now two years since the first Maytree was planted and in early spring of 2019 we saw the pale green leaves of Maytree 001 in the form of Swn y Morloi by Hannah Stone reach out to the poetry community with critical acclaim.

Swn y Morloi

We are delighted that over the course of the last two years, what followed Hannah’s wonderful collection has been a series of pamphlets and anthologies that we have been so proud to help bring into the world.

Included in our publications have been the award winning The Collective Nouns for Birds by the brilliant Amanda Huggins and the Saboteur Awards shortlisted, The Ghost Hospital by Pauline Rowe.

We are now delighted to reveal our coming of age publication.

January by Sarah Barr will be our 21st publication and penultimate one of 2020.

Sarah was born in London, studied English at London University, Social Sciences at Southampton University and now lives in Dorset where she writes poetry and fiction, teaches writing, mentors writers and leads a Stanza group. Her poems have twice won the Dorset Award in the Bridport Prize. She has worked as a counsellor and as an Open University tutor of social sciences and creative writing. Sarah often writes about relationships and has particular interests in psychological, social and environmental issues.

January is a deeply moving collection where the reader is transported from snow-bound English landscapes to the watery reflections of Venice where profound moments are mirrored by time and place.

The cover is another Maytree special this time featuring the wonderful original artwork of Saddleworth based artist, Richard Clare.

Maytree is the folk name for the Hawthorn Tree. Named after the month in which the tree blooms, the leaves are often the first to appear in spring signifying new life. When naming our press we felt it was the perfect name to encompass both our environmental and publishing ambitions.

However, that was then. No one could have dreamed of the world we now find ourselves part of when we celebrated those first steps into the world of publishing. Then a world of new curiosity fueled by a resurgence of independent pubs, cafes, bookshops and cultural outlets. A world where public buildings and libraries had rallied against political sabotage and been saved from extinction by local groups of like minded folk who brought craft, literature, music, theatre, dance and a sense of belonging back to the heart of communities. And now…

As Maytree is entirely self-funded (and hopes to remain that way), the last few months have been challenging. Our ambition to produce upwards of fourteen books in the last year has been tested but we have weathered the storm and continued to support our authors and contributors. We’ve had some wonderful successes along the way and we’ll be able to share news of some of some of these highs in the new year.

With the ongoing situation look set to continue we took the difficult decision to reduce our output for 2021. This was made even harder by the huge response we had during our short submissions window. The record for the earliest submission following the opening at midnight on the 01 August was at 3 minutes past midnight. In total we received 118 amazing submissions and since closing our window, continue to receive enquires. All we can say is thank you for trusting us with your work and allowing us the opportunity to publish. The list of 118 was whittled down to a shortlist of twenty which the final list was drawn from – it’s no exaggeration that, second to software issues, this was the most difficult task we’ve faced in the last two years.

Those who have read our newsletter will already be familiar with our 2021 list of featured poets – for those who aren’t signed up, here’s the news:

  • Pauline Rowe – The Weight of Snow
  • Ruth Aylett – Queen of Infinite Space
  • Barbara Hickson – A Kind of Silence
  • Sean Street – The Sound Recordist
  • Joe Williams – The Taking Part
  • Fay Kesby – Shul
  • Nicola Warwick – Naming the Land

We’re now busy working on the schedules for these publications which we can guarantee are all incredible. We’ll also have publications from Anne Steward and a further opportunity for one poet’s work to feature as the next Three Trees Edition.

And finally – just a reminder that all our wonderful publications are now available in our shiny new on-line shop. Your support is really appreciated. Thank you.

https://maytreepress.bigcartel.com/