Two Poems

Two Poems – January

Welcome to 2023 at Maytree.

We can’t quite believe that we’re now beginning our fourth year of poetry publishing and preparing to launch what will be our forty second publication out into the world.

If you’ve signed up to our newsletter then you will have already received our email inspired by the colour blue featuring news of new publications for spring and details of some of the many wonderful books already available in our online store.

It’s easy to sign up and don’t worry about spam as we’re really not that sort of operation – you’ll receive a newsletter with offers and news approximately once every two months so give it a go – we look forward to welcoming you to the Maytree family.

You can sign up here – Sign Up – Maytree Press

To help celebrate the new year we thought we’d take a look back at Sarah Barr’s appropriately titled collection, January.

Sarah is a writer of poetry, fiction and non-fiction for both children and adults. You can find out more about her work and other publications by visiting her website here – About Sarah Barr – Sarah Barr (

About January, award winning poet, John McCullough writes:

“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.”

But don’t just take our words for it, you can also read the collection of five star reviews in our online store here – January by Sarah Barr – Maytree Press


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.

Earwigs are gorging on lush
peony heads

Their brittle bodies, pincers and folded wings,
remind me of childhood
and our proximity to small creatures like these
living in earth, bark and under stones
where we found their pearly eggs.

I can still hear my brother chuckling,
see his smile and smudged, rosy cheeks
as he gathers and stuffs these insects into his ears.
It made a sort of logic to a three-year-old,
then perhaps bewildered
as my mother shrieked and tried to shake them out.

I want to remember him outside playing
before the rules took over.

January, along with many other great titles, is available from our online store now. And don’t miss out as for the remainder of January every book order receives a free limited edition Maytree Press tote bag which is perfect for carrying your favourite books.

Visit our store here – Products – Maytree Press


How it will happen

We are delighted to confirm the release of the winning entry of the 2022 Three Trees Portfolio Award.

How it will happen by Lisa Blackwell was chosen from ten shortlisted entries for its compelling and memorable set of mainly prose poems that explore various formative experiences across several years.

Discussing the poems, guest editor, Roy Marshall, described how the form amplified the intensity of the narrative voice. A collection of emotionally engaging work, giving a sense of deeply felt experience, at various times shocking, brutal, darkly- funny and tender.

A book for our times – don’t miss out.

How it will happen by Lisa Blackwell – Maytree Press

Turquoise swimsuit

You are almost thirteen years old. You are in the 
back garden in your new turquoise swimsuit,         
the material of which stretches and ripples in a new 

The sun flashes on the ripples of your father’s pond. 
Self-built. The koi carps’ startled lips gape at the  
surface. Their ghostly orange and white forms 
blurred beneath. 

Your father says:
Oh that’s unusual.

He pinches the material of your swimsuit and rolls it 
between his thumb and index finger. 

All of a sudden, he has the electric-shock realisation 
that you, with your new woman body, are in the 
swimsuit. He becomes self-conscious and slightly 
embarrassed and retreats into the house. Mumbling 

You laugh at him. You feel the power of your body 
but also its betrayal. This is not the body to shinny 
up a tree. Or to give your brother a dead arm. 

You begin to wonder if this body is more trouble
than it’s worth.


New for 2023

We are thrilled to release details of the poets (and photographer) who will be joining Maytree in 2023.

Thank you to everyone who submitted during our recent open submissions window. It is very humbling that writers continue to trust us with their work as we move into our fourth year. For all those who we’ve had to say no to (and everyone should have received a reply), we wish you all the best with your search for publication. Our portfolio award will open again in the spring, so please don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to avoid missing out on future opportunities.

This year, the quality of writing and ideas was particularly outstanding. Whilst it was a pleasure to read the work, it was an extremely difficult task to narrow the field down.

Here’s the list:


Elizabeth Stott – The Undoing

Pauline Rowe and A J Wilkinson – Sleeping in the Middle (a collaboration between poet and photographer)

Nick Allen – Local Universe


Michael Brown – Right of Way

Rebecca Gethin – Snowlines

Tracy Patrick – Out of the North

Pauline Rowe – light damaged body work

Nick Allen will be familiar with Maytree readers having already released two collaborative collections and edited the marvellous, Green Fields anthology. He joins Maytree in 2023 to release his new  collection, Local Universe. Check out his previous release here: Between Two Rivers by Nick Allen and Myles Linley – Maytree Press

Rebecca Gethin has written 5 poetry publications. She was a Hawthornden Fellow and a Poetry School tutor. Vanishings was published by Palewell Press in 2020.  She was a winner in the first Coast to Coast to Coast pamphlet competition with Messages. She blogs sporadically at

Tracy Patrick is from Paisley, Scotland. Her poetry has been published in AcumenPoets’ RepublicThe Eildon TreeNew Writing ScotlandSouthlightThe Journal, and on the Glasgow Underground. She has one pamphlet, Wild Eye Fire Eye (2015), and two full collections, Portrait (2022), and, Painting San Romano (2022), all by earth love press. Tracy’s debut novel, Blushing is for Sinners (Clochoderick, 2019), was commended by the Saltire First Book of the Year awards. She has won poetry slams in Glasgow and Edinburgh, received mentorships from the Scottish Book Trust, Clydebuilt Poetry Programme, and has an MLitt in Creative Writing from Glasgow University. Her website is

We are delighted to welcome Pauline back to Maytree with not one but two new books for 2023. Sleeping in the Middle is a collaboration with acclaimed photographer AJ Wilkinson which we are honoured to have the opportunity to publish. light damaged body work, due for release later in the year, is a new short collection of poems and follows Pauline’s award-winning pamphlet, The Weight of Snow and Saboteur shortlisted pamphlet, The Ghost Hospital. You can find out more here: The Ghost Hospital by Pauline Rowe – Maytree Press

Elizabeth Stott was born in Kent, spending time as a child in Scotland and Bahrain. She has lived in the north of England for most of her adult life, and has settled in Cumbria, where she has lived for over 25 years. A physics graduate, she worked in industry before taking time out to raise her family. As an antidote to the domestic, she started writing fiction and poetry, which has developed to include work in varied form and genre. She has published work in magazines, anthologies, spoken word events, as a Nightjar Press chapbook and a collection of fiction.

Elizabeth is fond of strong black coffee, dark chocolate, and wine. She is a member of a women’s voice choir where she sings alto. She likes to paint sometimes and grows flowers and vegetables in her unruly garden.

Michael’s first collection, Where Grown Men Go, was published by Salt in 2019.  In addition, his pamphlets Undersong (2014) and Locations for a Soul (2016) are available from Eyewear and Templar respectively. His work has recently been published in Poetry Salzburg, Magma, Poetry Wales, The Rialto and Poetry News. In 2017 he was awarded a Northern Writers’ Award. He is currently a Creative Writing research student at Newcastle University. His poem, Coastal Home, was selected by Imtiaz Dharker to be read at the Chancellor’s inauguration ceremony in 2022.

Look out for more news and further details about forthcoming publications coming in the new year. You can subscribe to our newsletter here: Sign Up – Maytree Press


Village Voices – celebrating art and poetry

We are delighted to announce that we will be working with the newly formed Marsden Community Poetry group to bring you an anthology that promises to be one of the most entertaining reads of 2023.

Celebrating art and poetry from the diverse and inclusive communities of Kirklees and the South Pennines, Village Voices will be an inspiring collection of poetry and art that celebrates diversity, inclusivity, and equality. This is a post-pandemic anthology – a book that gives a voice back to our communities.

It’s often said that people just don’t read poetry. Well, Marsden Community Poetry want to prove them wrong. Remember, Marsden was the place where Poetry Pubs found fame and where the windows of village shops are often adorned with posters of poetry from all age groups, so perhaps it’s not a bad idea.

And if you didn’t already know, Marsden was home to our current Poet Laureate and also happens to be where Maytree HQ is based.

The anthology will be edited by a panel of acclaimed authors and poets selected by the group – please note that Maytree are not involved with the editorial process.

So, if you are a poet or an artist and you either live in the towns or villages of the South Pennines or have been inspired by lives, landscapes and stories of the area then now is the time to be part of this amazing new collection

To submit please follow these guidelines:

The anthology is aimed at a general audience.

Your poem:

Submit one original poem. Simultaneous submissions are discouraged as the editors and publishers are all volunteers and simply do not have time to change things once your poem has been accepted. Previously published poems are welcomed so long as the author retains copyright.

Although there is no specific theme, the editors are particularly interested in poems that promote and celebrate the diverse and inclusive communities of the towns and villages of the South Pennine.

Maximum line length not including title or breaks is 25. Longer poems may be considered, please send a cover note if this applies.


Black and white only – sorry but we are unable to accept colour illustrations. The illustration should be Portrait, with space around. Do not draw a border.

Please do not sign – all images will be credited to the artists separately. Please send a high-resolution JPG of the image – original work is not required.

Please contact the project team if you are unable to produce a high quality image.


Copyright remains with the author and/or artist.

By submitting you agree to inclusion into the anthology and its publication and the selection process.

Selection process:

Please send your best poem. All work will be considered by the Marsden Community Poetry working group with final selection by our editorial team.

By submitting your work, you agree that the Editors reserve the right to publish or arrange broadcast of selected works. The right to use any included poems to further publicise the anthology is also retained.


Marsden Community Poetry are looking forward to receiving your work. Submissions will not be considered after midnight Sunday 22 January 2023


Send your work to


Two Poems – The Sound Recordist

Today, in our regular feature, we are joining in with the BBC’s centenary celebrations by sharing two poems from The Sound Recordist by Seán Street.

The sequence of poems in The Sound Recordist is based on Seán’s lifelong career within the radio industry. It is an exploration of sound, described by Kevin Gardner of the The Wild Court Review as a primer on the nature of hearing.

Seán 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.

Wild Track

Wild track they call it. The sound
of air going on round us.
The moment happening while
our back’s turned. To get away
from it, build a box. Time switched
on by a red light, its walls
suddenly listening live.
Perfect acoustic silence,
carte blanche. The infinite page.
A blank empty room filled with
possibility. Beyond
it the wide transparent space
where the wild track waits,
beating wings on the air.

Notes on Using the Studio

Listen to each person you meet here
as if what they say is the last thing you will ever know.
But question all clubs – fellowships can breed closed factions.
Celebrate the clean line of pure thought,
but please beware the avenging mafia of fixed opinion.
Observe how your silence interrogates noise
and how your attention questions its decoration.
Here there is ambience beyond ornament.
Warning: meaning lies between things. Take great care.
All sound is electric. This machine proves it.

The Sound Recordist is available from our store now – The Sound Recordist by Seán Street – Maytree Press