art, poetry

Unfolded

It’s always a special day here at Maytree HQ when we reveal a new cover – the promise of a wonderful collection of poems lovingly presented in one of our unique cover designs –  the perfect antidote to this strange world we find ourselves witnessing.

Every cover is special but non more so when you invite a favourite artist to create a work uniquely for the project. For unfolded we asked the brilliant Alice Parker – who many will remember created the image for the award winning, The Collective Nouns For Birds – to respond to some of Olivia’s poetry.

Alice chose a particular favourite poem of ours and created the wonderful enigmatic image, Unstil.

Unfolded by Olivia Dawson will be released in September. Look out for more information very soon and don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter to get news of all our new releases, offers and submissions direct to your inbox Join our mailing list

unfolded cover

 

poetry

Green Fields

Missing Glastonbury and all the other summer festivals? Fear not as we have the perfect collection of poems for you to enjoy and while away those long summer evenings.

Green Fields – sorted for poems celebrates music and the music festival. Featuring thirty six new poems from some of your favourite contemporary poets, let us transport you from the desert festivals to the green field of Glastonbury via the Isle of White.

With poems inspired by Marsden Jazz Festival, Underneath the Stars, Leeds and Reading and V98 there is something for every music and festival lover in this unique collection.

Normally priced at £10.00, to celebrate what would have been Glastonbury’s 50th festival the book is now available for a limited time for only £8.00 from our on-line shop. Price includes free UK post and packing.

Click here to our on-line shop

Enjoy!

greenfinalcover

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

The Kingdom – Matt Duggan

To celebrate World Poetry Day 2020 we thought we’d give you a sneak preview of the forthcoming Maytree 14.

The Kingdom by Matt Duggan will be released on the 10 April and each copy comes with a free art card.

The book is currently available to pre-order directly from Matt – contact here

Copies will be available from our on-line webstore and all good book shops following release.

 

Reflections on my 49th Year

I dreamt that we were once beautiful
kicking white leaves in autumn daylight —
collecting cloud speech bubbles
while we danced on crystal paths of sun
allowing the breeze to ease around my body.

Hear that sound — like birds in flight
whispering as the rats are singing;
ears have sharpened teeth
when time can be so ruthless?

How praise became a crooked blade —
a reflection held inside a tinted mask
that only smiled at its own self-deception.

We hear the price of folly
stripped away as a disguise for a dime of popularism —
how those actors came and went —
like changing costumes in a badly performed
tragedy of somebody else’s life.

Matt Duggan

 

 

 

 

poetry

Green Fields: sorted for poems

Throughout the modern age artists, performers, poets and musicians have rallied the battle-cry that the show must go on and continued to amaze and entertain beyond adversity. No more. Today the music venues, concert halls, theatres and clubs are empty as we look towards unknown futures. We see flood waters recede leaving green fields that once played host to summer festivals that will now only offer solitude in a land confused with itself.

Watching the news, it was with some inevitability that the launch of our new anthology Green Fields would succumb to the virus but we were still deeply saddened and shocked to hear that the whole of the Huddersfield Literature Festival was cancelled. Whilst we hope to see some of the festival events re-arranged, unfortunately due to other commitments later in the year and the number of readers involved it’s simply not possible to re-arrange another event for Green Fields.

Green Fields will be released on the 25 March and you can pre-order now to make sure that you’re one of the first to receive this wonderful collection of poems inspired by music and music festivals. Whilst we can’t pretend that poetry will make the world a better place we can say that Green Fields is the perfect antidote to our current situation. Let us transport you to the hazy lazy summer days, filled with music and love.

Visit our on-line shop

 

Kaiser Cheese

Eyesh tryna get in
Eyesh tryna she Kaiser Cheese
Eyesh shaving up all year
Eyesh adshum bevvies on coash

Bounsher dushnt lemme in
Nosh fish shtate he shez
Eyesh shed you black you black eyesh shed
Thashit enough he shez and chush me out

Oushide Shraymansh
Eyesh mesh fish Fishfaysh man
From Shalfur Harfish Shellowfish
And Fishfaysh shez

Geeshush nailed to crosh
For my shin

Ed Reiss

 

Underneath the Stars
The people have no wish to be a ‘folk’ – Bertolt Brecht

We’re a fair field full of folk,
assembled here for music in the last,
long August days of sunshine,
in a Barnsley hinterland as beautiful
as any Tuscan landscape.

We are modern people: friends and families
from everywhere, and though we love
our shared mythology — green fields, green men,
chalk horses, standing stones and sullen ghosts
on still more sullen moors — we’re wary

of what those who’d have us be ‘a folk’,
would do with it: plunge us in blood
and ancient hatred; re-fight wars whose hell
few now live on to recollect; make us so scared
of what’s outside, we’re pliant to their will.

We are gathered in the big tent. Billy Bragg
tells us he isn’t ‘folk’ and sings words from a world
as anxious and dishonest as our own. He sings us
You fascists are bound to lose: we sing it back
three thousand voices underneath the stars.

Mike Farren