The Strait

StanageThe seventh work in the current phase of The Seven Wonders focuses on the ‘stone edge’ that marks the border between Derbyshire and Sheffield: Stanage. Artist Paul Evans and Derbyshire Poet Laureate Helen Mort respond to this gritstone escarpment with a poem that references one of the climbing routes on the steep buttress, and a painting that evokes the uncommon ground encountered at the end of the climb. Click here to view the poem and the painting, and to listen to an edited discussion about the collaboration.

Mary's IMG_3866Fay Musselwhite‘s account of her recent journey through the Rivelin Valley, a landscape shaped by the ‘ancient shifts, flows and drops’ of its eponymous river and the more recent traumas of its industrial harness, is one of two new posts on the Longbarrow Blog. Click here to read ‘Contra Flow’ (the essay includes previously unseen photos from our Footing-themed river walk of 1 March 2014, and recordings of each of the poems featured in the walk). ‘I was afraid of the dark, of strong light, of stillness, of anything that moved, of company, of being alone…’ ‘Not Daffodils’, Matthew Clegg‘s taut
memoir of poetry residencies and psychosis (based on two winters in Grasmere at the end of the millennium), is our second new blog post: you can read it here.

Our current Featured Poem is ‘Ball Street Bridge’ by Angelina Ayers (taken from her sequence ‘The Strait’ in our walking-themed anthology The Footing). Click here to read the poem (and to listen to a recording of Ayers reading it on location near Ball Street Bridge, Sheffield). Ayers was one of 10 contributors to our Call & Response haiku project in 2012 (the others were Matthew Clegg, Abigail Flint, Mark Goodwin, Rob Hindle, Chris Jones, Fay Musselwhite, Mary Marken, Andrew Myers and Ruth Palmer). Musician and producer Michael Harding has created a new arrangement of the work, integrating the original haiku recordings with music composed specifically for this project: a setting in which ‘whinchats flit and whirr, / throwing out short jags of song /to tether the air’ (Chris Jones). Listen to the new version of Call & Response below:

The Poems, Places & Soundscapes exhibition of sound-enhanced poetry and film poems (co-curated by Mark Goodwin and Brian Lewis) is at Leicester’s Cube gallery until Friday 25 April. Elaine Aldred recently interviewed Goodwin and Lewis about the exhibition for her Strange Alliances blog; you can read the interview here. Finally, Sheffield’s Bank Street Arts will host the Midsummer Poetry Festival in June (in association with Sheffield Poetry Festival). The programme will include performances, workshops, a symposium and a book fair. Longbarrow Press will be involved in a number of events, including a presentation of Matthew Clegg’s Chinese Lanterns and an ensemble performance of The Footing (both Saturday 14 June). Further details will be posted to our Events page in the near future; follow the Midsummer Festival account on Twitter for the latest updates.

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Micro / Macro

Bempton Cliffs to Flamborough, pulling to sea,
climbing the wind, thermal by thermal…

A new short film for Matthew Clegg‘s ‘The Power-line’ (from his recent collection West North East) offers a mesmerising survey of some of the Flamborough Head locations that feature in the poem. Clegg reflects on the making of the film (and the poem’s themes of connection and conductivity) in ‘Rods, Lines and Digital Media’, a blog post for the Open College of the Arts.

The recent Occursus symposium on Microhabitats invited contributions on the themes of huts, sheds, dens, nests, children’s spaces, secret spaces and retreats (click here for the full programme). Among the presentations was ‘The Sandpit’, Brian Lewis‘s meditation on Heidegger, huts and homelessness, taking in Peter Reading’s Perduta Gente and a tour of the Isle of Sheppey. Click here to read this essay on the Longbarrow Blog.

Treephone (edit)Poems, Places & Soundscapes is an international exhibition of digitally produced sound-&-poetry focusing on place and soundscape, installed in Leicester’s Cube Gallery (part of The Phoenix arts complex) from Monday 7 April to Friday 25 April 2014. Poet Mark Goodwin and Brian Lewis (of Longbarrow Press) present a range of vivid, immersive sound-enhanced poetry made through various poet, musician and sound-designer collaborations, as well as by individual poet-sound-artists, and a selection of ‘place-entranced’ film-poems. Click here for more information about the exhibition.

Rivelin walkFay Musselwhite
‘s Contra Flow walk through Sheffield’s Rivelin Valley earlier in March found her reading poems from The Footing alongside new and unpublished work that deepens her engagement with this territory. Musselwhite’s commentaries were supported by a wealth of observational detail from conservationist Graeme Hodgson and contributions from the audience. Click here to view a selection of Emma Bolland’s photos from the river walk. A new essay by Musselwhite, in which she discusses the natural and cultural forces that have shaped the river, and which, in turn, have helped to shape her poems, is our latest post on the Longbarrow Blog: click here to read the essay.


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The Trance

Photographer Karl Hurst launches his KHeditions imprint with a series of limited, handmade boxed editions of prints, available exclusively from his Etsy page. Each of the boxed editions offers a unique perspective on the development of Hurst’s practices since 2010; the editions range from the season-cycles of Sketches for Autumn and Sketches for Spring to the oblique taxonomies of Modern Icons and the self-interrogating Circus Impressions. Click here for more details about KHeditions.

We’ve revised and expanded some of the resources on the Longbarrow Press site, including the In Conversation page, which brings together text and audio interviews and discussions with Longbarrow Press poets and artists from 2006 to date (including recent interviews with Alistair Noon and Matthew Clegg). Click here for the full index. The Essays page has also been restructured, making room for some older pieces from the Longbarrow archive and enhancing several essays with images and audio podcasts (including ‘The Heart of the City’, Matthew Clegg’s commentary on the 2009 Sheffield poetry walk led by Andrew Hirst and Chris Jones). Finally, we’ve added a new Film page, which showcases the filmed performances, animations, film-poems and location-based documentaries created by Longbarrow Press in recent years.

On the Longbarrow Blog, Matthew Clegg discusses the displacements and readjustments of his ‘Chinese Lanterns’ sequence (featured in his recent collection West North East); click here to read ‘Streams and Nodes‘. We’ve also created a short, trancelike film for one of the ‘Chinese Lanterns’ poems:

Our current Featured Poem is ‘High Riggs’ by James Caruth (taken from our walking-themed anthology The Footing); click here to read the poem. You can also listen to Caruth reading the poem (on location in Bowcroft Cemetery, Stannington) below:

This year’s States of Independence one-day independent press fair takes place at De Montfort University in Leicester on Saturday 15 March (10.30am-4.30pm, admission free), with more than 70 writers presenting readings and workshops throughout the day. You are also welcome to visit the Longbarrow Press stall (with a full range of books, pamphlets and CDs). Click here to view the full programme of readings, workshops, displays and talks.

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Contra Flow

Impasse (Mary Musselwhite)Fay Musselwhite’s poems in the Longbarrow Press anthology The Footing are shaped by a personal connection with the River Rivelin in Sheffield.  On Saturday 1 March (1pm start) she will lead Contra Flow, a unique walk through this tree-lined valley, taking us from the suburb of Crosspool to the edge of the Peak District via the sites of her poems.  Join us as we trace the river’s industrial legacy, its unique ecology, and its relationship to the city.  The walk is free, but places must be booked in advance; visit our Events page for more details and to reserve a place.  Please note that this event is now fully booked.  Contra Flow photograph (above) by Mary Musselwhite.

The Footing was recently acclaimed as ‘the best anthology of new work that I’ve read in years’ by journalist Billy Mills.  Click here to read his appraisal of the book for Sabotage Reviews.  A further selection of comments and reviews of The Footing appears on a new ‘Acclaim’ page on The Footing microsite.

‘I’ll get blind drunk / and walk out into the dusk city…’  Our current Featured Poem is Matthew Clegg‘s ‘Aphorisms…’, taken from his debut collection West North East.  Click here to read and to listen to the poem.  You can also listen to Clegg reading the poem (on location in Hillsborough) below:

Elaine Aldred‘s extended interview with Clegg, surveying his development as a writer, the shaping of West North East and his recent navigations of the South Yorkshire waterways, has just been published on her Strange Alliances blog; click here to read the interview.  A selection of comments and reviews of West North East appears on a new ‘Acclaim’ page on the West North East microsite.

A new pamphlet by Peter Riley will appear from Longbarrow Press later this spring; further details of The Ascent of Kinder Scout will be posted towards the end of February. We’ve created a short, spare film to accompany two ‘pieces’ from his 2012 pamphlet XIV PIECES:

Finally, Rob Hindle launches his new collection Yoke and Arrows (Smokestack Books) at Sheffield’s Lantern Theatre on Sunday 23 February (7.30pm).  These poems about Lorca, Granada and the Spanish Civil War will be given a dramatic presentation by Hindle and guitarist Rikki Thomas-Martinez.  Tickets available from the Lantern Theatre: click here to book.  Visit Rob Hindle’s website for more info about this event.


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The Slip

Alport Castles (Paul Evans)The latest collaboration in the ongoing Seven Wonders series of paintings, drawings and poems finds artist Paul Evans and poet Mark Goodwin travelling to Alport Castles, a landslip
feature in the Peak District, Derbyshire. The gritstone debris from this landslide towers over the valley for over half a mile; from a distance, the protruding mounds resemble castles. The instability of the site is reflected in Goodwin’s poem, which is also a response to Evans’ painting; you can view the poem and the painting here.

On the Longbarrow Blog, Angelina Ayers revisits Gerard Manley Hopkins’ ‘Pied Beauty’ and considers the symmetry and asymmetry of the sycamore leaf. You can read the essay here. Ayers is one of seven poets featured in the Longbarrow Press anthology The Footing; click here for more information about the book (and to listen to a short audio trailer featuring spoken contributions from all the poets).

Cartography3Intersections and itineraries are the subjects of ‘Cartography, Flights and Traverses’, a new piece by Rob Hindle in which he recounts the making of his poems and sequences in The Footing, poems forged inthe moment[s] between getting lost and finding a way forward – between the original itinerary and a new route…’ Click here to read the essay. Among the ‘one-way journeys’ included in Hindle’s ‘Flights and Traverses’ is ‘Dore Moor to the Marples Hotel’, which takes the first night of the Sheffield Blitz as its historical (and imaginative) starting point; one of two bombing raids visited upon the city, sweeping from the south-western suburbs to the centre and culminating in a direct hit on the Marples Hotel in which approximately 70 people died. The supposed route of the Luftwaffe was re-walked by Hindle and others on 12 December 2010 (the 70th anniversary of the Blitz). This short film documents their journey from the moor’s edge to the heart of the city, against the traffic and the failing light:

The land slips east into night, fen ditches
glowing like pig-iron.  High in the thin air
the planes drum towards the coast.

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Tracks and traces

The Footing (Goodwin, Clayton by Karl Hurst)The publication of our walking-themed anthology The Footing was marked at The Shakespeare, Sheffield on 25 November with an evening of readings, performances and talks by all seven poets featured in the book. Angelina Ayers, James Caruth, Mark Goodwin, Rob Hindle, Andrew Hirst, Chris Jones and Fay Musselwhite plotted a unique route through the landscapes of the anthology: its dark cities, luminous coasts, hidden waterways and exposed hilltops. Photographers Emma Bolland and Karl Hurst were on hand to document the evening’s performances; you can view their images here. A sound-walk through The Footing, featuring spoken contributions from the poets and narration by Emma Bolland, is now available to hear (click on the ‘Play’ button below):

On the Longbarrow Blog, Matthew Clegg considers the influence of panic attack syndrome on some of the poems in his debut collection West North East. Click here to read ‘The A-bomb of adrenaline’. An earlier post, ‘Ground Sense’, explores the terrain and characters that inform his poem ‘Sirens’ (also featured in West North East). Click here to read the essay.

The Footing and West North East are currently available from Longbarrow Press at just £12 each (inc UK P&P); you can also buy both books here (via PayPal) for just £22 (inc UK P&P).

Our current Featured Poem is Fay Musselwhite‘s ‘Path Kill’ (from The Footing); click here to read the poem and to listen to Musselwhite reading it on location in Sheffield.

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The Footing

Footingcover4The Footing: £12 (inc UK P&P)

The Footing: £15 (inc Europe P&P)

The Footing: £17 (inc Rest of World P&P)

The Footing is an anthology of specially commissioned poems on the theme of walking, with substantial contributions from Angelina AyersJames Caruth, Mark Goodwin, Rob Hindle, Andrew Hirst, Chris Jones and Fay Musselwhite.  A beautifully produced 96-page hardback book, it is now available from Longbarrow Press for just £12 inc UK P&P.  You can order the book securely by clicking on the relevant PayPal button above.

City, country and coast (and the spaces in between) are the settings for these journeys;
here, the act of walking is, by turns, exploratory, destructive, restorative, defiant,
contemplative and devotional.  The poems and sequences in The Footing
are The Strait (Angelina Ayers), Tithes (James Caruth), From a St Juliot to Beyond a Beeny (Mark Goodwin), Flights and Traverses (Rob Hindle), Three Night Walks
(Andrew Hirst), Death and the Gallant (Chris Jones) and Breach (Fay Musselwhite).

The Footing is launched at The Shakespeare, 146-148 Gibraltar Street, Sheffield S3 8UB on Monday 25 November (7.30pm start; admission free). The launch will offer unique presentations of the work in the book, featuring short films, readings, audio works and discussions. Visit The Footing microsite to listen to recordings of the poems and to read commentaries by the poets on their contributions to the book. Angelina Ayers‘ current post on the Longbarrow Blog is a reflective essay on the making of her poem ‘The Bench’ (included in The Footing). You can read the essay here, and listen to her read the poem below:

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