The Navigators

Navigators (open)Longbarrow Press is delighted to announce the publication of Matthew Clegg‘s second full collection, The Navigators.
The poems draw on the dynamic physical geography of Cumbria and the East Yorkshire coast, and on the life (and afterlife) of the canals of Leeds and Mexborough. Versions of Apollonius, Aristophanes and Homer introduce an extra-temporal dimension, most apparent in the closing sequence of the collection, where these mythical, personal and historical threads are finally woven into one fugue-like movement. The Navigators is an affirmation of the reflection and regeneration that we find where waters meet and mingle; these literal and metaphorical thresholds offer both expedition and epiphany.

A beautifully produced 128-page hardback,​ ​The Navigators​ ​is now available from Longbarrow Press for just £12.99​ ​(inc UK P&P​).​ A limited edition CD comprising Clegg’s reading of his sequence ‘Cave Time and Sea Changes’ (recorded in a sea cave in Flamborough, East Yorkshire) is also included with initial orders. You can order the book via The Navigators microsite (which also has poems, recordings and essays relating to the book), or by clicking on the PayPal link below (major debit cards accepted – no PayPal account required):

Navigators jacket (26 April 2015)£12.99 (inc UK P&P)

£16 (inc Europe P&P)

£18 (inc Rest of World P&P)

The Navigators
will be launched at the Shakespeare pub, Gibraltar Street, Sheffield S3 8UB at 7.30pm on Thursday 25 June, with a specially devised collaborative reading featuring Matthew Clegg, Ray Hearne and Fay Musselwhite, and musical contributions from guitarist Simon Heywood. Ahead of the Sheffield launch, A Navigation with Matthew Clegg and Ray Hearne on Sunday 24 May is a canal walk that explores the South Yorkshire Navigation for several miles east of Mexborough, with Clegg reading poems that move between the past and present of the waterways, and Hearne performing songs that branch off along tangents suggested by the theme of navigation. Click here for more details (and to reserve places, which must be booked in advance). Here’s a short film of Clegg and Hearne’s rehearsals on the Mexborough Canal:

Hindle and Hearne (reduced)Ray Hearne also appears with Rob Hindle for a rare performance of Hindle’s acclaimed sequence The Purging of Spence Broughton at Boston Castle, Rotherham, on Wednesday 20 May. Spence Broughton was executed in 1792 for his part in robbing the Sheffield and Rotherham mail; his body was gibbeted at the scene of the crime on Attercliffe Common (between Sheffield and Rotherham), where it hung for 36 years. Click here to read ‘Spence Broughton, Rotherham and the Rights of Man’, a new blog post in which Hindle locates the tale(s) of Broughton within the wider political and historical context of the period. Further details of the Boston Castle event are available here.

Finally, a series of exhibitions at Sheffield’s Bank Street Arts (coinciding with the South Yorkshire Poetry Festival) focus on collaborations between artists and poets, including
Fairytale no. 9, a new work by Angelina Ayers and Beverley Green, and The Frome Primer, a reworking of the 2006 sequence by Andrew Hirst and Brian Lewis that led to the founding of Longbarrow Press. The exhibitions run from 20 May to 30 May; click here for further details.

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Sunken Portals

Navigators jacket (26 April 2015)Longbarrow Press is delighted to confirm the publication of Matthew Clegg‘s long-awaited collection, The Navigators, on 13 May. The book explores the portals that connect time and place, and the element of water that moves through both, flowing from the Lake District to the South Yorkshire waterways and, finally, the North Sea. A beautifully produced 128-page hardback, The Navigators will be available from the Longbarrow Press website for just £12.99 inc UK P&P (from 13 May). You can read extracts from the book on The Navigators microsite, and listen to poems recorded on canal towpaths and in sea caves. The Navigators will be launched in Sheffield with a special event on Thursday 25 June; click here for further details.

MexboroughPoems from The Navigators feature in ‘A Navigation with Matthew Clegg and Ray Hearne’, a one-off collaborative walk and performance on Sunday 24 May (devised for the forthcoming South Yorkshire Poetry Festival). The walk starts from the canal bridge at Mexborough rail station, tracking the South Yorkshire Navigation for several miles east, with Clegg reading poems that move between the past and present of the waterways, and Hearne performing songs that branch off along tangents suggested by the theme of navigation. Click here for more information (and to reserve places) on the canal walk. ‘Song, Poetry and Place’, a Festival blog post in which Clegg reflects on the shaping of the collaboration, appears here.

Rob Hindle (Karl Hurst)A special performance of Rob Hindle‘s The Purging of Spence Broughton, co-presented by Longbarrow Press for the South Yorkshire Poetry Festival, takes place at Boston Castle, Rotherham, on Wednesday 20 May. Hindle will be joined by co-reader Ray Hearne for this unique open-air event in the castle grounds (overlooking Attercliffe, where the eponymous antihero of Hindle’s sequence was gibbeted in 1792); an atmospheric setting for an evening of poetry, history, politics and folk legend. Click here for more information about the event. The ‘haunting’ of the English landscape (a themed obliquely explored in The Purging of Spence Broughton) is addressed by Hindle in a new post on his website, in which he challenges some of the assumptions that appear to underwrite the aestheticisation of the ‘eerie'; click here to read ‘Aerg!’. His two recent posts on the manufactured, yet inhuman, horizons of the post-Burkean sublime are also worth investigating: you can read the first here and the second here.

Island Songs II (Karl Hurst)‘The balance between connection and autonomy is essential to our sense of self… When we lose control of our story, we become dispossessed, but also if our thread winds loose from the pattern.’ Angelina Ayers takes up the threads of disobedience, dancing and the poems of Rosemary Tonks in ‘I Am the Resurrection’, a new post for the Longbarrow Blog; click here to read the essay. ‘All through my life, long perspectives have opened in coastal landscapes. I’ve returned to the sea for reflection and regeneration, and the poems I’ve set there are epiphanies that hatch on literal and metaphorical thresholds.’  The second of our new blog posts is ‘Feeding the Dead is Necessary’, in which Matthew Clegg draws together the mythical, personal and historical threads of The Navigators. You can read the essay here. ‘The Sink Hole’, which opens the central section of The Navigators, is our current Featured Poem; click here to read the poem, and to listen to a recent field recording from the Mexborough canal.

Finally, we are delighted to confirm the publication of Chris Jones‘ second full-length collection, Skin, at the end of May; full details of the book (and a Sheffield launch) will be posted here in May. Details of our forthcoming performances and walks can be found on our Events page, including a river walk with Fay Musselwhite on Saturday 20 June; click here for more information.

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As part of the ongoing documentation of the Longbarrow Press archive, artist Emma Bolland has created a series of images focusing on our books, pamphlets, and other works on paper. You can view a selection of these images in this slideshow (most of the featured publications are still available here):

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938‘The cairn takes many shapes and forms and can be seen as an early type of land art. It is art that is anonymous, proletarian, shape-shifting, both practical and aesthetically timeless.’ Photographer and poet Karl Hurst continues his series of essays reflecting on land features in ‘Meditation on Carl Wark’, a new post for the Longbarrow Blog, which puts forward an idiosyncratic argument for navigating by instinct. You can read the essay (accompanied by several photographs from his ‘Booths’ series) here. ‘Levine revealed himself to be one of America’s most retrospective poets: obsessively winding and unwinding the threads of time. He validates experience, transforms it, re-evaluates and interrogates it, and he reminds us how long it can take us to come to emotional terms with our own lives.’ In the second of this month’s posts on the Longbarrow Blog, Matthew Clegg offers his tribute to the American poet Philip Levine (1928-2015): a close reading of Levine’s ‘anti-revelatory’ poem ‘The Great Truth’, a visionary work that is also a critique of ‘the visionary paradigm’. Click here to read the essay.

Finally, Longbarrow Press is pleased to confirm details of the Leicester launch of Mark Goodwin‘s collection Steps. Goodwin will introduce and read from the book at The Exchange Bar, 50 Rutland Street, Cultural Quarter, Leicester LE1 1RD on Thursday 23 April (7.30pm start). All welcome; admission free. Longbarrow Press poets Matthew Clegg, Rob Hindle, Chris Jones and Fay Musselwhite will also present a number of performances and poetry walks in Mexborough, Rotherham, Sheffield and Ledbury in May, June and July; further details will be posted on our Events page in the near future.

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The Lock

Edgelands (Emma Bolland)Ahead of the publication of Matthew Clegg‘s second full-length collection The Navigators (due from Longbarrow Press in May 2015), we revisit a selection of his earlier titles, including the pamphlets Officer, Lost Between Stations and the acclaimed ‘matchbox’ edition of his 2008 sequence Edgelands (of which only a handful of copies remain available). Order any Matthew Clegg title from Longbarrow Press in March 2015 (including his debut collection West North East) and we’ll include a limited edition, handmade Edgelands postcard – and an additional piece of Longbarrow Press ephemera. Click here to view (and order) the full range of Matthew Clegg publications.

‘My interest in the vernacular is imaginative. I’m concerned with the life lived and the language that expresses that life…’ Part of the cultural and geographical terrain of The Navigators is previewed in Radged and Nithered: A Vernacular Sensibility’, a new post for the Longbarrow Blog in which Matthew Clegg explores the idea of a language ‘lived’ or ‘lived in’ – specifically, the language used by the navvies and boatmen that built and plied the South Yorkshire waterways. Click here to read the essay (and to listen to Clegg reading his poem ‘Attercliffe’ on a South Yorkshire canal towpath).

Ty Uchaf ThornsOur second new post on the Longbarrow Blog is ‘Circumspect & Circumflex’, which finds Mark Goodwin
reflecting on the ‘cartography’ of his Longbarrow Press collection Steps, and addressing the somewhat different art of ‘navigation’ practiced by ‘map-maker-readers’. ‘That’s what a map’s for: to make us believe that the infinitely detailed, multi-directional & complicatedly angled terrain we find our selves in can be organised…’ You can read the essay here. Steps also provides us with our current Featured Poem, ‘Lit Lichen, Tŷ Uchaf’, a movement through and towards ‘keyhole sized portions / of a landscape’. The poem appears here; for further details of Steps, please click here. Mark Goodwin will present an evening of readings from Steps on Thursday 23 April at Leicester’s Exchange Bar (50 Rutland St, LE1 1RD); further details will be posted here soon.

Photo credits:
Emma Bolland
Nikki Clayton

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The Inland Sea

Booths (Karl Hurst)Chalk cliffs are wax-white and gull-white…

Matthew Clegg‘s poem ‘Chalk’, a recasting of Anglo-Saxon alliterative verse in sonnet form, is one of five poems currently featured in The Journal of Wild Culture‘s maritime selection Gazing In And Out To Sea. Click here to read the poems. ‘Chalk’, which looks out at, from and beyond the chalk stacks of Flamborough, appears in Clegg’s forthcoming collection The Navigators (due from Longbarrow Press in May 2015). Clegg’s debut collection West North East is still available from Longbarrow Press, as is his limited edition pamphlet Officer; click here to read an extract from the pamphlet (and to order copies).

Swindon 1 (Brian Lewis)‘Night itself becomes a place, a temporary theatre…’ The life and works of Sheffield sculptor George Fullard are remembered in ‘Haunts’, a short essay in which Brian Lewis traces the ‘internal displacement’ of three bronze statues in Andrew Hirst‘s sequence ‘Three Night Walks’ (featured in the Longbarrow Press anthology The Footing). You can read the essay here. ‘I lost someone recently. He wasn’t a love or a relative, or even a friend. He wasn’t mine to lose at all…’ In another new essay, Angelina Ayers
pursues and develops a different reading of displacement by way of DH Lawrence, Kraftwerk and The Eagles. Click here to read ‘Hotel California’ on the Longbarrow Blog. Our third essay of 2015 is the first in a three-part series by Karl Hurst focusing on the ‘liminal spaces’ opened up by his photographic practice. ‘Reflections on Impracticality’ examines ideas of home, identity, and, in particular, the ‘temporary shelters’ found in certain Northern English landscapes (which lend their name to his current photo-series ‘Booths’). You can read the essay here.

Mark Goodwin
and Brian Lewis reflect on the editing and shaping of Goodwin’s recent collection Steps in a candid and wide-ranging discussion with Elaine Aldred (on her Strange Alliances blog); click here to read ‘Steps of Creation’. Mark also recounts the development of his work as a sound artist in a further interview with Elaine (with contributions from producer Steve Gibbs); click here to read the interview.

Photo credits:
Karl Hurst (from the series ‘Booths’)
Brian Lewis

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Late Light

Cabra Monte, El Torcal, AndaluciaMark Goodwin‘s new collection Steps (launched at The Fat Cat, Sheffield, earlier in December with readings from Goodwin and Angelina Ayers) is featured in this month’s Journal of Wild Culture, with the text and audio versions of the poem ‘Forced Moment at El Torcal, Andalucía’ framed by images of the karst landscape in which it is set. Click here to read and listen to the poem. Peter Boughton’s review of Steps for Minor Literature[s] considers the ‘tightrope’ on which the poems are balanced, ‘poems as much concerned with phenomenology, the movement of the mind, as any physical journeying’. You can read the review here. The development of Steps is recounted in a new Longbarrow Press audio interview, which also finds Goodwin revisiting the landscapes (and soundscapes) mapped in the book (and its accompanying CD). Listen to the podcast below:

We’ve also created a short film trailer to mark the publication of Steps:

Steps was one of many highlights in a very active, wide-ranging year for Longbarrow Press. Here’s a summary of the events, projects and publications that made 2014:

Mary's IMG_3866#1  March.  Fay Musselwhite leads Contra Flow, a walk through Sheffield’s Rivelin Valley, reading poems from The Footing with new work that deepens her engagement with this territory. Her account of the journey through the valley, shaped by the ‘ancient shifts, flows and drops’ of its eponymous river, appears here.
#2  April.  Poems, Places & Soundscapes, an exhibition of digitally produced sound-&-poetry, is installed in Leicester’s Cube Gallery. Mark Goodwin and Brian Lewis present a range of vivid, immersive sound-enhanced poetry and a selection of ‘place-entranced’ film-poems. Click here for more information about the exhibition.
#3  May.  Matthew Clegg returns to the East Leeds suburb of Crossgates for the third and final West North East audio podcast. Clegg’s unique perspective on the area’s ‘arrivals and departures’ frames his readings of three poems that reference its fields, estates and factories. Listen to the podcast below:

p1000224#4  June.  Paul Evans and Brian Lewis co-curate the inaugural Laugharne Castle Poetry and Film Festival, including screenings of Longbarrow Press short films and commissioned films by artists Emma Bolland, Alastair Cook, Hondartza Fraga, Gemma Green-Hope and Jean McEwan & Brian McEwan. Angelina AyersAseptic Technique was among the Longbarrow films to premiere at the festival:

#5  June.  Longbarrow Press devises two special performances for the Midsummer Poetry Festival at Sheffield’s Bank Street Arts: Matthew Clegg’s Chinese Lanterns, a ritualised (re)arrangement of poems from West North East (aided and abetted by poet Andrew Hirst), and Pilgrimage: a walk through The Footing, in which Angelina Ayers, James Caruth, Mark Goodwin, Rob Hindle, Andrew Hirst, Chris Jones and Fay Musselwhite explore the relationship between memory and memorial in our walking-themed anthology. Click here to listen to recordings from Pilgrimage. A short film of Chinese Lanterns appears below:

#6  July.  Two new posts on the Longbarrow Blog focus on the making (and remaking) of poetry anthologies. In ‘The pace of The Footing‘, Brian Lewis discusses the roles of craft and collaboration throughout the five-year development of the book. Chris Jones considers the fate of ‘landmark’ poetry anthologies in ‘The New, New, New Poetry: A Consumer’s Guide’; click here to read his survey of the changing ‘state of play’ in the UK poetry landscape.
Ascent of Kinder#7  August.  Longbarrow Press publishes The Ascent of Kinder Scout, Peter Riley’s pamphlet-length meditation on (and elegy for) this physical and cultural landmark of the Peak District. The front and back covers feature two remarkable paintings of Kinder Downfall by Paul Evans. Voted Best Poetry Pamphlet of 2014 by the London Review Bookshop.
IMG_1398#8  September.  Poet Chris Jones, artist/writer Emma Bolland and editor/publisher Brian Lewis visit three churches in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire to record three podcasts based on Chris’s Reformation-era sequence ‘Death and the Gallant’ (featured in The Footing). Each of the podcasts is accompanied by a short essay on the Longbarrow Blog (‘The Dance of Death‘, ‘The Last Judgement‘, ‘The Shepherds of Corby Glen‘ ); the essays are illustrated with Emma Bolland’s photographs from the church visits.
#9  October.  Longbarrow Press returns to The Shakespeare, Sheffield, for The Shattered Stars, an event focused around two poetry sequences by Chris Jones, with projected visuals by Paul Evans, sound design by Brian Lewis, and live music from Emma Bolland.
Steps cover#10  November.  Mark Goodwin‘s long-awaited collection Steps appears in hardback, the culmination of several years’ writing and journeying by the poet and several months’ creative collaboration with the editor. Steps is launched at The Fat Cat, Sheffield, with readings from Goodwin and Angelina Ayers, each of which explores ideas of commitment, exposure and risk.

We end the year with two winter journeys: Fay Musselwhite‘s ‘Impasse’, a vision of a ‘hoar-coated’ Rivelin Valley that first appeared in The Footing and which we now revisit as our current Featured Poem; and Matthew Clegg‘s ‘The Last Workday Before Christmas’ (from West North East), in which temporal and emotional distances expand and collapse in the commute from city to suburb.

Our sincere thanks to everyone who has supported the press over the last 12 months; we return in 2015 with a new series of projects, publications and events, including new hardback collections by Matthew Clegg and Chris Jones and a new audio commission for Leeds Art Gallery. Further details will be posted in the new year.


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First Steps

Steps booksLongbarrow Press is delighted to announce the publication of Mark Goodwin‘s long-awaited collection, Steps. A 144-page journey through the landscapes of England, Ethiopia, Scotland, Spain and Wales, Steps is also a sustained engagement with the journey’s pauses, in which the landscapes invite us to listen; the gaps that compel our attention, and from which these poems are constructed.

A beautifully produced hardback, Steps is available now at the special price of £12 (inc UK P&P) through the Longbarrow Press website and Steps microsite (normally £12.99). A limited edition CD, steps / sounds, featuring 10 ‘sound-enhanced’ recordings of poems from the book, is also included free with all online orders (while stocks last). You can order the book by clicking on the PayPal link below (major debit cards accepted – no PayPal account required):

Steps (cover)Steps: £12 (inc UK P&P)

Steps: £16 (inc Europe P&P)

Steps: £18 (inc Rest of World P&P)

Steps will be launched at The Fat Cat, 23 Alma Street, Sheffield, S3 8SA at 7.30pm on Sunday 7 December, as part of a special Longbarrow Press end-of-year event with readings from Angelina Ayers, Mark Goodwin and Fay Musselwhite. A full range of Longbarrow Press titles will also be on sale at a pre-Christmas discount. Admission is free; all are welcome.

‘I imagined the surface of the road bending under his weight…’ ‘Wrong & Right’, Mark Goodwin‘s account of ‘two difficult moments’ that resist poetic remaking, and which compel a plain retelling, is our current post on the Longbarrow Blog; click here to read the essay. A field-recording expedition to a derelict rubber mill in Derbyshire provides Goodwin with the impetus for another short piece for the Affective Digital Histories blog; click here to read ‘Voyage into the Interior of Volcrepe’.

Finally, our serialisation of Matthew Clegg‘s narrative epic Lost Between Stations concludes this month; click here to read (and listen to) the seventh and last poem in the sequence.

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