Chris Jones has devised a special performance of two recent poetry sequences as part of this year’s Off the Shelf Festival of Writing & Reading. The Shattered Stars opens with ‘Death and the Gallant’ (featured in the Longbarrow Press anthology The Footing), an exploration of Pre-Reformation wall art and its destruction through the eyes of roaming iconoclasts in seventeenth century England. In the second half, ‘Jigs and Reels’ harnesses the energy of sets of folk tunes to contemplate themes of family, ceremony and music itself. The spoken word will be accompanied by live music by Emma Bolland, visuals by Paul Evans, and soundscapes by Brian Lewis. The Shattered Stars takes place at The Shakespeare, 146-148 Gibraltar Street, Sheffield S3 8UB on Sunday 19 October at 8pm (admission £3 on the door).
Wrapped in luminous cloud, pushed by the wind, we walk up out of Hayfield in the steps of the glorious trespass, April 1932…
Longbarrow Press is proud to announce the publication of Peter Riley‘s long-awaited new pamphlet, The Ascent of Kinder Scout, a 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 artist Paul Evans. Beautifully designed and produced, The Ascent of Kinder Scout is now available for just £5 (inc UK P&P). Click on the relevant PayPal option below to order your copy. Click here to read an extract from The Ascent of Kinder Scout.
Paul Evans‘s current exhibition at Sheffield’s Graves Gallery brings together drawings of mythical, elusive and endangered creatures, including a life-sized drawing of a spade-toothed whale, and the haunting, riddling series Bestiary of Bones (a collaboration with poet A.B. Jackson). Longbarrow Press has produced a new podcast featuring Evans and Jackson discussing gut parasites, the romantic sublime and the development of The Paper Museum (at the Graves Gallery until Saturday 16 August; open Wed-Fri 10am-3pm, Sat 11am-4pm, admission free. Further details are available here). You can listen to the podcast below:
Click here to read Jane Faram‘s review of The Paper Museum for Our Favourite Places.
Longbarrow Press reissues several of its acclaimed pamphlets this month as part of a new series of special offers. The first package features the pamphlet and CD editions of Matthew Clegg‘s Lost Between Stations (2011), his sequence Officer (2007) and a handmade, limited Matthew Clegg postcard. The second package includes Kelvin Corcoran‘s 2011 sequence Words Through a Hole Where Once There Was a Chimpanzee’s Face (40 page pamphlet and 38 minute audio CD), his broadside Learning to Play the Harp
(2009) and a handmade, limited Kelvin Corcoran postcard. Both packages are priced at £12 (inclusive of UK p&p) and make an ideal (and affordable) introduction to the work of the press. An additional piece of Longbarrow Press ‘ephemera’ will also be included with orders received in August. Click here to order the packages. You can also order these items separately via the Matthew Clegg and Kelvin Corcoran pages on this site.
‘I wanted ‘here’ and ‘elsewhere’, ‘home’ and ‘away’…’ Matthew Clegg‘s memoir of his formative encounters with the poetry of Derek Walcott is one of two new pieces on the Longbarrow Blog; click here to read his appreciation of Omeros and The Schooner ‘Flight’ in ‘Meeting and Melting’. Chris Jones considers the fate of ‘landmark’ poetry anthologies in ‘The New, New, New Poetry: A Consumer’s Guide’, revisiting anthology introductions and commentaries drawn from the last 50 years; click here to read his survey of the changing ‘state of play’ in the UK poetry landscape.
Finally, all three parts of Pilgrimage: a walk through The Footing (recorded in Sheffield on 14 June 2014) are now available to hear via the player below (scroll down for full list of poems performed). The Footing is still available from Longbarrow Press (£12 inc UK P&P); click here for more details (and to order copies).
Part One: ‘Three Night Walks: III’ (Andrew Hirst); ‘The Bench’ (Angelina Ayers); ‘Death and the Gallant 1: The Adoration of the Magi’ (Chris Jones); ‘From from a St Juliot to Beyond a Beeny: Kilometer 2′ (Mark Goodwin); ‘Parish’ (James Caruth).
Part Two: ‘Contra Flow’ (Fay Musselwhite; ‘Ball Street Bridge’ (Angelina Ayers); ‘Attercliffe to the General Cemetery’ (Rob Hindle); ‘Quaker Grave’ (James Caruth); ‘Death and the Gallant 5: Saint James the Great’ (Chris Jones); ‘Memorial’ (James Caruth); ‘Path Kill’ (Fay Musselwhite); ‘From from a St Juliot to Beyond a Beeny: Kilometer 5′ (Mark Goodwin).
Part Three: ‘Ecgbert’ (Rob Hindle); ‘Stone Walls and Snowgates’ (Angelina Ayers); ‘From from a St Juliot to Beyond a Beeny: Kilometer 7′ (Mark Goodwin); ‘Closed Order’ (James Caruth); ‘Death and the Gallant 8: Death and the Gallant’ (Chris Jones); ‘Impasse’ (Fay Musselwhite); ‘A Stone’ (James Caruth).
Following the presentation of Pilgrimage: a walk through The Footing at Sheffield’s Bank Street Arts earlier in June, we’ve uploaded an audio recording of the first of the evening’s three parts. A specially curated performance focusing on the relationship between movement and memorial, Pilgrimage included readings from all seven poets featured in The Footing: Angelina Ayers, James Caruth, Mark Goodwin, Rob Hindle, Andrew Hirst, Chris Jones and Fay Musselwhite. Part One: Three Night Walks: III (Andrew Hirst); The Bench (Angelina Ayers); Death and the Gallant I: The Adoration of the Magi (Chris Jones); From from a St Juliot to Beyond a Beeny: Kilometre 2 (Mark Goodwin); Parish (James Caruth).
Pilgrimage was preceded by Chinese Lanterns, a bold new interpretation of a recent sequence by Matthew Clegg (featured in his collection West North East), devised and performed by Clegg and Andrew Hirst. Here’s a short film of the two poets negotiating the streets of 21st century Hillsborough (via the ‘displaced’ personae of the classical Chinese poets Li Po and Tu Fu) in ‘Moving with Thought':
On the Longbarrow Blog, Brian Lewis reflects on the five-year development of the Longbarrow Press anthology The Footing, and the central roles of craft and collaboration in determining the routes toward (and beyond) the book: click here to read ‘The pace of The Footing‘ (originally presented at the Midsummer Poetry Festival Symposium on Anthologies and Anthologising). The anthology also provides us with our new ‘Featured Poem': James Caruth‘s ‘Memorial’ (featured in his sequence ‘Tithes’, with which The Footing opens). Click here to read the poem; you can also listen to Caruth reading the poem (on location in Bowcroft Cemetery, Stannington, Sheffield) below.
Midsummer is a month-long poetry festival (6 – 28 June) at Bank Street Arts (32-40 Bank Street, Sheffield S1 2DS), featuring a varied programme of performances, workshops, a symposium and an exhibition. Longbarrow Press has devised two special events for the evening of Saturday 14 June:
Matthew Clegg and Andrew Hirst present Chinese Lanterns | 6.30 – 7.30pm
Matthew Clegg presents a one-off event focusing on new arrangements of poems from his sequence ‘Chinese Lanterns’ (featured in his collection West North East), in which the classical Chinese poet Li Po finds himself resurrected and at large in 21st Century Hillsborough. Clegg will be joined by poet Andrew Hirst (aka photographer Karl Hurst) for a memorable evening of ritual, performance and multimedia. Listen to the ‘Chinese Lanterns’ audio trailer:
Pilgrimage: a walk through The Footing with Angelina Ayers, James Caruth, Mark Goodwin, Rob Hindle, Andrew Hirst, Chris Jones, Fay Musselwhite
8.00 – 9.00pm
A specially-devised presentation of poems from the walking-themed anthology The Footing (with appearances from all 7 poets featured in the anthology), with the accent on memory and memorial. This crafted, continuous performance, weaving live readings with ambient soundscapes and projected images with short films, offers a unique route through the landscapes of the book: a trance and a traverse. Watch the film trailer:
Rob Hindle will also present a new arrangement of his Spanish Civil War poem-drama Yoke and Arrows at Bank Street Arts earlier in the evening (5pm-6pm). All 3 events are £4 each (£3 concessions); click here for more information (and to order tickets through Eventbrite). The Midsummer symposium on ‘Anthologies and Anthologising in Contemporary Poetry’ takes place at Bank Street Arts on Friday 20 June (11am-4.30pm); speakers will include Chris Jones and Brian Lewis of Longbarrow Press. Click here for more information about the symposium.
Two new Longbarrow Press films were screened as part of the recent Laugharne Castle Poetry and Film Festival. The first of these, Matthew Clegg‘s Fugue #3, focuses on the fields east of the Leeds suburb of Crossgates, the setting for Clegg’s poem ‘Because I was Nobody'; the second, Angelina Ayers‘ Aseptic Technique, sets a recording of Ayers’ poem (made in the wind-strafed lift area of a hospital) to a spare visual treatment (punctuated by two brief stills by photographer Karl Hurst). Watch the films below:
This is the landscape I grew up in: a mongrel landscape, mixing the urban and the agricultural, the modern and the historical.
It’s hardly pretty; but it is full of open spaces.
Matthew Clegg returns to the East Leeds suburb of Crossgates this month for a new West North East audio podcast. Clegg’s unique perspective on the area’s ‘arrivals and departures’ frames his readings of three West North East poems that reference its fields, estates and factories, and that also mark the passages of age. Listen to the podcast below (click here to listen to two earlier podcasts in this series):
Plath’s version of lyric… is a kind of magnesium flare: intense, brilliant, but quickly burnt out. Each strike of the match is as unique and unrepeatable as it is unsustainable. Matthew Clegg‘s comparative reading of Ted Hughes’s ‘Wodwo’ and Sylvia Plath’s ‘Ariel’ is one of two new essays on the Longbarrow Blog; click here to read ‘A Yin and Yang of Poetics’. Chris Jones also contributes a revealing study of Kathleen Jamie’s poem ‘The Wishing Tree’ in its 2002 and 2004 versions, arguing that ‘the palimpsest of changes that can be traced from one text to the other reveals a poet who is in the process of developing a new style of writing, a shift in the textures and shapes of language…’ Click here to read ‘Two Worlds, One Field’.
Fay Musselwhite‘s recent walk through Sheffield’s Rivelin Valley was also the subject of a reflective piece for the Longbarrow Blog (available here). We’ve now uploaded a short film of Musselwhite reading her poem ‘Impasse’ (featured in the Longbarrow Press anthology The Footing) near the swampy ground of the valley’s Frank Wheel site:
The audio works and short films featured in the recent Poems, Places & Soundscapes exhibition (co-curated by Mark Goodwin and Longbarrow Press) are now available to hear and view on the project site; click here to listen to the audio recordings, and click here to watch the film-poems. A programme of specially commissioned film-poems is at the heart of the inaugural Laugharne Castle Poetry and Film Festival (Friday 6 – Sunday 8 June), which also features a selection of recent Longbarrow Press films (co-curated with artist Paul Evans). Click here to visit the festival website.
Finally, the Midsummer Poetry Festival (Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, 6 – 28 June) has launched its new website, with Eventbrite booking available for most events (including two specially-devised Longbarrow events: a ritualistic presentation of Matthew Clegg’s Chinese Lanterns and ‘Pilgrimage’, an ensemble performance of The Footing, both on Saturday 14 June). Click here to visit the website.
The 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.
Fay 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 Sunday 27 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.