Pilgrimage (Nikki Clayton)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 (available until 6 July, when it will be replaced by part two). A specially curated performance focusing on the relationship between movement and memorial, Pilgrimage included readings from all seven poets featured in The FootingAngelina 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.


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5NpcWh0eMidsummer 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 AyersAseptic 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:



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Crossgates1This 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.

5NpcWh0eFinally, 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.


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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 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.

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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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