A chronological survey of Longbarrow’s publications and events since 2006, including non-catalogue items, out-of-print publications and otherwise undocumented ephemera. The most recent updates appear at the bottom of this page.
Andrew Hirst (Sheffield) and Brian Lewis (Swindon) collaborate on The Frome Primer, a cycle of twenty-four poems by Hirst and twenty-four photographs by Lewis. A mutual interest in printmaking and design (and in developing new methods of publishing) leads to the founding of Longbarrow Press; they invite poets Matthew Clegg and Chris Jones to publish with them.
Longbarrow Press makes its debut at The Red Deer, Sheffield. The launch is marked by the publication of two collaborative works in handmade, limited editions: The Frome Sampler by Andrew Hirst and Brian Lewis (four poems and four photographs in a hinged box), and Matthew Clegg’s Nobody Sonnets (eight poems by Clegg, four illustrations by Hirst, sleeved in a double wallet of tapestry cloth). Readings by Matthew Clegg, Andrew Hirst and Chris Jones. Introduced by Brian Lewis. Click here to access the press release.
Sheffield literary magazine The Inky publishes an interview with Andrew Hirst and Brian Lewis in which the ethics and practices of the press are discussed. Co-founder Hirst steps down, leaving Lewis as sole editor / publisher. Book One of Hirst’s The Cinderella Suite is launched at The Red Deer, Sheffield, on 14 October (with Matthew Clegg’s broadside Two Nobody Sonnets). Readings by Clegg and Hirst.
Longbarrow poets James Caruth, Matthew Clegg, Andrew Hirst and Chris Jones join Matt Black at The Lantern Theatre, Sheffield for Timbre Music. Chris Jones opens with Miniatures (unaccompanied); James Caruth and the Sheffield Academy of Music perform his Dark Peak; Matthew Clegg is joined by Simon Heywood for a voice-and-guitar arrangement of Clegg’s Trig Points (a version of which can be heard here). After the interval, Brian Lewis offers a lo-fi treatment of Andrew Hirst’s The Snail Drunk, utilising four dictaphones, two cassette players, a toy microphone and a length of string; Matt Black and guitarist Adam White conclude the evening with the epic Surf: The Adventures of Jonny Donut.
Joint launch of Matthew Clegg’s Officer and Andrew Hirst’s Frome I-XII pamphlets at the Quaker Meeting House, Sheffield. The evening is framed by a display of photographs from the Frome cycle and (for the performance of Officer) a flip-chart summarising Behavioural Competencies. The evening concludes with a discussion between Clegg, Hirst, Lewis and the audience.
Launch of Chris Jones’ Miniatures pamphlet at The Red Deer, Sheffield. Opens with a cassette-and-dictaphone arrangement of Jones’ recordings of the poems: four machines (positioned in the room’s corners) create a ‘tape fugue’ from the shifts in sync, pitch and tone. Jones follows this with a selection of poems omitted from his recent collection (The Safe House) and a full reading of Miniatures.
Publication of Andrew Hirst’s Frome XXIV (the second of his Frome pamphlets). No launch; instead, Hirst reads eight of the pamphlet’s twelve poems on Robin Vaughan-Williams’ Spoken Word Antics radio show.
March – April
Previews of Matthew Clegg’s Edgelands for Robin Vaughan-Williams’ monthly Antics spoken word event at The Red Deer and his Spoken Word Antics radio show; these performances consist of Clegg reading thirty poems from Edgelands in groups of five, punctuated by tapes of street noise manipulated by Brian Lewis. Chris Jones reads his Cells haiku at The Red Deer (with Brian Lewis hanging accompanying watercolours by Paul Evans) and reads from At the end of the road, a river on Spoken Word Antics, his journey through the post-industrial margins of the Don river making some interesting connections with Clegg’s survey of the half-known landscapes of North Sheffield; between ruin and pastoral, loss and wonder.
1 June: Publication and launch of James Caruth’s Dark Peak at The Green Room, Sheffield. Dark Peak is a long poem in ten sections, corresponding to the structure of a Catholic Mass. The title refers to an area of the Peak District; a recording of the poem was made close to this area in August 2008.
21 June: Publication of Matthew Clegg’s Edgelands marked by a four-hour walk through North Sheffield in which Clegg reads at intervals to the audience (Mark Goodwin retraces the route in his poem ‘Rurban Membrane‘). Edgelands is published as a pamphlet, a matchbox (in which the 56 poems are concertinaed in 56 folds) and as 56 individual ‘specimen pouches’ (5cm plastic enclosures, each with a poem inside).
The river, the road and Line Break. Matthew Clegg and Chris Jones’ two-hour poetry walk along the banks of the River Don is well-attended and highly acclaimed. The audience is presented with a specially designed ‘poetry map’ (comprising poems and essays by Clegg and Jones and photographs by Brian Lewis) and a CD of the poets reading their work at the river. In the evening, Clegg, Jones and poets James Caruth and Andrew Hirst join artists Paul Evans and Brian Lewis at Site Studio, Sheffield, for an ambitious programme of poetry, painting and performance. Line Break forges vital connections between the spoken word and the visual arts and introduces the collaborative practices that will shape subsequent multidisciplinary projects (including The Seven Wonders). Readings: Cells and Carbon (Chris Jones), The Fates, Chalk and Edgelands (Matthew Clegg), Songs to Make & Mend (Andrew Hirst), Dark Peak (James Caruth). Introduced by Rob Hindle. Click here to view a short film comprising performances from Line Break.
Winter Songs. Matthew Clegg and Andrew Hirst present new poems in the intimate setting of The Red Deer. Hirst reads from his Songs to Make & Mend epigrams (a boxed edition of which is launched the same evening); Clegg introduces his new Longbarrow pamphlets Rag & Bone Shop, Lessons and Pups. The evening also sees the launch of two Longbarrow CDs (recorded on location in and around Sheffield): The Field, a sampler comprising poems by Caruth, Clegg, Goodwin, Hindle, Hirst and Jones, and Nobody Sonnets / Pups, two sequences by Matthew Clegg.
Mark Goodwin’s Ish Coast Etched CD (comprising recordings made by Goodwin on the West Cornish coast) launched in Plymouth. The thin-walled reading space is adjacent to a cinema screening Young Victoria, the audio from which is incorporated into Goodwin’s performance.
Simultaneous publication of three titles by Kelvin Corcoran: Learning to Play the Harp (broadside), Madeleine’s Letter to Bunting (concertinaed poem in bespoke envelope) and On the Xenophone Label (pamphlet).
19 June. Rob Hindle’s The Purging of Spence Broughton, a Highwayman is premiered at Hill Top Chapel, Attercliffe, Sheffield; the sequence is performed by Hindle and Ray Hearne, with supporting readings from Matthew Clegg, Linda Lee Welch, Hindle and Hearne. The chapel (built in 1629) is a supporting player in the performance; filigrees of evening light from the upper windows (and the solitary candle lit by Hindle) contribute to the simple but powerful evocation of Broughton’s fate. The Purging of Spence Broughton is presented as a boxed edition comprising handmade pamphlet, supplementary gatefold envelope housing XII Fragments, a Roll of Characters, and a map.
Andrew Hirst and Brian Lewis travel to Cleethorpes Library to exhibit, introduce and read from The Frome Primer as part of North Lincolnshire LitFest. A short film of the exhibition and reading (featuring a brief interview with Brian Lewis) can be viewed here.
Sideways & Familiar. A walk through Sheffield’s city centre (via lesser-known routes) led by Andrew Hirst and Chris Jones, beginning at the train station (with readings in the goods yard) and (by way of Brown Street, Norfolk Street, the Winter Gardens, Upper Chapel, the Cathedral and numerous side streets and passageways) ending in Paradise Square (where the poets are accompanied by the musician Kerry McMullen on violin).
Longbarrow Press showcase at the third Derwent Poetry Festival, Matlock Bath. Matthew Clegg reads from Edgelands; Chris Jones gives the first public reading of Death and the Gallant; Rob Hindle performs The Purging of Spence Broughton, a Highwayman.
Publication and launch of Mark Goodwin’s Distance a Sudden pamphlet and CD at The Fat Cat, Sheffield. Goodwin alternates between live readings from the pamphlet, recomposed versions of the poems, and playback of recordings with ‘live’ vocal accompaniment. Brian Lewis contributes an arrangement of Goodwin’s ‘Dark Bird with Corner’ for two tape players, CD and dictaphone (a recording of which appears here).
The Seven Wonders, artist Paul Evans’ collaboration with Caruth, Clegg, Goodwin, Hindle and Jones, opens at Cupola Contemporary Art, Sheffield. The poems in the series are recorded (on location in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire) by Goodwin and Lewis and issued on a illustrated CD to mark the reading and discussion that closes the exhibition. Several limited edition cards (each comprising a poem and a drawing) are also produced for the event.
Publication of Alistair Noon’s Animals and Places and his translation of Pushkin’s The Bronze Horseman. The pamphlets are launched in Berlin on 19 June, where Lewis makes several recordings of Noon reading his poems in or near locations referenced in the work (including waste ground near the old east-west border and at the base of the partly demolished Humboldthain flak tower). You can listen to Noon’s ‘Filling the Triangle’ (recorded on waste ground near the S-Bahn line) here.
Clegg and Lewis travel to Flamborough, East Yorkshire, to make preparatory recordings for a new audio project based on Clegg’s poems about the headland. The visit (which leads them from cliffs to sea caves) is documented here.
The 70th anniversary of the Sheffield Blitz: Rob Hindle leads a small audience on a four-hour walk from Dore Moor to the Marples Hotel (the route taken by the Luftwaffe in Hindle’s eponymous sequence of poems). The focus shifts from the city’s quiet, sparsely populated outskirts to its crowded centre, and from afternoon light to the urban night. Hindle prefaces his readings from the Dore Moor poems with contemporary accounts of the Blitz and his own imaginative explorations of the territory.
Rob Hindle’s long poem ’Princess Street to the Wicker’ is brought to life in a walk through the former ‘ganglands’ of Sheffield. Hindle recounts the rumours and facts that make up the official (and unofficial) histories of the 1920s ‘razor gangs’, reading under bridges, in car parks and on street corners.
The Longbarrow Press website goes online, coinciding with the inaugural Sheffield Poetry Festival (1-3 April). Three Longbarrow events feature in the festival: Death and the Gallant, a collaboration between Paul Evans (paintings) and Chris Jones (poems); Yannis Told Us, the debut performance of Tria Kalistos (Kelvin Corcoran, Maria Pavlidou, Howard Wright) who fill the Bank Street Arts gallery with their unique and memorable synthesis of traditional Greek music and lyric poetry; and Making it Up, a reading and talk by Kelvin Corcoran (cueing into a collaborative reading with Peter Riley).
Publication of Lee Harwood’s The Books. Pamphlet comprises one long poem (‘The Books’); CD features Harwood reading ‘The Books’, ‘Departures’ and ‘Ben’s Photo’ at home in Brighton. Issued in a bespoke envelope.
Launch of Matthew Clegg’s Lost Between Stations pamphlet and CD at The Red Deer, Sheffield. Clegg reads four long poems from the sequence, accompanied by short films by Brian Lewis and additional readings from Matt Black and Fay Musselwhite. The evening concludes with a conversation between Clegg and Musselwhite (a version of which can be found here).
Publication of two pamphlets by Alistair Noon: Across the Water and Swamp Area (the latter comprising long poems and sequences about Berlin).
Publication of Peter Riley’s XIV PIECES pamphlet and CD. The CD comprises recordings of the poems made by Riley at home in Cambridge, with ‘noises off’ and musical passages enhancing the intimate, domestic atmosphere.
Matthew Clegg and Alistair Noon read at The Red Deer, Sheffield. Clegg reads from his new sequences The Navigators and Chinese Lanterns; Noon offers selections from Across the Water and Swamp Area, and from Earth Records (Nine Arches). The idea of ‘the journey’ links the readings; journeys along waterways, across borders, and through history.
Ben Goulder interviews Brian Lewis for Sheffield webzine Incognito. The interview (accompanied by photos from the Red Deer event in May) appears here.
Phase 2 of The Seven Wonders (an ongoing collaboration between artist Paul Evans and Longbarrow poets) begins with a reimagining of Kinder Downfall, in which Fay Musselwhite’s poem ‘Phlegmatic’ is paired with a new painting by Evans. It is followed in July with Evans / Goodwin’s ‘Hen Cloud’ / ‘Hen Prayer’. Among the other poets confirmed for this new stage of the project are Angelina Ayers and Alistair Noon.
Matthew Clegg leads the Moving with Thought walk and workshop (commissioned by Occursus/plastiCities) from Shalesmoor to Parkwood in north Sheffield, followed by a reading by Clegg and Fay Musselwhite at 7 Garden Street. Moving with Thought was set up to explore the relationship between walking and poetry – between the body, the mind and the landscape. The workshop participants responded to the invitation with some excellent poems; click here to read them and to access further links to audio recordings of the poems and a short film of the walk.
Call & Response (co-curated by Paul Evans and Brian Lewis) presents 22 haiku by 10 poets (Angelina Ayers, Matthew Clegg, Abigail Flint, Mark Goodwin, Rob Hindle, Chris Jones, Fay Musselwhite, Mary Marken, Andrew Myers and Ruth Palmer) on Twitter and SoundCloud during the 11 days of the University of Sheffield’s Festival of the Mind. Each of the poems is inspired by the mystery of bird calls and songs. You can listen to recordings of all 22 haiku (in broadcast sequence) here and read the poems (in their original pairings) here.
A Navigation with Matthew Clegg brings an audience of 20 to the Sheffield Canal Basin for a two-hour walk along the towpath towards Tinsley, with Clegg reading poems from his sequence The Navigators (which explores the canals of South Yorkshire) and discussing the culture and history of the waterways and the people who built and lived on them. Part of the Festival of the Mind‘s Arrivals Zone programme. Listen to Clegg reading and introducing the poem ‘Attercliffe’ (recorded in Attercliffe towards the end of the walk) here. An illustrated account of the walk (with 12 photographs by Shaun Bloodworth) appears here.
Longbarrow Press: Scale, a series of newly commissioned films and performances, takes place at Sheffield’s Bloc Projects. The focus of the gallery installation was a 40-minute film loop comprising ‘Cells’ (Paul Evans, Chris Jones), ‘Skin’ (Karl Hurst, Chris Jones), ‘The Seven Wonders’ (Angelina Ayers, James Caruth, Paul Evans, Fay Musselwhite), ‘Cortege’ (Hondartza Fraga, Rob Hindle) and ‘Cave Time and Sea Changes’ (Matthew Clegg, Karl Hurst). A performance of ‘Scale’ on 26 October offered a mix of live readings, film and a new performance devised by Becky Bowley and Mark Goodwin; an artist’s talk by Paul Evans (on 25 October) illuminated the ideas of ‘scale’ at work in the programme. Click here for more information on the Scale project.
Rob Hindle’s The Purging of Spence Broughton, a Highwayman returns to Hill Top Chapel, Attercliffe, Sheffield (three years after its debut performance), with a new introduction (incorporating the ‘last letter’ attributed to Broughton) and a new cast of supporting readers (Matt Black, James Caruth, Ray Hearne, Chris Jones and Fay Musselwhite). The performance was followed by a lively and wide-ranging Q&A with the audience (including two of Broughton’s descendants). Click here to read more about Rob Hindle’s (re)telling of the Spence Broughton story.
closer to ground to hear, a collaborative work by Mark Goodwin (audio poems and texts), Nikki Clayton (photographs) and Brian Lewis (sound design), is installed at Bank Street Arts, Sheffield. A merging of Tarkovsky’s Zone (as depicted in his film ‘Stalker’) with a portion of the rurban rim of north-east Sheffield, this collaborative work is reconfigured during the residency, with Goodwin reconstituting a number of the poems and Lewis adding new mixes to the multi-channel soundscape each week. Goodwin presents a selection of poems relating to the installation at Bank Street Arts on 17 November; the reading is preceded by an extended (and unexpected) vocal improvisation in the installation space (based on his ‘Stalker’ poem). Click here to listen to a recording of the improvisation.
Longbarrow Press marks the new year with Winter Songs, a specially curated evening of readings (at The Fat Cat, Sheffield) by Angelina Ayers, Matthew Clegg, Andrew Hirst, Chris Jones and Fay Musselwhite. The readings (which include works by other poets alongside original material by the readers) are presented in three themed parts (or ‘movements’): home (and ‘the local’); landscape; journey and exile. During each movement, the readers alternate from poem to poem, producing some interesting (and often unexpected) associations and dynamic shifts; a new take on ‘curated performance’ that has developed through close collaboration with Longbarrow poets in recent years. Read Camille Brouard’s review of the event (for Forge Today) here. Brian Lewis’s reflections on the evening (for Now Then) appear here. Listen to the third (and final) movement of Winter Songs below:
Mark Goodwin and Chris Jones read at Newstead Abbey (as part of the inaugural Nottingham Festival of Words). The two poets collaborate with Brian Lewis to rework poems from their recent collections into an exploratory tour of the English outskirts, presented as an integrated, continuous performance (accompanied by a projected film of Nikki Clayton’s photographs and recordings of poems from Matthew Clegg’s Edgelands sequence). Lindsay Waller-Wilkinson reviews the performance (for LeftLion) here. Robin Vaughan-Williams’ account of the event appears here. Listen to the opening section below:
Sheffield’s Bloc Projects presents The Song of Meeting and Parting, a special event focused around a new billboard artwork by Paul Evans (the artwork and the event illuminating themes of migration – and decline – of bird populations). The event begins with a ceremony by Becky Bowley (also taking in a new artwork by Dominic Mason) and then moves into the streets around the gallery as Matthew Clegg and Chris Jones lead the audience on a poetry walk. Chris and Matt read their poems ‘Lost’ and ‘Night City’ in the subway of St Mary’s Gate (preceded by a detail from Evans’ artwork) in this short film:
Elaine Aldred’s extended interview with Brian Lewis (on the origins, aesthetic and ethos of Longbarrow Press) is published on her Strange Alliances blog. You can read the interview here.