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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