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.
Poems 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.
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.
‘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.