Personae and Place

Skin NavigatorsLongbarrow Press makes its debut appearance at the Ledbury Poetry Festival this month with a specially devised two-act performance featuring poets Matthew Clegg and Chris Jones and violinist
Emma Bolland. Act One of Personae and Place focuses on Clegg’s sequence ‘Chinese Lanterns’ (in his collection West North East), weaving voices from North Sheffield and the Far East, the ceremonial aspects nuanced by spare musical phrases. The second act features Jones’ sequence ‘Jigs and Reels’ (in his new collection Skin), which contemplates themes of family, ceremony and music itself; these ‘sets’ of poems alternate with folk tunes played by Bolland. Personae and Place is performed at the Burgage Hall, Ledbury, Saturday 11 July (6pm-7pm); click here to book tickets. Our second event in Ledbury is on Sunday 12 July (10am-10.45am), when Longbarrow Press editor Brian Lewis offers an eye-catching history of 10 years of the press in a series of ‘objects’ – matchboxes, maps, postcards – illustrating the values of craft and care. Admission to the talk is free; see our Events page for further details.

Chris Jones’ collection Skin is currently available with Matthew Clegg’s The Navigators; click here to order the hardbacks together for just £24 (inc UK P&P). You’ll also receive the limited edition Skin and The Navigators audio CDs (recorded in churches and sea caves). Clegg’s ongoing canal-themed collaboration with songwriter Ray Hearne, which recently tracked the South Yorkshire Navigation for an afternoon of walking, poetry and song, continues with an appearance at the Ted Hughes Poetry Festival, Mexborough, on Sunday 5 July (two sets, at 7.45pm and 9pm, with performances by other poets). Click here for more information and to book tickets. A short film of Clegg and Hearne’s Mexborough Canal walk (with two poems from The Navigators) appears below:

Booths July 2015 (Karl Hurst)‘I’m back on solid ground and yet the feeling of being lost remains more acute than ever. No critical framework can dispel it from me; no amount of walking can shake it off.’  Photographer Karl Hurst concludes his reflections on the temporary shelters and permanent markers charted in his photoset Booths with ‘Winter Hare at Alport: A Theory of Disappearance’, the third post under the series title ‘On Liminal Spaces’. Click here to read this essay on the Longbarrow Blog. ‘The Frome Primer is caught between the new space on the edges of our settlements, and the old spaces at their heart; between erasure and exile, drift and displacement.’ Hurst’s ten-year-old collaboration (as Andrew Hirst) with Brian Lewis is revisited in another essay for the Longbarrow Blog, in which the poems and photographs that make up this ‘view of the south from the north’ reappear as fragments and clusters. Click here to read ‘One-sided walls’.

Fay Musselwhite‘s recent walk from Rivelin Glen to the edge of the Peak District brought the industrial, cultural and ecological legacies of the River Rivelin into sharp focus; a further exploration of this terrain will follow in a new post for the Longbarrow Blog later this month. Musselwhite’s ‘Little Matlock’, which reimagines the Sheffield Flood of 1864, was among the poems that featured in the walk. This recording of the poem was made at the river’s edge, in a part of the valley formerly occupied by factories and domestic buildings:


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