White Feathers

img_0004_3Up at five, blackbirds
chirr, shrill, chatter; tuning in
through all that crackle.

We mark the returning light with three new posts on the Longbarrow Blog. In the first of these, poet and translator Alistair Noon offers a brief, selective history of short forms in English, and an illuminating introduction to the poetry of Philip Rowland, in whose work he encounters the spirit of haiku, its ‘lightness and immediacy – less superdense white dwarf, more returning comet…’ Click here to read ‘Small is Beautiful: On Philip Rowland’s ‘Something Other Than Other’’. The haiku is also the focus of ‘The Rooms of the House’, a ‘making-of’ essay in which Chris Jones deconstructs his notes and drafts, the half-forgotten sketches and fortuitous accidents rarely seen outside of ‘the private areas, where we cultivate our own tastes, work through our obsessions, where we experiment, make ‘mistakes’…’ You can read the essay here (with an accompanying recording by Mark Goodwin). Our third piece is a dispatch from Jackdawia, an ‘unbounded, borderless’ realm of gravel pits and latticed willows, frequented, at dusk, by jackdaws, crows and wrens, and, in turn, observed and recorded by Mark Goodwin, alive to the ‘utterly-foreign-deeply-familiar eternally migratory creaturely un-language’ passing between the trees. Click here to read ‘An Alphabets’-Lattice’.

blackbirds-nikki-claytonOn Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 February, Artists’ BookMarket brings its annual celebration of artists’ books and artist-led publishing to Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery. Alongside a programme of talks and workshops, Longbarrow Press will be sharing a stall with Gordian Projects; we’ll have a full range of titles and a number of special offers. Click here for further details. On Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 March, we’ll be at The Tetley, Leeds, for PAGES, the international contemporary artists’ book fair (celebrating its 20th anniversary), with more than 50 artists and publishers exhibiting over the weekend. Click here for details. Admission to both the Edinburgh and Leeds book fairs is free.

‘Separated from the tractors, I walked without shoes towards the border at night…’ Our current Featured Poem is ‘Movements of War’, taken from Matthew Clegg‘s recent collection The Navigators; click here to read the poem. Finally, we’ve created a short film documenting a recent poetry walk through Sheffield’s Rivelin Valley led by Fay Musselwhite and Karl Hurst. Watch the film below:


Nikki Clayton

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