Out here, you see but seldom feel the sun,
just sense the wind and what the rig-home’s done: a metre’s a long way in climate change.
The sea whose coasts and islands bob and sink washes away their cartographic ink.
Longbarrow Press is delighted to announce the publication of Two Verse Essays, a new pamphlet by Alistair Noon.
Two Verse Essays comprises two long poems.
The first is “Essay on Spam”, which begins with a memoir of 1980s home computing and takes on issues including the tyranny of the impact factor, the civilizational significance of the washing machine, and overposting about repetitive strain injury. Its companion verse essay is “Glossary on a North Sea Landscape”, which proceeds from the very specific vocabulary of the German North Sea coast to reflect on – well, that’s for the reader to decide. It ends: “Where at high tide the sun will seem to snow, / you walk out, attacked by a seabird’s shadow.”
A beautifully produced 32-page pamphlet, Two Verse Essays is published by Longbarrow Press on 12 May 2022, preceded by a launch event at The Fat Cat, Sheffield, on Wednesday 11 May, in which Alistair Noon will be joined by Pete Green (launching their recent short book Hemisphere). Click here for further details of the Sheffield launch (7.30pm start, admission free, no booking required). You can read an extract from the pamphlet here, and pre-order it by clicking on the relevant PayPal link below (major debit cards accepted – no PayPal account required).
On Saturday 14 May, Skep Arts presents a rare performance of Wealden at the Church of St Augustine (Brookland, Romney Marsh, Kent, TN29 9QP). First performed and recorded just before lockdown, Wealden is a collaboration between Nancy Gaffield and the three members of The Drift (Darren Pilcher, Rob Pursey, Amelia Fletcher). Nancy’s poem is inspired by a walk across Romney Marsh, from the Weald to Dungeness, and concerns itself with the ecology, human history and longer-term environmental history of this unique landscape. The Drift’s music offers gentle but powerful accompaniment, combining harmonium, bass, vocals, and glockenspiel with a constantly evolving series of sound loops, which are generated from the grasses, stones and rushes that can be found on the Marsh. This performance of Wealden will be prefaced by an optional gathering at Fairfield Church (TN29 9RY) at 4pm, followed by a walk across the marsh to Brookland Church (approx 1 hour). The performance at Brookland Church will start at 7.30pm (doors 7pm). At Brookland Church there will be a pop-up bar with beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages. Click here for further details of the event. Click here for map/location details and to book tickets. Wealden was published as a pamphlet and audio CD by Longbarrow Press in November 2020. Click here for further details (and to order the pamphlet and CD).
Finally, Steve Ely will be appearing alongside Dublin-based poet and scholar Jane Robinson for an eco-themed event at Cork Arts Theatre at 7pm on Friday 20 May (part of the 2022 Cork International Poetry Festival). Ely will be drawing on his recent long poem The European Eel (Longbarrow Press, 2021) for this reading and discussion. Click here for further information and to book tickets.