New posts by Brian Lewis, Angelina D’Roza and Karl Hurst appear on the Longbarrow Blog in the first few weeks of the year. Brian Lewis’s reflections on the bronze statues haunting Andrew Hirst’s sequence ‘Three Night Walks’ appear here; Angelina D’Roza’s ‘Hotel California’, an essay on displacement, DH Lawrence, Kraftwerk and The Eagles, can be found here; and the first of photographer Karl Hurst’s meditations on the ‘liminal spaces’ and temporary shelters of the Peak District appears here.
Matthew Clegg previews his second full-length collection, The Navigators, with an essay on the ‘vernacular sensibility’ of the South Yorkshire waterways; click here to read ‘Radged and Nithered’. Water also features in this month’s second post on the Longbarrow Blog, Mark Goodwin‘s cartographically-themed ‘Circumspect & Circumflex’; click here to read the post.
Matthew Clegg and songwriter Ray Hearne rehearse ‘A Navigation’, their collaborative walk and performance tracking several miles of the South Yorkshire Navigation between Mexborough and Conisbrough; a film of the walk-through can be viewed below. Clegg discusses the development of the performance (commissioned by the South Yorkshire Poetry Festival) in ‘Song, Poetry and Place’, an essay for the Festival Blog.
Angelina D’Roza reflects on disobedience, dancing and the poems of Rosemary Tonks in ‘I Am the Resurrection’; click here to read the essay. The second of April’s Longbarrow 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.
Matthew Clegg‘s second full-length collection The Navigators is published by Longbarrow Press, coinciding with Clegg’s collaborative walking performance with songwriter Ray Hearne along the South Yorkshire Navigation as it passes through Mexborough (part of the South Yorkshire Poetry Festival). Click here to visit The Navigators website. Ray Hearne also appears with Rob Hindle for a rare performance of Hindle’s acclaimed sequence The Purging of Spence Broughton at Boston Castle, Rotherham (also commissioned for the South Yorkshire Poetry Festival). An excerpt from the performance can be viewed below.
Skin, the second full-length collection by Chris Jones,
appears from Longbarrow Press, with the Sheffield launch (at The Shakespeare) showcasing the collaborations with visual artists that have framed the book’s development. Jones discusses the role of dialogue in these poems in ‘The Skin We Live In’, an essay for the Longbarrow Blog. Click here to visit the Skin website. A series of exhibitions at Sheffield’s Bank Street Arts also focuses on collaborations between artists and poets, including Fairytale no. 9, a new work by Angelina D’Roza and Beverley Green, and The Frome Primer, a reworking of the 2006 sequence by Andrew Hirst and Brian Lewis that led to the founding of Longbarrow Press. Lewis’s reflections on the ‘fragments and clusters’ of The Frome Primer are the basis of a new post for the Longbarrow Blog; click here to read ‘One-sided Walls’. We return to The Shakespeare for the launch of The Navigators, in which Matthew Clegg is joined by Ray Hearne (lending his voice to the mythical and historical poems), guitarist Simon Heywood (offering musical leitmotifs) and Fay Musselwhite (speaking for the world of landscape and creatures). Musselwhite’s midsummer walk from Rivelin Glen to the edge of the Peak District brings the industrial, cultural and ecological legacies of the River Rivelin into sharp focus; her poem ‘Little Matlock’, which reimagines the Sheffield Flood of 1864, also features 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:
Longbarrow Press makes its debut appearance at the Ledbury Poetry Festival with a specially devised two-act performance featuring poets Matthew Clegg and Chris Jones and violinist Emma Bolland. Personae and Place weaves voices from North Sheffield and the Far East, spare musical phrases and reworked
folk tunes. Our second Ledbury event is a presentation by editor Brian Lewis; an eye-catching history of Longbarrow Press in a series of ‘objects’ – matchboxes, maps, postcards – illustrating the values of craft and care. This month also sees Matthew Clegg and Ray Hearne offer a reworked version of their canal-themed collaboration at Mexborough’s inaugural Ted Hughes Poetry Festival, a joint reading by Clegg and Jones at Sheffield Hallam University, and the third and final part of ‘On Liminal Spaces’, Karl Hurst‘s reflections on the making of his photoset Booths. Click here to read this essay on the Longbarrow Blog.
John Ruskin’s legacy is the starting point for Fay Musselwhite‘s wide-ranging discussion of John Clare, Philip Levine, and other poets and artists in an essay for the Longbarrow Blog (which developed from her research for her Contra Flow walk earlier this summer). Click here to read ‘There is No Wealth but Life’.
Longbarrow Press begins a month’s residency at Sheffield’s
Pop-Up Ruskin Museum. The afternoon ‘salons’ find
Matthew Clegg, Angelina D’Roza, Pete Green, Chris Jones and Fay Musselwhite leading discussions of Ruskin-themed topics, while Karl Hurst and Mary Musselwhite present new photographic work as part of a curated wall display. The residency culminates in ‘The Exchange’, a collective reading by Clegg, D’Roza, Green, Jones and
Musselwhite. Listen to the third of three podcasts below:
Earlier in August, Matthew Clegg and Brian Lewis walked to Denaby Ings nature reserve to record several poems from Clegg’s recent collection The Navigators. The recordings were made in a rain-soaked viewing hide overlooking the lake; the poems, Clegg’s commentaries, and the unique acoustic of the hide can be heard in the podcast below. Lewis’s account of the experience, ‘The Hide’, appears on the Longbarrow Blog: click here to read the essay.
To mark the close of ‘Between Water and Stone: The Wonders of The Peak’, Paul Evans’ exhibition at Sheffield’s Cupola Gallery (in which new paintings and drawings appear alongside poems by James Caruth, Angelina D’Roza, Mark Goodwin, Chris Jones, Helen Mort, Fay Musselwhite and Peter Riley), Caruth, D’Roza and Goodwin introduce and read poems that respond to the Peak District landscapes of the Seven Wonders. The event is introduced by Evans and Brian Lewis. One of the poems featured in the exhibition, Peter Riley’s The Ascent of Kinder Scout, is shortlisted for the Michael Marks Awards; our recording of the poem appears below.
Later in the month, Rob Hindle and Ray Hearne revisit Hindle’s dramatic sequence The Purging of Spence Broughton, a Highwayman in a special performance at Walkley Community Centre (part of this year’s Off the Shelf festival). The sequence is reissued by Longbarrow Press in a new, expanded pamphlet edition.
The Poetry Library (at London’s Southbank Centre) hosts a collaborative reading by Matthew Clegg, Angelina D’Roza, Chris Jones and Fay Musselwhite, introduced and soundtracked by Brian Lewis. Tracks and Traces explores the idea of the ‘vanishing point’ in recent work by the four poets, a theme pursued over moorland, rivers and coasts. A few days later, Longbarrow Press returns to London for the two-day Small Publishers Fair at the Conway Hall, our last engagement of 2015 (following the Literary Kitchen independent press fair in Peckham the previous month).
The final Longbarrow Blog post of the year is Matthew Clegg‘s ‘Fugue, Shimmer, Pulse and Fuse’, a memoir of living and writing under the influence of Bach, Steve Reich and Nick Drake, and how their compositions nourished the development of Clegg’s haiku sequence ‘Trig Points’. Click here to read the essay. We also preview Angelina D’Roza‘s debut collection Envies the Birds with a recording of her poem ‘Wintering’:
Photographs: Emma Bolland, Nikki Clayton, Pete Green, Karl Hurst, Brian Lewis, Marianthi Makra, Mary Musselwhite