Truth, Justice, and the Companionship of Owls

In sleep, in dream song, 
the daylight ghosts are laid 
and trouble us no more. 
In silence nightlong 
a life’s debts are paid 
at the open door.

Longbarrow Press is proud to announce the publication of Truth, Justice, and the Companionship of Owls, Peter Riley‘s new full-length collection.

The Upper Calder Valley, in the westernmost part of Yorkshire, is a landscape of high moors, small farms and wooded hillsides, rising steeply from the market towns situated along the valley. It is the setting for many of the poems in Truth, Justice, and the Companionship of Owls, in which the conditions of movement (of buses, trains, water and wind) are set against the conditions of stillness (the ‘abandoned chapels’ and ‘demolished mills’ that persist at the edges of settlements). While there is disquiet in these ‘dark distances’, haunted by legacies and prospects of ‘human harm’, there is also trust, belief, connection, the ‘night music’ of the moorland, the ideas of truth and justice, ‘the stone paths strung over the hills’.

A beautifully produced 96-page hardback, Truth, Justice, and the Companionship of Owls is available now from Longbarrow Press. You can read an extract from the book here, and order it by clicking on the relevant PayPal link below (major debit cards accepted – no PayPal account required).

Truth, Justice, and the Companionship of Owls  £12.99 (hardback)

UK orders (+ £1.70 postage)

Europe orders (+ £5 postage)

Rest of World orders (+ £7 postage)

All orders are carefully parcelled in robust packaging and will be despatched within 24 hours.

The inaugural Sheaf Poetry Festival takes place in Sheffield between 17-26 May, and features several Longbarrow poets, including Nancy Gaffield and Mark Goodwin, who have devised a collaborative reading based on their collections Meridian and Rock as Gloss (Saturday 18 May, 4pm start; click here for further details). A week later, Rob Hindle and Fay Musselwhite close the festival with a poetry walk that spans the ‘defensive landscapes’ of Rivelin Dams and Redmires Reservoirs (Saturday 25 May, 1.30pm start; further details here).

‘… what is it that a rock-climber works with? What is a rock-climber’s material? Am I being foolish, to assume that a rock-climber makes something, that a climber is a maker?’  In a new post for the Longbarrow Blog, Mark Goodwin considers the materiality of writing, and its relationship to other forms and practices (including the film-maker’s ‘material of memory’). Click here to read ‘Touching the Gleam’.


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‘I made half a million in six months / and spent it all in one.’ Our new Featured Poem is ‘Myself Am Hell’ by Matthew Clegg (from his new collection Cazique); click here to read it. Cazique, Nancy Gaffield‘s Meridian, and Mark Goodwin‘s Rock as Gloss are among the 11 Longbarrow hardbacks featured in our current Special Offers (others include Rob Hindle‘s The Grail Roads, and our walking-themed anthology The Footing). Choose any combination of 2 hardbacks for £22, or any 3 for £30. You’ll also receive a free copy of the colour-themed pamphlet The Rose of Temperaments (featuring poems by Angelina D’Roza, A.B. Jackson, Chris Jones, Geraldine Monk, Helen Mort and Alistair Noon). Click here for further details (offer ends 7 May 2019).

On Wednesday 1 May, Longbarrow poets Angelina D’Roza, Rob Hindle and Peter Riley are joined by artist and writer Emma Bolland for a special event as part of the University of Sheffield’s Centre for Poetry and Poetics series, at the Humanities Research Institute, Gell Street, Sheffield S3 7QY (6pm doors for 6.30pm start. Admission free; all welcome). A few days later, Nancy Gaffield and Pete Green perform at Words and Music at the Skep, a one-day event combining contemporary poetry and indie music, taking place in the grounds of Frensham Manor in Kent (Saturday 4 May, 2pm-10pm). Visit the event website for more information and to book tickets. Nancy Gaffield is also one of several Longbarrow poets to appear at the inaugural Sheaf Poetry Festival (17-26 May), presenting a unique collaborative reading with Mark Goodwin (Saturday 18 May, 4pm start; click here for further details). Rob Hindle and Fay Musselwhite will close the festival with a poetry walk that spans Rivelin Dams and Redmires Reservoirs (Saturday 25 May, 1.30pm start; further details here).

Following the publication of his new Longbarrow Press collection Rock as Gloss, Mark Goodwin revisits and renews his engagement with the book’s landscapes (and soundscapes) with a series of recordings made ‘in the field’ (on location in the English Lake District and the Scottish Highlands). You can listen to (and download) the recordings here, or listen via the embedded Bandcamp player:


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