Miles Ahead

Seventeen years ago, slogging cross-country to Hythe, trouble with the MOD, the camps and ranges, then overnight on the coast, it was still winter, rain, wind and a black bin liner, more trouble in Lydd, and the last 10 miles with a split boot. That’s another story, an old story.

I still had the map that I used then, OS Landranger 189, reprinted with minor changes 2004. I took it out of the rucksack, it was the map of today’s walk, Ashford to Fairfield, a walk I had not taken before. It was not the journey of Wealden. It was a journey towards WealdenAn 85-tweet thread that unravelled on Twitter earlier this year, drafted en route to a performance of Wealden by Nancy Gaffield and The Drift in southern Kent, is now regathered (and lightly revised) as a post for the Longbarrow Blog (with accompanying photographs of the marshes and churches of Fairfield and Brookland). Click here to read ‘Direction of Travel’ by Brian Lewis.

Steve Ely‘s long poem The European Eel is one of five poetry titles to be shortlisted for the 2022 Laurel Prize (the prizes will be announced on 9 September). This follows the longlisting of J.R. Carpenter‘s This is a Picture of Wind for the 2021 Laurel Prize. Click here to read an extract from The European Eel (a beautifully produced hardback with 17 pages of illustrations by award-winning artist P.R. Ruby). Click here for further details and to order the book.

‘Cazique is protean and harlequin, sucking energy from every source he can get his hands on. He’s inspired by the 19th century Scottish confidence trickster, Gregor MacGregor, who gave himself the title ‘Cazique of Poyais’ – a ruse that fuelled MacGregor’s greatest and most cruel con – selling land to settlers, land in a settlement in the Mosquito territories of South America. This territory was pitched as a land of milk and honey, but settlers arrived to find it abandoned and unprotected. Disease and fever were rife. I see parallels with Brexit.’  In a new interview (conducted by Paul Brookes), Matthew Clegg discusses a range of subjects including confidence tricksters, populism, marketing, the Saint Lucian poet Derek Walcott, film noir, urban environments, and the methods employed in crafting his third and most recent collection, Cazique (Longbarrow Press, 2018). Click here to read it.

In autumn 2021, the poets attending the Transreading with Longbarrow Press course led by Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese (for the Poetry School) responded to five digital pamphlets – Outports, Night Walks, Working Landscapes, Soft Borders and Invisible Lines – created by Longbarrow Press in 2020 (and made available here). The work that developed has, in turn, now been gathered in Multiple Exposures. This digital pamphlet includes contributions from Nathaniel Chew, Carol Dalton, Hilary Dyer, Sylee Gore, Lydia Harris, Edwin Kelly, Anna Kisby, Agata Maslowska, Dani Salvadori, and Margaret Watson. Click here to read and download the Multiple Exposures PDF. In addition to the work included in the PDF, Sylee Gore and Dani Salvadori have created short film-poems, which can be viewed on this page.

On Friday 28 and Saturday 29 October, the Small Publishers Fair returns to the Conway Hall, London, showcasing the work of over 60 publishers from across the UK and around the world, with an exhibition and a varied programme of readings and talks. Longbarrow Press will be sharing a stall with Gordian Projects and Intergraphia over the two days of the fair; we’ll have a full range of titles and a number of special offers.





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Two Verse Essays

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).

Two Verse Essays

UK orders (+ £1.75 postage)

Europe orders (+ £3.90 postage)

Rest of World orders (+ £4.85 postage)

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.



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