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Book of the Week: Chronotopia

Posted on August 14, 2017 by Rebecca Robinson

‘Fox has a gift for anecdote, a lively ear that catches the nuances and shifting fashions of everyday speech, and a strong sense of rhythm and musicality.’ Ian Parks, Critical Survey

Kate Fox's Chronotopia is a collection of poems written from a variety of residencies and thoughts. From Glastonbury and the Great North Run to a Muslim girl's school in Bradford, Chronotopia documents her diverse experiences and performances.

Kate Fox is a writer and performer from Bradford who keeps her Northern roots at the heart of everything she does. She is a regular speaker and panellist for radio shows and has toured the country with her stand-up comedy. She is currently two years into a PhD at the University of Leeds, looking at class, gender, 'Northernness' and solo stand-up performance. Fox will be taking part in the "Contains Strong Language" poetry festival programmed by the BBC in Hull. 

You can buy Chronotopia here

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Book of the Week: The Tattooist's Chair

Posted on August 07, 2017 by Rebecca Robinson

"Karl Riordan’s debut is a marvellous book, honest and authentic, rooted in experience. Carefully crafted and skilfully developed, these vivid, vibrant and textured poems narrate autobiographical vignettes, family memories and aspects of life in the Northern working class communities in which the poet was raised. Reminiscent of the early work of Harrison and Heaney, these deeply felt, compassionate and committed poems compel and reward re-reading." Steve Ely

Karl Riordan spent much of his late teens in a tattooist’s studio, fascinated by the declarations of love, badges of pride and intricate designs that reminded him of the Stilton legs of his grandfather, a miner tattooed by a working life spent underground. In his powerful debut collection, Riordan recalls and celebrates growing up in the South Yorkshire coalfield – holidays and haircuts, football pools and pool halls, Mackeson and Temazepam, Saturday night and Monday morning.

Karl Riordan is a Disability Support Worker. His writing has been published in many magazines and in How Do You Sleep? New Stories by Sheffield Writers. He lives in Sheffield. The Tattooist’s Chair is his first full-length book. You can buy it here

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What We're Reading: Larkinland by Jonathan Tulloch

Posted on July 31, 2017 by Rebecca Robinson

Inpress intern Alex Collinson has been reading Larkinland by Jonathan Tulloch. Alex has just finished her second year at Newcastle University studying English Literature. 

Larkinland is a study in the quotidian. It is an exploration of Philip Larkin’s poetic landscape – a setting that is vivid with mundanity. When Spring arrives ‘at Bloody last’ the writer reports, it may bear ‘bridal blossom’, but it also carries a ‘bouquet of stinking fish’. It is this dose of misery that lends Tulloch’s portrait of 1950s Hull so perfectly to Larkin’s world.

Having already authored seven novels, spanning themes of friendship in Newcastle to a crises of faith in Teesside, Tulloch is no stranger to confronting – and making sense of – relationships and emotions, in a frank, colloquial, and distinctively ‘Northern’ manner. Larkinland centres on the character of Arthur Merryweather, based on Larkin himself.  Sweary and sullen, Arthur is endearing from the start: we follow him as he lodges with the ‘landlady from Hell’ and stumbles across the mystery of Mr Bleaney, falling in love along the way.

Buy it here.

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Book of the Week: The Valley Press Anthology of Yorkshire Poetry

Posted on July 31, 2017 by Rebecca Robinson

This anthology, featuring the likes of Carol Ann Duffy and Ian McMillan, pays homage to Yorkshire, the region often hailed as the home of English poetry. 

The poems and poets included prove to be as diverse as the county itself, acknowledging more than just the picturesque yet dangerous landscape, writing too about the urban. The poems comment on how the wild expanses of open land have been tamed and changed by man in the past few centuries, to the varied county they now know and love.  

For many of the poets in this anthology, Yorkshire is home; where they were born, raised, or still live. As a result, the poems are a very personal response to a part of Britain that they feel particularly close to, revealing an often raw emotion in their poetry. Far from the praises of the wild, unruly landscape of the poets of the past, this anthology considers the people in this modern and changing landscape and their relationships with one another and with nature. 

The train’s too fast for catching names,
though –stone must play a part, and –field.
The bridges have a solid, four-square set
about their jaws, and mortar sitting proud-
gritty assurance that they’re built to last.
-‘Heading North’ by D A Prince


You can buy it here

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The Golden Rule by Earnest Noyes Brookings

Posted on January 27, 2017 by Rebecca Robinson

The Golden Rule

Some elderly people in nursing homes take to watching television endlessly, doing crosswords or gazing out of the window, but Esrnest Noyes Brookings was set a task by David Greenberger to write poems. Greenberger would supply a topic for the poetry and the next day, whilst working at the nursing home, he would receive the finished poem. Brookings’ poems all follow an ABAB rhyme scheme but the utter lack of concern with literary devices and self-consciousness which often strangles writers is a fresh relief when reading this large, enduring collection.

While all flake cheese

Pressed out of milk

Requires no sneeze

No relation to silk

On plates evident

Relieving partial hunger

Costs more than a cent

But a delicious wonder.

- ‘Cheese’

Available to buy on the Inpress website here, now on sale!

On Friday 27th January there will be a chance to get your hands on all of the books featured on the blog this week, check back then to see how you can win!

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