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Poem of the Week: 'Meeting My Fathers' by Katrina Naomi

Posted on June 09, 2017 by Rebecca Robinson | 0 comments

Meeting My Fathers

Derek, first to arrive, is in Barbour shirt, sensible trousers;

Sonnie wears denims, shirt open to mid-chest, 

his St Christopher hanging, heavy. 

I don't know why I'm here. Derek has left

his collection of international friends in the saloon bar.

Sonnie unwraps his Toby jugs, sets them in a circle, 

like an invocation-

then I remember, he's already dead.

My mother works behind the bar.

I pay for the drinks.

She looks at both men, can't decide between them,

can't imagine what she ever saw in either.

My sister wipes our table.

It's been so long, Derek doesn't recognise her, 

wanders back to his friends.

Sonnie starts to disintegrate, becomes a slick, 

something my mother will have to clear up. 

I can probably sell the medallion.


Part of the The Emma Press Anthology of Fatherhood, Katrina Naomi's poem explores meeting her 'fathers', covering issues of identity, independence and family. Naomi's poem shows Fatherhood from the perspective of a grown-up child, and tackles the issue of having two possible fathers lightheartedly. This brilliantly honest and stark depiction of the Father character sits perfectly within the wide array of different Fathers within this modern anthology. 

The Emma Press Anthology of Fatherhood is published by The Emma Press, and available to purchase on our website here

 Blog by Katie Cruci.

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Poem of the Week: ‘On The Move’ by Chris Woods

Posted on November 17, 2016 by Rebecca Robinson | 0 comments
On The Move

We are packed together
like the contents of a suitcase.
We cannot move.
We have to move
to another house.

We haven’t enough rooms.
We haven’t enough room
to swing a Katy,
who offers me a house
from her Early Learning Centre Liftout Puzzle Board,
as well as her Wendy House;
detached, in need of little upkeep,
in need of little people.

We are packed together
like the contents of a suitcase,
ready to go,
ready to be picked up,
in need of a holiday.

There will be room on the beach,
a living room,
a sheepskin rug of surf
in front of a Living Flame sunset,
quiet pictures,
flying seagulls hanging against the green wall
of a cliff

and Katy will build us a castle.

Chris Woods has written a poem that, like the collection in which it is featured, makes interesting use of the relationship between stasis and movement. His imagery is sharp, striking and accessible, and the line breaks here propel us to think about how images are related, so that we may read forward, and read back. His collection, Dangerous Driving, is a meditation on movement and everyday life in which images often surface as “strange light” (‘The Alzheimer Sea’). Reading the collection is a sensory experience – Woods’s poetry makes you feel like you’re moving with it.

By Louise Essex

Dangerous Driving is available to buy on our website here.

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Poem of the Week: ‘Hull Hath No Fury Like a Poet Scorned’ by Dean Wilson

Posted on November 10, 2016 by Rebecca Robinson | 0 comments


Hull Hath No Fury Like a Poet Scorned

I refuse to enter
the East Yorkshire Arts Centre
after someone who works there
said my poems were shit.

Not for all the tea in China
would I degrade myself and enter
the East Yorkshire Arts Centre
after someone who works there
said I was semi-illiterate.

No. I will never ever enter
the East Yorkshire Arts Centre
after someone who works there
said I was many things but not a poet.

I know she’s not been well
since her husband ran off with a slag
but taking it out on me
and my wonderful poetry
isn’t going to make me give him back

‘Hull Hath No Fury Like a Poet Scorned’ is taken from Wilson’s zingy new collection Sometimes I’m So Happy I’m Not Safe on the Streets, published by Wrecking Ball Press. In this poem, Wilson’s dazzling honesty, unapologetic directness and originality come through shining. His collection is about sex, love, loneliness, belonging, men pissing, girlfriends screaming, bingo, gossip, the seaside and much, much more. Through all of his bluntness, wit, laugh-out-loud humour and catchy rhyme, Dean Wilson has something unexpectedly tender to say.

By Louise Essex.

Sometimes I’m So Happy I’m Not Safe on the Streets is available to buy on our website here.

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Poem of the Week: 'Fairy Tales' by Jennifer Copley

Posted on August 01, 2016 by Liam Owens | 0 comments

Fairy Tales

In fairy tales, only the good fairy wears wings.
Others are too hump-backed
or, beautiful but wicked, appear
on frosted sleighs when no one's looking,
slide ice splinters into untrue hearts.

Even brothers and sisters get separated –
boys turned into swans,
girls put in tall towers
where they have to climb down their own hair
to escape, then wander the earth

with thorns in their eyes.
They stretch out their arms in front,
cock their heads to the music of the red shoes.
Children, smelling of gingerbread,
cry out to them from cages.

They're only fairy tales, say our mothers,
who serve us porridge that's far too hot;
and who are they that we should trust them
when they prick their fingers,
drip their blood onto snow, then die                                                                                     after telling us they'll be there for ever.


Fairy Tales is one of the unsettling poems featured in Jennifer Copley's disturbingly compelling collection, Beans in Snow. Reminiscent of Angela Carter's Bloody Chamber, Copley takes our desire for happy endings and twists it into something far more sinister. Reverting back to the classic - and more frightening - tales of Charles Perrault, Hans Christian Andersen, and the Brothers Grimm, Copley reminds us that childhood innocence is nothing but an illusion.

There is something quite mesmorising about Copley's poetry, and readers are certain to find pleasure in the abundant references to the childhood stories we all know and love - even if they are almost unrecognisable...

Beans in Snow is published by Smokestack Books and available to purchase on our website here.

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Poem of the Week - 'Havisham à la Mode' by Kate Noakes

Posted on May 03, 2016 by Yen-Yen Lu | 0 comments

Havisham à la Mode

No one has got it, so to satisfy my critics:
it is really all about the dress.
Few brides can wear theirs thirty years on
without stinking of cedar.

Theirs lie tissued like my untouched shoe,
but I can fasten pearl buttons
every day, if I choose.

No feeding family, no babies have pushed me
out of shape and it's surprising
how lasting wedding cake can be.

It's all about my silk-and-lace cocoon,
a second skin skimming my bones.
I love its yellowed ivory
resisting time and laundry for a look,
a shimmer in narrow light beams.

Here's a tip - stay out of the sun.
Shadow and a well-draped veil
show complexion best, will give you skin
pale and papery as moon moth.

I may have overdone this.
I don't look good naked.



Featured in A Mutual Friend, a collection of poems inspired by Charles Dickens, Kate Noakes has penned an alternate take on the character of Miss Havisham from Great Expectations. Finding the 'bright side' in Havisham's otherwise gloomy situation, Noakes has created a lightly sarcastic tone which puts a interesting spin on the story as we know it. 

Edited by Peter Robinson and published by Two Rivers Press, A Mutual Friend is available to buy on our website.

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