Prior to the publication of my pamphlet Smithereens, which drops (as I believe the poetry kids say nowadays) at the beginning of April from 4Word Press, I thought it was about time my 'Books' page was overhauled.
I'll be adding Smithereens shortly for pre-orders. In the meantime, this is what Antony Dunn has to say about the pamphlet:
“Smithereens explores the loss of a long male friendship, its elegies fretting restlessly backwards and forwards through time and the stages of grief. These are poems bursting with the talk that “we hadn’t needed to say / for forty-odd years” – intimate, urgent and affecting, private gifts to the dead which speak powerfully to the living. This is a moving, unusual and beautiful collection of poems.”
Until the pamphlet is available, I wanted to talk about some of the books that I have published as Ings Poetry. Although I am part of the team at Yaffle Press, I have been publishing as Ings for several years, mainly producing anthologies for groups with which I am involved.
The most recent of these is the anthology On the Other Side, published on behalf of the Ilkley-based group, Wharfedale Poets, of which I am a member.
Frustrated by our inability to meet because of COVID-19, we nevertheless did not want to compile yet another pandemic anthology. Instead, we began to wonder what we might find on the other side.
Taking inspiration from this urge to be 'on the other side', we look at the question of sides from many different angles. How do we relate to those on the other side of a political divide? How can we know the person on the other side of the window? How have we been changed when we reach the other side of a journey? What - if anything - awaits us on the other side of death?
One of my contributions is given below:
After Eilean Ni Chuilleanain’s ‘Swineherd’
When all this is over, said the centaur,
they’ll expect me to be one thing
or another. They’ll corral me
into their taxonomies,
as malformed human or –
to them – an enhanced horse.
They’ll make me choose between the headlong
gallop down the slopes of Taygetus
for the hell of the wind in my face
and the scent of crushed thyme
beneath my hooves – or lyre,
lust for nymphs and drinking dish,
and in either case, they’ll judge me
by standards that have nothing to do
with the foster-child of Apollo,
with the teacher of Achilles:
they’ll foist their human morality
on my mythic appetites
or track me with GPS on Google
Earth, up Olympus, as I search,
forlornly, for the gods.
Please take a look at On the Other Side and the other books available. I would be delighted if you were interested in a copy. Please use the links on the Books page to let me know, or get in contact with me.