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The following is a list of our publications by Vane Women Press and other imprints. You can buy most of these direct from us. Click the box next to the book cover to select the number of your order. At the bottom of the page you can press to see your order displayed. You can pay by either cheque or credit/debit card.

Postage and packing costs will be calculated automatically on your order form.
For most books this is £2 for the first book, plus £1 for each additional book. A few larger (and heavier) books have a higher postage charge as noted with their details.
 

NORTHbound

NORTHbound anthology

This anthology celebrates the 25th anniversary of Vane Women, founded in 1991 to support the development and recognition of women writers. NORTHbound contains Pat Maycroft’s wonderfully evocative images with responses by Vane Women and guest writers who live in the North East and have been associated with us as our published authors or tutors of masterclasses. It represents the hard graft of image-making, writing and publishing and honours the camaraderie of writers who live in this region. What binds us all is a strong sense of place, of the North, of a landscape both beautiful and harsh. In times of change and erosion, in the spirit of collective voices, we celebrate what endures and refires.

NORTHbound anthology
£10.00 + £2.50 postage.
The postage for further copies of this or other books will be £1.00 per copy.

 
Majuba Road

Majuba Road by Julie Hogg

Julie Hogg has always lived in Redcar. East Cleveland is her homeland, Majuba Road her stunning first collection. The poems journey through the North East landscapes she inhabits. They chart urban and industrial decay, set against the constant ebb and pull of the sea – an edge ‘between lonely and alone’ to which the book keeps returning. The women who people this book know all about hard times. But they are strong survivors; their sense of humour sees them through. Her voice can be lyrical, startling, staccato and also exquisitely tender, urging us to ‘live like this’.

Majuba Road by Julie Hogg
£5.00

 
Cover: The eternally packed suitcase

The eternally packed suitcase by Lisa Matthews

“Is life a minimalist drama? No it isn’t. There is always plenty to say. However we can reply with a simple defiant solution. Move on. Pack that suitcase. Lisa Matthews looks at the world of fragile relationships, shifting sex, encounters in taxis. This is brilliant poetry. There are depths in shallows and moments so eternal we never forget them. Compassion. Sensuality. Breathtaking language.” — S.J. Litherland

“Lisa Matthews’s new collection The eternally packed suitcase is a portmanteau of astonishing elegance and wit, each section illustrating miniature worlds for the reader to enter and savour. The poet creates an atmosphere, a perfume which pervades the room each poem inhabits. Adventurous in form, they are anchored in the domestic, transformed and eroticised, and at times shifted to the surreal.

Women find their way into many of these poems, giving us tantalising glimpses of their imagined lives, like ghosts made flesh. The characters have a convincing three dimensionality, vivid lives shine within the confines of each poem.

The perfume and thrill of this collection linger long after you have made yourself put the book down” — Jo Colley

The eternally packed suitcase by Lisa Matthews
£8.00 + £2.50 postage.
The postage for further copies of this or other books will be £1.00 per copy.

 
Blue Horse

Blue Horse by Joanna Boulter

Joanna Boulter has cleared every hurdle to take her poetry to a higher state before she leaves us, not departing from this world but into the shade of an illness which will close down portals: memory, cognisance and time itself.

Blue Horse is her farewell collection of poetry, brilliant, daring, fluent, modernist and to be read at one sitting it is so compelling. We may believe she has drunk the milk of Paradise and in a final poem ‘The Road to Xanadu’ we glimpse the journey. She warns that ‘art is dangerous’. Her poem ‘Water Notes’ vividly ends with a half formed merchild pleading for evolution, as the author attempts to stopper the bottle where wrecks lie. The conclusion may be that poetry is not to be denied, the blue horse takes on skycolour

and stands

      dreaming
of invisible
stars.

having soared he is lame to earth
favours a cracked fetlock     the cost of his courage

I want to go with him     I would pay that price

The poems soar above existence and pre-existence to innate forms and extinct species, snatches of history, including her own. The words often dance beyond punctuation to a new order. She is surely at one with the stars. Beauty, strength, vibrancy, in every poem, her intellect steadily shining. Vane Women are proud to present her valedictory masterpiece. S.J. Litherland

Blue Horse by Joanna Boulter
£8.00 + £2.50 postage.
The postage for further copies of this or other books will be £1.00 per copy.

 
In a Savage Country book cover

In a Savage Country by Ann Graal

In a Savage Country is a land of mind-mountains familiar to Ann Graal. With grit and courage, and not without wit and humour, she begins a complicated ascent with her dying husband (once a mountaineer) through the lower slopes of consultants and hospitals, to the higher ground of resignation and loneliness. She takes with her memories of childhood, wonderfully observed, and other diversionary themes: dogs, flowers, frogspawn. She is matter-of-fact and lyrical, her powerful poetry full of funny asides and monologues which shift into cadences of heartbreak and celebratory tribute.

In a Savage Country by Ann Graal
£5.00

 
No Random Loving

No Random Loving by Dorothy Long

From Willington lass to Mayor of Darlington, Dorothy Long can reflect on a Northern life of public service. Her poetry, like the luminescent pearls in the opening poem, she has kept in a drawer. No Random Loving is her beautiful debut collection. Family, back terraces and woods, the former Willington slagheap, the Lake District peaks, family holidays in France, all forge strong links. At the centre is her sense of home, carried within, rooted in a happy marriage. Constancy is celebrated while seasons, tides and moods change. In the dales of Durham, Anglo Saxon words hang on and her poetry glints with kennings, fresh and sharp as the East Wind.

No Random Loving by Dorothy Long
£5.00

 
Love in Vane book cover

Love in Vane anthology by Vane Women

'All hail this rattle-bag on love from Vane Women — which, forestalling preconception — starts with a conclusion and ends with Jacob Polley. Love in Vane knows the blues are cathartic, lets its categories bleed into each other and exchange bodily-fluids; contains work of all shapes and various positions — prose poems, ghazals, lists, Twiglets and Bryan Ferry; a bargain, it meets the devil at the crossroads and holds its own. Delve.' — MATTHEW CALEY

"Though the erotic, naturally, occurs, these states are widely interpreted, with an inventive grouping of subject matter what will stimulate and amuse...Loss lingers over sorrow, dips into regret, chills with thoughts of revenge in this varied assortment of verse." Pru Farrier, Darlington and Stockton Times

Love in Vane Vane Women anthology (hardback)
£9.50 + £2.50 postage.
The postage for further copies of this or other books will be £1.00 per copy.

 
One Hand Waving Free book cover

One Hand Waving Free by Sheila Binks

Sheila Binks has never lived more than 10 miles from the tiny Durham village of Mordon where she was born. Rooted in her practical Northern working class life, stacking shelves at Tesco and raising four sons, nevertheless she is a dreamer, one who is wild at heart. Her compass points West to the Great Plains and California, where there are ghosts of buffalo and Indians, and the San Andreas Fault is like a knife-edge to live on. All she has are maps on her knee but poets need only one hand waving free. This is a beautiful and intelligent collection drawn from her life on the ground and inspired by her head in the clouds. Sensitive, observant, her work never fails to impress with a spirit that sparkles. And if you have ever wondered what a Durham lasses' night out is like, read on.

“Whether roaming far in imagination or revisiting memories of a rural childhood, adolescent nights out in Durham or trips taken as an adult, Binks conjures up instant pictures in the mind's eye via crisp and rhythmic verse, inventive juxtapositions and bold metaphor. Overall this is a publication containing much to enjoy and reflect upon.” Pru Farrier, Darlington and Stockton Times

One Hand Waving Free by Sheila Binks
£5.00

 
The Stripping the Blackthorn book cover

Stripping the Blackthorn by Lindsay Balderson

When Lindsay Balderson looks at High Force in spate she sees twin towers falling. This is a remarkable collection as it reminds us that terror and beauty live in the same world. While we are growing up parents can be planning their divorce in the next room. While we are boarding a train, another passenger can be led away in handcuffs. Stripping the Blackthorn opens our eyes to the shadows in our lives, none darker than the vaults in the minds of torturers. Love is celebrated as the fruit of the thorn, as it should be.

“...potent pieces...compelling metaphor......sharp in observation, ranging from the celebratory beauty of 'Autumn', redolent of the sights, sounds, smells of the season, to the darker poem used as the title for the book. In this, there is the knowledge that thorns are as much a part of life as fruit, seemingly beyond range, worth striving to reach.” Pru Farrier, Darlington and Stockton Times

Stripping the Blackthorn by Lindsay Balderson
£5.00

 
Collecting Stones book cover

Collecting Stones Anthology

Collecting Stones is an anthology of poems and stories inspired by Harehope Quarry, Weardale, location of the famous Frosterley Marble.

“The land around Harehope Quarry is bleak and beautiful, but the lives of the miners and their families could be brutal and short. Collecting Stones enters the spirit of both, with poems and stories that describe the rugged countryside and individual characters, written by about 20 contributors.
Pen and ink illustrations by the Darlington artist and cartoonist John Longstaff, who has family links with the area, are scattered throughout the pages, offering a visual description of the nature of the place to match the verbal text and enhancing the book's appeal.”
Pru Farrier, Darlington and Stockton Times

Collecting Stones Anthology of poems and stories inspired by Harehope Quarry
£8.50 + £2.50 postage.
The postage for further copies of this or other books will be £1.00 per copy.

 
The Laden Table book cover

The Laden Table by Celia McCulloch

Celia McCulloch has a strong American voice: wise, salty, the kind you expect to hear from a rocking chair on porches, no nonsense yet full of poetic instances. In another century she would have been a pioneer, sewing beautiful quilts, bottling fruits. It is sheer pleasure to read her poems, full of earthy energy and humour and skilled crafting, a laden table that is a delight, giving good advice on fungi and love in middle age and how to admonish yourself kindly.

“Curling up with this well presented collection is akin to a much needed holiday in a nature reserve after a lifetime in a noisy high-riser. . distinctive and wise voice.” Deborah Murray, Bee website

The Laden Table by Celia McCulloch
£4

 
The Spar Box book cover

The Spar Box by Pippa Little

Pippa Little moves in territories where exile is ever present, where treasures are hoarded: the words of the mother tongue, a lost Jewish quarter, a father's library, the crystals of a mine; the poems memorialise the almost forgotten, even forsaken detritus on a beach. There's a sense of Middle European wandering between states, post-war dislocations: she's collected it all in her spar box of brilliant poetry.

“Little has a powerful voice which uses myth and metaphor with confidence and to great effect. . .These poems can be read over and over and still be startling, both profound and humble.”Raindog magazine.

“this is poetry that gets under your skin and remains there.” Deborah Murray, Bee website

POETRY BOOK SOCIETY PAMPHLET CHOICE

The Spar Box by Pippa Little
£4

 
Burning the Blue Winged Boys book cover

Burning the Blue Winged Boys by Chris Powell

Burning the Blue Winged Boys is Chris Powell's first collection of her award-winning stories. She captures the tensions and struggles of women asserting themselves, women operating in covert situations, whether the anorexic teenager and her pure relationship with her body and God, or the elderly exile and rampant folk singer keeping their cool under judgement of "un-cool". In the title story a dangerous game tests girls like warriors. These are feisty stories of frailty and power and the author's sharply nuanced poetic style skilfully portrays the feminine as well as the feminist.

'women. . . all vividly created with an understanding of what makes them who they are, people with pain and poetry in their souls.' Pru Farrier

Burning the Blue Winged Boys by Chris Powell
£4.00

 
The Right Amount of Vinegar book cover

The Right Amount of Vinegar by Margaret Rule

It takes the right amount of vinegar to make the perfect mint sauce, and that goes for a life and a book. Margaret Rule's collection of poems and short stories, fond recollections of a Dales childhood, are delivered with deadpan Yorkshire humour, dry as stone walls. From the moment she's "ont hills" in her beloved Wensleydale we have the right mixture which sees her through a wartime upbringing as a dutiful daughter. The writing is warm, witty, never solemn. Through her eyes we learn of innocent rebellions, astute adulthood and how to skim a perfect stone. Such lives are treasures.

'Many of the poems capture nostalgically what it was like to grow up on a farm in the Dales.' Pru Farrier

'I can recommend a nice stocking-filler with a Wensleydale flavour . . . a book to dip into from time to time . . . either charming, humorous or nostalgic . . . well worth reading.' Nicholas Rhea

The Right Amount of Vinegar by Margaret Rule
£4.00

 
Hunting the Air book cover

Hunting the Air by Lesley Mountain

Lesley Mountain looks at the world as it is. These are not comfortable poems. She works through close observation and often there is shock in the viewpoint. The flashes of beauty are in the natural world, gestures of kindness, the rough reality of the Appleby Fair where travellers conduct an age old tradition of horse-dealing. The modern world brings in the ugliness of landfill, the louts on the last bus home, stains of racism. These are poems of alienation but fierce commitment to life.
The poet continues to hunt in the air for ideals beneath the surface.

Hunting the Air by Lesley Mountain
£4.00

 
All Aboard the Moving Staircase book cover

All Aboard the Moving Staircase by Pru Kitching

Pru Kitching has a theatrical instinct whether her backdrop is high Weardale where she lives or her foreign journeyings. Her voice is dramatic, intense, but played against glimpses of the absurd. Irony and passion are her comfortable companions.
She takes us with her, scattering her husband's ashes, seeking solace in strange lands, we're in a bizarre café: in Edinburgh or shocked by the intrusion of the foot and mouth disaster.

The poet writer switches tragic and comic masks with wit and perception.

"Fascinating insight into the random collision of worlds and their symbols" Other Poetry

All Aboard the Moving Staircase by Pru Kitching
£4.00

 
Rewriting the Map book cover

Rewriting the Map by Vane Women / Shore Women

"Here are two groups of writers, Vane Women from the North, Shore Women from the South, visiting each other's landscapes, taking them in, reshaping them and giving them back . . . Rewriting the Map is a force field of energy. The enthusiasm, laughter and friendship that went into its making comes through the poems and shapes them too.
"I see not only an island in a new light but the land that is England being held up to it like a piece of glass, the axis of North and South running through it like a seam and the whole, with its many facets, being turned to the sun. So turn the pages. Enjoy."

Rewriting the Map by Vane Women / Shore Women
£6.95

 
As if book cover

As if by Jo Colley

Jo Colley's first collection is shockingly honest in its nervy, ironic, high wire poems poised between safety and danger. Hers is a world of post-modern surrealism and somehow she's frantic to escape her dream landscape while enjoying a shiver of its dark imagination.

Uncompromising poems of zest, experience and attitude.

"wit and angst . . . warmth and wry stylishness" Jenny Swann, Other Poetry

As if by Jo Colley
£4.00. SOLD OUT

 
Northern Grit book cover

Northern Grit by Pat Maycroft and Vane Women

Pat Maycroft’s photography has long been recognised as a stunning evocation of the Northern scene, particularly the lower fell landscape of South West Durham where industrial decay mixes with wild flowers and larksong. This selection ranges from Pat's home fell of Cockfield in County Durham, to memories of Middlesbrough where she was born. There is no doubt that Pat is a poet of the lens, she is also a poet on the page. She's joined by her fellow writers in the Vane Women collective who have contributed poems inspired by her work.

First Edition 2002 sold out. Second impression February 2004 now for sale.

"a little gem of a book" Photo Art International

Northern Grit by Pat Maycroft
£7.50 + £2.50 postage.
The postage for further copies of this or other books will be £1.00 per copy.

 
Dark Matters book cover

Dark Matters by Anne Hine

Anne Hine is a nun who has worked in prisons as a chaplain and with the homeless. Her love of God has genuine radiance without ever losing her clear-eyed view of life's troubles and misfortune. Her eloquent, unflinching poetry moves through her personal landscape with ease, celebrating beauty in sensuous word-play and jolting us with deeper meanings. This is no cloistered vision but a poetic dialogue with the world, bracing and embracing.

A collection which sings of a life’s journeying.

" . . .a poet of large vision, ambitious in her scope, celebrating the extraordinary within the ordinary."Kay Cotton

Dark Matters by Anne Hine
£4.00 SOLD OUT

 
Puritan Games book cover

Puritan Games by Marilyn Longstaff

Marilyn Longstaff's poetry comes like a stiff North breeze from her Salvation Army childhood. But what's this? The wind is turning to the South and playing games. Inside the dutiful daughter is another, more amorous one. Out of these contraries comes her arresting poetry: dynamic, original and full of teasing, passionate music. In the quaint puritanism of her upbringing she finds beauty; in the stoicism, pain. And she adds a pinch of sin (no more) for spice.

A first collection of a remarkable talent.

" . . .honest poems, exploring the light and dark in a fully felt life in a wide range of form."Kay Cotton

Puritan Games by Marilyn Longstaff
£4.00 SOLD OUT

 
She River book cover

She River by Linda Saunders

Linda Saunders’ poetry has the natural sensuality of a river with feminine curves. Mysterious landscapes — inner and outer — have a sharpness of observation which sees the shapeliness of the garden forever threatened with repossession by the wild. This isn't the nature of the reserve, more the primeval wildness always the undercurrent in our thoughts and unwilled desires. These beautiful poems are as subtly crafted as they are sensuous.

A fine collection of poems, shape-shifting and reflective.

". . . a thoughtful poet, teasing meaning from the metaphysicality of the concrete and the mundane."William Oxley

" . . . meticulous observation . . . poignant imagery"Mo Watson

She River by Linda Saunders
£3.00 SOLD OUT

 
Nettle Beds book cover

Nettle Beds by Irene Stacey

Irene Stacey's poems and stories hold nothing back. She's not one to flinch from life, whether passionate puritan or reluctant hedonist. Her arresting poems, with the wry toughness and astringent clear-sightedness of the American pioneer of her forebears, dance like a feather, sting like a nettle. Her remarkable stories look evil straight in the eye.

An exciting collection spine-stiffening and spine-chilling.

". . . a strong protest sensibility at work . . .feminist and man-faulting which is okay by me."William Oxley

Nettle Beds by Irene Stacey
£3.00

 
Under Surveillance book cover

Under SURVEILLANCE by Diane Cockburn

Are we being watched? Death comes in various guises in Diane Cockburn's comic writing. A child of the Troubles, her quirky black humour takes nothing for granted! You never know where you are . . . In her cautionary tales moths appear as unsung heroes and a black pudding as a villain!

A fine first collection written for adults and children.

". . .compelling openings lead the reader into tales drawn from dark imagination tinged with grim humour . . . a fey and frightening perception of just about everything . . . a highly individual literary voice."Darlington and Stockton Times

Under SURVEILLANCE by Diane Cockburn£3.00

 
Plain Song book cover

plainSONG by Sarah Knight

Sarah Knight’s poems sing her world into existence at the pace of a gentle walk. This is the voice of a shy girl on the edge of a crowd, the caring mother, the wife growing old and rather blind, all the selves that lie inside one woman. Whether set by the banks of the Wear or on a street in Africa, her language has inner beauty as well as outward grace.

This is a moving and musical first collection.

"These plain songs have poetic complexity . . . They have beauty without ostentation and a lucid transparency that makes us trust them."Mo Watson

plainSONG by Sarah Knight
£3.00 SOLD OUT

 
Walking Through Glass book cover

Walking Through Glass by Vicki Thomas

Vicki Thomas uses language much as a Viking on the field of battle. She gives no quarter. Sharp poems with deadly wordpower. She is mistress of a tradition that combines warrior and poet. Her language crackles with menace and rare lyric beauty.

This first collection covers personal dramas against a backcloth of larger forces, astrological and historical.

Walking Through Glass by Vicki Thomas
£3.00

 
Bitter Kisses book cover

Bitter Kisses by Wendy Iliff

Wendy Iliff is a dazzling, hip-swishing performer of her work. A stunning show-stopper. Now her many fans have the chance to read the poems which are as good on the page as Wendy is on the stage. Her themes re-write the sexual agenda. Men are pipped at the post and cuisine given glamour and zest.

This is a collection to savour.

Bitter Kisses by Wendy Iliff
£3.00 SOLD OUT

 
A Feather Behind The Ear book cover

A Feather Behind The Ear anthology

This is the second anthology of poetry and prose by VANE WOMEN, the Darlington-based group of women writers who have worked together since 1990. Between them they embrace a wide variety of experience and interests, as their work expresses.

Since the appearance of their first anthology Off the Shelf in 1993, they have given public readings in various venues in Darlington, Stockton-on-Tees and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

A Feather Behind The Ear anthology
£2.50

 
 
The following books by members of Vane Women are published by other imprints.


Cover of 'The Absolute Bonus of Rain'

The Absolute Bonus of Rain by S.J. Litherland

The Absolute Bonus of Rain, S.J. Litherland's sixth poetry collection never lets us forget Feste's remark that "the rain it raineth every day" and the words of a Cole Porter song, "Into every life a little rain must fall". Her rain is the native weather of England that uses its pen to write the beautiful flowers of spring and trees of summer. Rain and cricket may not usually go together, but here they combine to form a backdrop of encouragement for life to go on, despite lost ideals and bereavement.

"The Absolute Bonus of Rain is a mesmerising book of poems. The sense of reflection on "the state of the nation" makes this a serious book in the best way. Delight in how language works, and the incantatory charm of an almost MacNeicean refrain, animate poems which tap straight into our folk memory. A rare thing in poetry — a collection of perfect pitch." Siobhan Campbell

"Litherland displays true virtuosity of subject, tone and form. There are social issues and politics in partnership with the poetry here. Throughout the book's changes of subject and place, rain persists in all its sonic, visual and allusive properties. . .Love, sexuality, tenderness and, yes, cricket, are brought to the pages in rain-fresh glory." — Emily Hasler, Other Poetry

"As usual, she writes beautifully about rain and cricket and about her wartime Coventry childhood. . .But the core of the book is a series of magical poems about being a teenager in the Midlands in the 1950s "She wanted the nouvelle vague and Russian / cigarettes, black stockings and politics" when the word "Communist" was like a "perfect solitary jewel. . .pinned to her chest."" — Andy Croft, The Morning Star

The Absolute Bonus of Rain by S.J. Litherland was published by Flambard Press
£8.50 + £2.50 postage.
The postage for further copies of this or other books will be £1.00 per copy.

Buy on-line at Inpress

 
Cover of 'The Homage'

The Homage by S.J. Litherland

The Homage, NASSER HUSSAIN was a fiery cricketer by his own definition. He brought passion to the game often associated with relaxed days and picnic hampers. As England captain he astonishingly dragged English cricket from the bottom towards the top. But nothing became him like his leaving of it. His last year was beset with media sniping at his place in the England side. Fans watched the famous grit and 'bloody-mindedness' take the field with held breath. It was a drama of a sporting hero conquering enemies on and off the field. S.J. Litherland repays his passion by making him her muse for a season. Her cycle of poems The Homage was written in the heat of the action. As Hussain travels to redemptive triumph, she takes a journey of her own, towards forgiving a tyrannical father, who taught her love of cricket.

NOMINATED FOR CRICKET BOOK OF THE YEAR 2006

"...a master poet at work...I hope Nasser Hussain is thrilled by this. He should be. Well played, that woman!" Kevin Cadwallender

"Jackie's fifth poetry collection, this one not only hits the poetic sweet spot but bears the hallmark of a collector's item." — Harry Mead, The Northern Echo

The Homage by S.J. Litherland is published by Iron Press
£6.00
Buy on-line at Inpress

 
Cover of 'The Work of the Wind'

The Work of the Wind by S.J. Litherland

The Work of the Wind, S.J. Litherland’s fourth collection, charts the hurricane years she shared with fellow poet Barry MacSweeney. Allied with him in his struggles against alcoholism, she found herself swept into his failing bids for recovery. The challenge of her distress, resentment, love and grief illuminates the sense of ordinary life attempting to prevail over the Shelleyan storm. Greatly diverse in form and tone, ultimately these poems shape a journal of survival and a long learnt spirit of resistance, something that earned her MacSweeney's title of 'warrior queen'.

"The Work of the Wind is a wild storm of words, extreme emotions and wonderful poems."Andy Croft, Morning Star

"The Work of the Wind is a great book, reminiscent in some ways of MacNeice's Autumn Journal in its charting of time with reference to events both personal and universal. She has harnessed the wind, rescued the tumbling memories from potential chaos, and allowed it to move her forward in a passionate burst of creative energy."Jo Colley, Ek Zuban

"An excellent new collection The Work of the Wind from S.J. Litherland sits on top of my reading pile."Kitty Fitzgerald, Scotland on Sunday: Shelf Life

The Work of the Wind by S.J. Litherland was published by Flambard Press
£8.50 + £2.50 postage.
The postage for further copies of this or other books will be £1.00 per copy.

Buy on-line at Inpress

 
Cover of 'The Apple Exchange'

The Apple Exchange by S.J. Litherland

The whole world has fallen out of love with itself. It is the end of the millennium, after Thatcher, Waco and the fall of Communism. On behalf of Love, the poet addresses various candidates for the post of lover. All refuse the Apple, but a daemon/demon figure flits through the scene: is it that original dissenting rebel, Lucifer? S.J. Litherland draws on myths and legends, pagan and Christian, in her quest for love in a landscape of the mind, travelling through space and time. But is the price too high on the Apple Exchange? Challenging, erotic, ironic and despairing by turns, these are poems after the Fall from an independent Eve.

"The urgency, the discipline, the mastery and the energy is terrific. Again and again the chameleon's tongue whips out and seizes its prey."Lorna Tracy

The Apple Exchange by S.J. Litherland was published by Flambard Press
£6.95 + £2.50 postage.
The postage for further copies of this or other books will be £1.00 per copy.
Buy on-line at Inpress

 
Cover of 'Flowers of Fever'

Flowers of Fever by S.J. Litherland

This book combines the powerful writing of S.J.Litherland with the haunting etchings of the poet's daughter Rachel Levitas, a combination which, even when dealing with joy, recognises the tragedies of human life. Both poet and artist are aware of the complex passions which inspire us and at the same time can overwhelm our instincts of survival. the work contains dialogues between poetry and art, tranquillity and intensity, passion and reason, spontaneity and constancy, joy and grief, the human and the divine.

"Litherland writes a verse which is poised, formal but not withheld . . . The poise is somewhere between the inner and outer world . . . Perhaps a poetry which 'works' traces the shapes of what in religious parlance is called 'Life Everlasting' within everyday experience."Michael Standen

Flowers of Fever by S.J. Litherland
£5.25 SOLD OUT

 
Cover of 'The Long Interval'

The Long Interval by S.J. Litherland

S.J.Litherland's first collection of poetry, published by Bloodaxe in 1986.

"She writes with scrupulous attention — and with a loud echo of Browning... such intentness gives her best poems impressive depth, often achieved with economical means."

— Lawrence Sail Stand

"These poems are memorable, often sombre... they haunt the mind long after reading them." — Maggie Mountford The Green Book

"These poems are alive with the rhythm of life, dancing in defiance of death and stagnation." — Dave Ward Dial a Poem

The Long Interval by S.J. Litherland
£1.50

 
Cover of 'Long Held Notes'

Long Held Notes by Felicity Manning

Felicity Manning’s love of Swaledale shines out in these pellucid and lyrical poems. With sensitive observation and a musician’s ear she draws us in to the landscape around her. She captures the moods of the rivers and of the hills, their fierceness and beauty, as we are led through the seasons. But far from being simply an observer, she shares the life of the Dale in all its toughness. She celebrates above all the constancy that underpins change.

This collection is published by Mudfog Press

Long Held Notes by Felicity Manning
£4.00 + £2.50 postage.
The postage for further copies of this or other books will be £1.00 per copy.

Buy on-line at Mudfog Press

 
Cover of 'Skeins'

Skeins by Felicity Manning

Skeins is a bilingual collection published in France. Beginning in a garden anticipating Autumn, this collection travels through the seasons to the last day of a summer holiday by the sea. The poems shift between Brittany and Great Britain, from the Atlantic coast to the river Swale and from Breton stone circles to the Pennines’ Neolithic cup-marked stones.

Translated by Belem Julien. This collection is published (in France) by Editions Vagamundo

Skeins by Felicity Manning
£9.00 + £2.50 postage.
The postage for further copies of this or other books will be £1.00 per copy.

Buy on-line (for €13) at Editions Vagamundo

 
Cover of 'Raiment'

Raiment by Marilyn Longstaff

Raiment is a book about the ways in which we clothe our bodies and our spirits. It is a study in faith and disappointment, bras, knickers and the whole armour of God.

According to the popular Easter hymn, ‘Angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away, / Kept the folded grave clothes where thy body lay.’ For Marilyn Longstaff, the cerements in the vacant tomb are a symbol of spiritual mystery and an image of religious emptiness. She is a pilgrim, a stranger in a strange land, tempted by the guilty pleasures of the flesh and beset by a Puritan’s consciousness of sin and injustice.

These are poems about the flesh and the spirit, cheerfully balancing desire and loss, hope and failure and finding satisfaction in small pleasures in a world that contains no angels in bright raiment.

‘A poet with an immense talent to engage and amuse. Longstaff is also brave enough to turn a peeled eye to life's disturbing realities.’

Other Poetry

‘Marilyn Longstaff’s unique voice is resonant of the way English history swings between the puritan and the cavalier, the Bible and the feathered hat; with wit, honesty, intelligence, those good servants, she confronts her delicious sins of desiring sexy shoes and freedom. Her Raiment shines with truth and beauty.’

S.J Litherland

‘These poems take a look at clothed body and naked soul. Funny, tender, rueful or angry, they cast a keen light on the human condition.’

M.R Peacocke

This collection is published by Smokestack Books

Raiment by Marilyn Longstaff
£7.95 + £2.50 postage.
The postage for further copies of this or other books will be £1.00 per copy.

Buy on-line at Smokestack Books

 
Cover of Articles of War

Articles of War by Marilyn Longstaff

When Marilyn Longstaff’s Salvation Army Officer parents dedicated her to God, they promised to keep her from jewellery, finery and other worldly pleasures. At the age of fourteen, she signed the Army’s ‘Articles of War’, vowing to reject ‘the values of the world’. Articles of War is a book about a jealous God, about belief and freedom and the small steps that pave the path to hell.

‘These poems keep you on your toes. They are both truthful and sly, seldom leading where you first expect. There’s a note of the surreal in the everyday, while a seam of comedy cracks plain things open. I found myself saying yes at almost every page, recognising things I hadn’t known or thought before.’

M.R. Peacocke

‘Marilyn Longstaff owes courage, tenacity, love of things right and fair to her strict Salvation Army upbringing and her humour, wry wit and light touch of sensuality to the rebel within. I see her in her coat of arms ready to combat injustice. The coat is pure cashmere. Articles of War is a true poet’s war cry, poems profound with compassion and irony. Succinct, deft arrows right on target.’

S.J. Litherland

This collection is published by Smokestack Books

Articles of War by Marilyn Longstaff
£7.99 + £2.50 postage.
The postage for further copies of this or other books will be £1.00 per copy.

Buy on-line at Smokestack Books

 
Cover of 'Sitting Among The Hoppers'

Sitting Among the Hoppers by Marilyn Longstaff

A first full-length collection by one of the North East's most distinctive and original voices, Sitting Among the Hoppers moves effortlessly between the religious and the secular, between the domestic and the public, between preaching and entertaining. Marilyn Longstaff draws on the language of Non-Conformist tradition and Biblical narrative to write about a small-town landscape of wash-days and funerals, mothers and daughters, Sunday Schools and art galleries, wet holidays and winter sunshine. Like the paintings of Edward Hopper, she works in the bright colours of loneliness and grief to create a vision that is both plain and wild, bleak and exotic, hopeless but still full of Hope. Andy Croft.

This is her eagerly awaited new collection, from Arrowhead Press

Sitting Among the Hoppers by Marilyn Longstaff
£7.50 + £2.50 postage.
The postage for further copies of this or other books will be £1.00 per copy.

Buy on-line at Arrowhead Press

 
Electric Mermaid book cover

Electric Mermaid by Diane Cockburn

In Diane Cockburn’s surreal world there is a snare of wild wicked wit.
Our first kiss was shocking
in a squidgy way
something to be worked at
but not by us.

Another love affair is conducted with lurid flu symptoms.
I know those buttock ulcers need a poultice,
but where to find organic bread at such an hour?

Mr Perriam searches for new slippers lured by siren penguins flying past his window. In sand dunes a potential fling is doomed by the wrong sandwich filling.

Girls who like ham go all the way,
(Kevin thinks)
.

Electric Mermaid will make you laugh aloud. Some poems will suddenly turn serious or menacing, others mock all attempts to tie down the wriggling narrative. In the great British nonsense tradition her magical poetry joins the work of Lear and Carroll, underneath the absurdist laughter there is a wistful echo struggling to get out.

S J LITHERLAND

Electric Mermaid by Diane Cockburn
£10.99 + £2.50 postage.
The postage for further copies of this or other books will be £1.00 per copy.

Buy on-line at Arrowhead Press

 
Redemption Songs book cover

Redemption Songs by Annie Wright

Annie Wright's Redemption Songs is a long-awaited event among the fraternity of poetry readers and workshop loyalists . . . Her subjects range from Akhmatova to Kerouac to Walcott and from memory to sensory stimuli. Her poems can be formal in tone as in the string of sonnets, haiku, quatrains and tercets found here, but she is never afraid to let her hair down . . . In fact much of the work is unabashedly erotic, paeans to the flesh and desire if not outright lust . . . the book is a testament to poetry as discovery and surprise.
She makes it hard for her reader to look away.
Fred D'Aguiar

"She writes with a marvellous control over language, and can seemingly tackle a wide variety of subjects effortlessly. This is not to say that her work is without craft, but the surface spontaneity that Yeats insisted was a requisite for good poetry is maintained throughout." —Poetry Scotland Review.

"Wright confronts her feelings more openly and more 'poetically' — consider 'gold chrysanthemums arching / between stippled breasts'; or with more feminine wonder in a poem like 'Sweetheart', a poem about valentine cards in which she manages not to get sloppy. One respects the feeling — that is her strength." — William Oxley, Orbis.

Annie Wright's first full collection is published by Arrowhead Press

Redemption Songs by Annie Wright
£6.95p + £2.50 postage.
The postage for further copies of this or other books will be £1.00 per copy.

Buy on-line at Arrowhead Press

 
Cover of 'Including Sex'

Including Sex by Annie Wright

Annie Wright works with teachers and pupils on creative writing in schools throughout North Yorkshire, and presents self-awareness and personal growth courses for adults. Her poetry has been published in a variety of magazines and anthologies including Braquemard, Headlock, The Poetry Business, Sunk Island Review, Writing Women, Tees Valley Writer and Soundings East (USA). She is a founder member of Vane Women, the successful writing/performing group based at Darlington Arts Centre. This, her first pamphlet collection, was published by The Bay Press in 1995.

Including Sex by Annie Wright
£2.50

 
'Twenty Four Preludes and Fugues on Dmitri Shostakovich' book cover

Twenty Four Preludes and Fugues on Dmitri Shostakovich by Joanna Boulter

Shortlisted for the Best New Collection in the Forward Poetry Prize 2007

“I want to be an honest man in all respects,” Shostakovich said to Solomon Volkov, “but now the person who knows the truth is the one who lives in fear.” Yet his instrumental music was still a critique, even if it did not take the form of words.

"Joanna Boulter's superb new book, a novella in an impressive variety of verse forms, translates the composer's life and fears into a musical language which, in all its respects, brings illumination to Shostakovich's gifts for honesty and truth under pressure." David Morley

“Joanna Boulter’s long sequence raises many interesting questions about the relationship between an artist's life experience and his work, between individual creativity and the seat of political power, and between one art and another.”Meg Peacocke.

“It’s not surprising that this book has been shortlisted for the Forward Prize for best first collection. Unity of structure – the story of Shostakovich and his battles with Stalin and his own conscience – is coupled with impressive formal control. ”Anne Berkeley.

Published by Arc Publications.

Twenty Four Preludes and Fugues on Dmitri Shostakovich by Joanna Boulter
£ 8.99, buy on-line at InPress Books

'The Hallucinogenic Effects of Breathing' book cover

The Hallucinogenic Effects of Breathing by Joanna Boulter

You must delve into Joanna Boulter's jewellery box of poems with caution. Certainly there are the brilliants which flash dazzlingly as the snakeskin she so luminously describes in one of her poems. The lure will be her gorgeous and assured choice of language. The sting will strike with its note of discord, disenchantment and fear. Her poems trap you with their beauty then deliver their harsh message of tough reality. This is the true voice of the poet . . . She is that rare modern being: an intellectual writer who trusts her readers. Read her work first for the beauty, then for the heart, and finally for the mind nudging us to look again — and again.
S.J. Litherland.

Joanna Boulter, the author of this fresh, witty and wise collection is, like her wide-awake cat, both observant and comfortable: observant in that she writes about what she sees and knows, comfortable because she has mastered the knack of bicycle-pumping to just the right degree of tension, and then squashing flat at the critical moment. Take, for instance, the poem Over the Heart in which a woman who has for years worn her deceased husband ‘like an old cardigan that still held his shape’ finds in the pocket of his best suit a photograph of ‘his long dead, never-mentioned first wife’. The last stanza reads ‘So she still wore their years / like an old cardigan stretched out of shape, / clutched round herself and him; and her as well.’ Lovely!

Anne Stevenson (Northern Rock Award winner 2002)

Joanna Boulter's third collection is published by Arrowhead Press

The Hallucinogenic Effects of Breathing by Joanna Boulter
£4.00
Buy on-line at Arrowhead Press

 
Cover of 'On Sketty Sands'

On Sketty Sands by Joanna Boulter

Joanna Boulter's sequence of poems On Sketty Sands is an evocative collection of memories about her own family. By telling the stories in poetry, Joanna has recreated legends her mother told her. The poems tell of a time when parents struggled to raise children to adulthood and people were suspicious of strangers.

"On Sketty Sands brilliantly invokes an earlier age. The poems are wonderfully rich and colourful — read and enjoy!" Alison Rowsell

". . . so beautiful it makes me cry each time I read it . . . an unerring and enchanting sense of line, rhythm and form."Helen Nelson

This, her long-awaited second collection, also marks the first flight of Arrowhead Press.

On Sketty Sands by Joanna Boulter
£3.00
Buy on-line at Arrowhead Press

 
Cover of 'Running with the Unicorns'

Running with the Unicorns by Joanna Boulter

Joanna Boulter's startling first collection Running with the Unicorns came out from The Bay Press (1994) to great critical acclaim.

She is a "trenchant, word-dazzling poet" (Colpitts), whose "skill lies in dissecting the human condition" (Isobel Thrilling).
She has won several prizes for her poetry and has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies including Orbis (New Poet of the year, 1983), Stand, Writing Women and Iron Erotica (Iron Press, 1994).

Running with the Unicorns by Joanna Boulter
£2.50

 
Cover of 'The Krakow Egg'

The Krakow Egg by Pru Kitching

Iftikhar Arif, renowned Urdu poet and Chairman of the National Language Authority of Pakistan, on The Krakow Egg by Pru Kitching:

This collection represents the life of someone who lives in art and with artists; the experience of these days and nights is reflected in poetry which takes me to a magical world of music, theatre and painting.
Pru is very conscious of fractured and complex language. She uses it carefully, without being overtaken by it, employing some strange kind of craft which seems to come naturally to her and is not at all laboured. Her forceful and vivid images, recast with meanings different from the obvious, keep me glued to her poems; and her ability to keep the feeling and emotions pure and intact while maintaining the ease and flow of her verse is reminiscent of Sylvia Plath.
Like a skilful painter she colours minor details, balancing the colours — the hard and the lucid, the obvious and the subtle — while keeping her style intact. She possesses a remarkable ability to create images with sounds in the background. When I read her poetry, I also listen to its music.
What a gallery. Poems full of portraits, portraits full of life. And a lonely poet with a pure and primitive heart. Pru! you have done a wonderful job.

This is a pamphlet collection, from Arrowhead Press

The Krakow Egg by Pru Kitching
£4.50
Buy on-line at Arrowhead Press

 

   


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