The Jeater and The Hometown

The black I can work,
and work, manumitting troche and trait and spillikin from

the sable yield. And in the dark time shy as farwoods fungi,

right here where the forest is beginning to reclaim the field.

The Hometown

I’d been a boy
but could not barani or shin up to the crest of the Maiden Rock.

And I could barely march, not even out into the cold sea where

a saint’s kneecap and fingerbones bobbed in a tide-trapped cave.

by Roddy Lumsden

This will be the final Weekly Poem of the year, as the Poetry Centre will be taking a Christmas break until 7 January. Very many thanks for reading the 2012 selection of poems. May you have a thoroughly enjoyable Christmas and excellent start to 2013!

‘The Jeater’ and ‘The Hometown’ are copyright © Roddy Lumsden, 2012. They are reprinted by permission of Penned in the Margins from The Bells of Hope (Penned in the Margins, 2012).

Notes from Penned in the Margins:

Roddy Lumsden has six previous collections including Mischief Night: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe, 2004) and Terrific Melancholy (Bloodaxe, 2011). He edited the anthology Identity Parade: New British & Irish Poets (Bloodaxe, 2010), and co-edited The Salt Book of Younger Poets. Originally from Fife, he now lives in London and has also worked as a puzzle, quiz and popular reference writer. The Bells of Hope is a series of 51 poems, published as a limited edition hardback book. All the poems are written in a short form developed by Lumsden, the kernel poem, in which truth (the ‘kernel’) and metaphor swirl in one dimeter line and three equal, much longer lines. You can read another sample poem from the book at the Penned in the Margins site here.

Penned in the Margins is an independent publisher and live literature producer specialising in poetry and based in East London. Founded in 2004, the company has produced numerous literature and performance events, toured several successful live literature shows, published over twenty-five books, and continues to run innovative poetry, arts and performance projects in the capital and beyond. Their recent anthology, Adventures in Form, was awarded a Special Commendation by the Poetry Book Society and was chosen as one of 50 Best Summer Reads by The Independent. You can visit the Penned in the Margins website here to sign up to the mailing list, and follow the publisher on Facebook and Twitter.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.

My Friend Mary Stone From Oxford Mississippi

We know we ought to be enemies,
her voice perhaps,
thirty three years off the Delta and
still caked in mud or
my hair perhaps,
bushed for the warrior women of Dahomey,
we know we ought to be enemies, only
Oh Mr. Faulkner
to prevail is such an awe full responsibility
to “have a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and
is an awe full responsibility but
we know we have to try it and
we are both trying to try it
red as the clay hills and blacker than loam

by Lucille Clifton

‘My Friend Mary Stone From Oxford Mississippi’ is copyright © BOA Editions, 2012, and reprinted from The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010, published by BOA Editions in 2012.

Notes from BOA Editions:

Lucille Clifton (1936-2010) was the 2007 recipient of the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, as well as the 2010 Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America. Her final poetry collection, Voiceswas published by BOA in September 2008. She was an award-winning poet, fiction writer, and author of children’s books. Her poetry book, Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000, won the 2000 National Book Award for Poetry. Two of Cliftons BOA poetry collections, Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir 1969-1980, and, Next: New Poems, were chosen as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in 1988, the only author ever to have achieved this, while The Terrible Stories was a finalist for the 1996 National Book Award. Clifton received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts; an Emmy Award from the American Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; the Shelley Memorial Prize; and the Charity Randall Citation. She served as a Distinguished Professor of Humanities at St. Mary’s College in Maryland. She was appointed a Fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and elected as Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets in 1999. You can find out more about the recent Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 here, where you can also read a further poem from the book. Watch a Lucille Clifton playlist, curated by BOA Editions, at this link.

BOA Editions, Ltd., a not-for-profit publisher of poetry and other literary works, fosters readership and appreciation of contemporary literature. By identifying, cultivating, and publishing both new and established poets and selecting authors of unique literary talent, BOA brings high quality literature to the public. Support for this effort comes from the sale of its publications, grant funding, and private donations. In 2011, BOA celebrated its thirty-fifth anniversary. To find out more about BOA Editions, click here. You can also sign up for the publisher’s newsletter here, find and like BOA on Facebook, and follow the publisher on Twitter by searching for @boaeditions.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.

The Roaring Boys

er cof Iwan Llwyd

Of all the poets I have known
it’s the Roaring Boys I remember
best; they roared through Canada
and the United States, they

roared through Germany and
France; they roared through England,
but best of all they roared through
Wales; they wrote on anything,

bits of paper, notebooks of a
special kind, the backs of their father’s
wills; they wrote even when they
reached the edge of the endless

sea; Death is unique, he has no mother
and God is afraid of him; when he
came for the Boys, Wait, one said,
I’ve an englyn to write; another

snatched him and kissed his beaky
lips; a last glass of cool white wine,
said a third; Death had visited Keats
and Jeffers, Wordsworth and Thomas

R.S., but the Roaring Boys, he said,
I will never forget; a disgrace to their
nation, and its glory, stumbling
through time like the road to a tavern

where the landlord has the glasses primed
because he knew they were coming
with a thirst and an appetite
as they burst through the sunlit doors.

by John Barnie

‘The Roaring Boys’ is copyright © John Barnie, 2012. It is reprinted from The Roaring Boys by permission of Cinnamon Press.

Notes from Cinnamon Press:

There is a sense of unburdening in The Roaring Boys – a confessional mode that is certainly present in previous volumes, but which here achieves a new plangency. It is all the more striking for butting up against the poets characteristic tonalities – an unsentimental lyricism, sharp with dissecting irony. That unburdening is carried by form: each poem is a single sentence in which concept, argument and emotion are controlled by the sluice gates of semi-colons. Dramas unfold across clauses that bridge voices, tones and timescales. Find out more about the collection on Cinnamon’s site here.

John Barnie is a poet and essayist from Abergavenny, Gwent. He lived in Denmark from 1969-1982, and was the editor of Planet, The Welsh Internationalist from 1990-2006. Barnie has published several collections of poems, mixed poems and fiction, and two collections of essays, one of which, The King of Ashes, won a Welsh Arts Council Prize for Literature in 1990. His collection Trouble in Heaven (Gomer, 2007) was on the Wales Book of the Year 2008 Long List and his previous collection with Cinnamon Press is The Forest Under the Sea. John Barnie plays guitar in the bilingual blues and poetry group Llaeth Mwnci Madoc/Madoc’s Moonshine. He is a Fellow of Yr Academi.

Cinnamon Press is an independent publisher run by a family team and based in North Wales and the Midlands. We select books that we feel passionate about and concentrate on a list of poetry and fiction titles into which we put maximum effort at every stage of development. We also run regular writing courses and writing competitions, including major awards for poets, novelists and short story writers and a series of mini competitions. Find out more about the publisher and join their mailing list here. You can also find Cinnamon on Facebook and on Twitter.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.