from American Sampler

Last, my father combs out the long flax.
I think of my grandfather’s beard, white and silky,
and how as a young man he took with his own hands
stones and boulders from the earth, combing
the earth through with his fingers.

Mist hangs over the open, soft, serious farmland
like a sermon I breathe. My mother settles
to spin the flax, wetting her fingers
so the fibres twist and cling.

So this coarse linen still has their touch in it,
where I touch and bleed and belong.
by Jane Duran

This excerpt from American Sampler is copyright © Jane Duran, 2014, and reprinted from her book American Sampler (2014) by permission of Enitharmon Books.

Announcing the Poets’ Corner Open Mic Night at Blackwell’s Bookshop in Oxford. Blackwell’s writes: ‘Join us on the first Tuesday of every month for our ‘Poets’ Corner’ open mic poetry night. We invite you to stand up and read your work or to come along and enjoy being part of the audience listening. If you feel brave and would like to be a speaker on the night, please email or call our Customer Services Department on 01865 333623 to put your name on the list. Places are normally booked in advance so please get in touch to avoid disappointment. The next meeting is on Tuesday 5th August at 7pm, and is free to attend.’

Notes from Enitharmon:

Jane Duran was brought up in the USA and Chile, and now lives in England. Her poems have appeared in anthologies, and selections have been published in Poetry Introduction 8 (Faber and Faber, 1993), Making for Planet Alice (Bloodaxe, 1997), and in La Generacion del Cordero (Trilce Ediciones, Mexico, 2000). Her debut collection, Breathe Now, Breathe (Enitharmon, 1995) won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Enitharmon published her second collection Silences from the Spanish Civil War in 2002. Jane’s last collection Graceline was published last year by Enitharmon and was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. You can hear Jane Duran read from her work at the Poetry Archive.

Her latest book, American Sampler, will be published in early September, and you can find out more about the collection and pre-order it via the Enitharmon website. Jane Duran’s childhood memories of rural New England permeate American Sampler, bringing the reader in close to its landscapes, weather and light. The book is about vanishing worlds, and the struggle of memory and craft and imagination to understand and hold fragments of the past and turn them into fresh, breathing moments.

‘William Blake dreamed up the original Enitharmon as one of his inspiriting, good, female daemons, and his own spirit as a poet-artist, printer-publisher still lives in the press which bears the name of his creation. Enitharmon is a rare and wonderful phenomenon, a press where books are shaped into artefacts of lovely handiwork as well as communicators of words and worlds. The writers and the artists published here over the last forty-­five years represent a truly historic gathering of individuals with an original vision and an original voice, but the energy is not retrospective: it is growing and new ideas enrich the list year by year. Like an ecologist who manages to restock the meadows with a nearly vanished species of wild flower or brings a rare pair of birds back to found a colony, this publisher has dedicatedly and brilliantly made a success of that sharply endangered species, the independent press.’ (Marina Warner.)

You can sign up to the mailing list on the Enitharmon site to receive a newsletter with special offers, details of readings & events and new titles and Enitharmon’s Poem of the Month. You can also find Enitharmon on Facebook.

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.

from ‘Cybosaurus’


The city chooses through whom it speaks. Hollow arteries, emotion suggestion, flaccid temper.

Once it’s chosen the atom-human-cyborg machine (call it Cybosaurus?) the city must drain-pipe,
throat-sliver him-her-it.

(what am I saying?

Speak without consequence.
Speak immediacy. Speak rhythm.
Speak in skulls. Speak dope. Speak easy.
Speak unruly. Speak in scales. Speak mutant disco.

Speak Chewbacca. Speak tornado. Speak conquistador.
Speak simulacra. Speak in fish dialect.
Speak Isadora, Q-lab, Dalston dirty condom-





Speak Angola. Speak fishnet stockings.
Speak zumba. Speak protons. Speak androids.
Speak cyber-graffiti.
Speak haemorrhoids.

Speak string theory. Speak antinomies. Speak Plato’s retreat.
Speak anglo-saxon, Michael Jackson, tooty-frooty.

Speak cellular Andromeda.
Speak black-hole flash fiction.

Speak auto-autopsy psychobabble-fish.

Speak in
neutrinos, in marmalade, in hot-flavour sado-masoch-

speak grizzlybear.
by Siddhartha Bose

This extract from ‘Cybosaurus’ is copyright © Siddhartha Bose, 2013. It is reprinted by permission of Penned in the Margins from Digital Monsoon (Penned in the Margins, 2013). 

Reading-based publisher Two Rivers Press is launching its new book The Arts of Peace next Monday 28 July from 6.30-8.30 in the Museum of English Rural Life garden in Reading. There will be a terrific range of readers, including Vahni Capildeo, Peter Carpenter, John Greening, A F Harrold, Gill Learner, Allison McVety, Peter Robinson, and Susan Utting. Tickets are £3, and there are more details on the MERL website.

Two Rivers will also be hosting an event about poetry and the First World War at Acton Court in Reading, ‘Blast from the Past’, on Friday 1 August at 7.30pm. Tickets are £12, and readers include Adrian Blamires, Claire Dyer, Ian House, and Peter Robinson. Booking details are on the Acton Court site, and you can find out more about the book The Arts of Peace on the Two Rivers website.

Notes from Penned in the Margins:

‘Cybosaurus’ is an apocalyptic trawl through a future London in the form of a poetry sequence in thirteen parts. The whole poem can be found in Siddhartha Bose’s second collection Digital Monsoon , published by Penned in the Margins. In this follow-up to the acclaimed debut Kalagora, Bose proposes the poet as a twenty-first century beatnik, a ravenous language machine eating up the margins of the city. You can watch Siddhartha Bose read extracts from the book on his website, Kalagora.

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.

Frame for an abacus


An early April morning,
outside that door where dad
swooped down and scooped me up,Don’t go in. Mum is sleeping.

I started counting windows.


I have grown into a good mathematician.
Today I am studying Pi, prime numbers, angles,
how the light from those windows
formed a perfect Isosceles triangle.


Calculate the degree of diffracted light
If a door is:

one, open,
two, closed,
three, start Maggie Sullivan

This Wednesday July 16th from 7-8.30pm, Blackwell’s Oxford presents: Four Poets Reading. The evening features Susie Campbell, Amira Thoron, Claire Trévien, and Jennifer Wong (one of our PhD students in poetry at Brookes). A free evening of poetry, with drinks and books for sale.

‘Frame for an abacus’ is copyright © Maggie Sullivan, 2013. It was published by Waterloo Press in the remote in 2013, and is reprinted here by permission.Notes from Waterloo Press:

Maggie Sullivan has been a trustee of the Poetry Society, a workshop tutor for CoolTan Arts and is a mentor for Survivors’ Poetry. Her first collection, near death {domestic}, was published by Tall Lighthouse Press. ‘Frame for an abacus’ comes from her second collection, the remote, published by Waterloo Press in 2013. You can read another selection from the remote on the Waterloo website.

Waterloo Press offers readers an eclectic list of the most stimulating poetry from the UK and abroad. We promote what’s good of its kind, finding a commonality amongst the poets we publish. Our beautifully designed books range from lost modernist classics, translations and vibrant collections by the best British poets around. Our translation list is growing to 25% of our output. Waterloo Press brings radical and marginalised voices to the fore, mirroring their aesthetics in outstanding book design, including dust jackets; large font; and original artwork. With its growing list, Waterloo Press promotes at last a permeable membrane between contemporary schools, quite apart from archiving a few sacred vessels for good. WP fosters a poetics based on innovation with respect for craft, bloody-mindedness and as founder Sonja Ctvrtecka put it: ‘An elegant unstuffiness – a seagull perched on a Porsche.’ Now the major poetry publisher of the south-east, we also believe strongly in a community of like-minded independent presses. We’ve become a land.

Find out more about Waterloo Press via its website, or ‘like’ the publisher on  Facebook.

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.


And on the plasma screen these words appear:
If I am asked to represent World’s End,
I want to make this absolutely clear,
my one priority will be to spend
more money on my home
… No, no, that’s wrong.
It’s true, but not what politicians say
in my time or in yours. Mine was a long
brown nosing into power, but I made my way
from Clerk of the Signet (you may well ask)
to Treasurer of the Navy, until – a piece of luck –
the Stuarts gave me Warwick Castle. Then Chancellor,
some time to write, and finally Lord Brooke.
The words, of course, that matter in the end
are Greville was Sir Philip Sidney’s friend.

by John Greening

The most recent episode of the Poetry Centre podcast is now available via the website and on iTunes. This release features a critical-creative dialogue between Terri Mullholland and Siân Thomas about issues raised by Siân’s poem ‘The Abandoned House’, a work inspired by a derelict building in The Weald, East Sussex.

‘F.G.’ is copyright © John Greening, 2013. It is reprinted from Knot (Worple Press, 2013) by permission of Worple Press.

Notes from Worple Press:

Born in Chiswick in 1954, John Greening has lived in Upper Egypt, New Jersey, Mannheim, Arbroath but chiefly in Huntingdonshire, where he teaches. He has published more than a dozen collections (including HuntsPoems 1979-2009) and several critical studies – of Yeats, Ted Hughes, Hardy, Edward Thomas, First World War Poets and the Elizabethans. His most recent book is a guide to the art: Poetry Masterclass. A regular reviewer with the TLS and a judge for the Eric Gregory Awards, Greening has received the Bridport Prize, the TLS Centenary Prize and a Cholmondeley Award for his poetry. Based on the design of a seventeenth-century knot garden, Knot makes consort music with the poets of Elizabethan England. Sonnets and verse letters are woven around a journal of life in a twenty-first century writers’ retreat (Hawthornden Castle) and a prose allegory of Ben Jonson’s famous walk from London to Scotland to visit William Drummond. The collection concludes with a witty modern masque.

Read more about Knot from Worple’s website, and more about John Greening’s poetry from his own site. You can also follow him on Twitter. John Greening will be reading at various events and festivals around the country in July and August, and you can see these listed on the Worple site.

Worple Press was founded by Peter and Amanda Carpenter in 1997. Since then they have published a wide range of authors, including Iain Sinclair, Joseph Woods, Elizabeth Cook, Beverley Bie Brahic, Clive Wilmer and Kevin Jackson. They published the selected poems of the acclaimed American nature poet Peter Kane Dufault for the first time in the UK (Looking in All Directions); this was followed in 2007 by Kane Dufault’s To be in the same world. Peter Robinson’s The Great Friend and Other Translated Poems was the Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation for Spring 2002. This impressive backlist was augmented in 2012 by three significant titles: Passio: Fourteen Poems by János Pilinszky from Clive Wilmer and George Gömöri; Riddance by Anthony Wilson; and the republication of William Hayward’s cult novel from 1964, It Never Gets Dark All Night. Over 2013 and 2014 new titles have included work from John Greening, Michael McKimm, Peter Robinson, Mary Woodward and Sally Flint. More information can be found on Worple Press’s websiteFacebook page, and Twitter feed, and you can sign up for Worple’s mailing list by e-mailing:

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.