Here’s my new collection, Another Last Word, a chapbook published by The Red Ceilings Press. A limited edition of 40 numbered copies. Thanks to Mark Cobley.
‘I never thought you were going to start making poetry out of your own hopelessness’ – Gillian Yates
‘I laughed out loud as well as now and then wincing. Individually they’re like when some cartoons become art, like ‘Lost Consonants’ in the Guardian, but they’re even more than that altogether, the way the poems work with each other. I could see you reading them in Dictionary Corner on Eight Out of Ten Cats Does Countdown, though you’d have to win X Factor first, to be invited on’ – Peter Sansom
Poems from the front line of a long-term relationship in and out of lockdown. A survival guide, perhaps. Featuring a walk in the rain, a bar of expensive chocolate, The Beatles Revolver, the Tai Chi sword form, a cucumber, a suitcase, revolving doors, War and Peace, poppadoms, wet lettuce and a box of new colouring pencils. Cliff Yates’s poems have sometimes featured dialogue; this collection consists almost entirely of dialogue. Fragmentary, Zen-like, cartoonesque, highly-wrought poems, where authorship is questioned and responsibility shared.
Great to have new work published on Anthropocene online poetry journal. Thanks to Charlie Baylis. It was satisfying, I have to say, to have Bob Dylan and the Screwfix catalogue appear in the one poem. ‘Fish Street’ is a companion poem to ‘Awareness Through Movement’ which appeared a while ago on Litter magazine, edited by Alan Baker. Both poems are set in St Ives. ‘Psychology’ is the first poem to be published in an ongoing sequence.
My poem ‘Sky Blues Bus’ will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 Words and Music on 3rd October 2021, a feature on Coventry and Transport as part of the BBC Contains Strong Language Festival. ‘Sky Blues Bus’ is published in Birmingham Canal Navigation (Knives Forks & Spoons) and was commissioned by the Centre for Travel Writing Studies at Nottingham Trent University. Warm thanks to everyone involved.
‘Sky Blues Bus’ is written partly ‘in the voice of’ the bus which carried Coventry City Football team through Coventry following their historic victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the 1987 FA Cup final. It also references the bombing of Coventry in 1940 during the second world war. I wrote the poem after encountering the bus in the brilliant Coventry Transport Museum.
Thanks to David Belbin for his review of my pamphlet Another Last Word, on the Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature website. I must get hold of those Thom Gunn letters – reading David’s review has taken me back to the poems.
Thanks also for Sam Smith for his review of Birmingham Canal Navigation in the latest issue of The Journal.