Each quarter, Senior Programme Manager Will Mackie blogs about some of the best new and recent work by poets in the North. In this post, he looks at the collections published in Spring 2022.
Wales-based Seren are one of the UK’s leading independent publishers, with a varied and dynamic poetry list that continues to be re-energised by quality additions. This month, Seren have published Same Difference by the Sheffield-based Ben Wilkinson, a previous Northern Writers’ Awards winner. These compelling and stylistically refined poems are driven by a strong emotional intelligence and the ability to convey and expand intimate experiences.
Also published by Seren this month is 163 Days, the first collection from Hannah Hodgson, also a Northern Writers’ Awards winner. The title relates to the longest stay in hospital experienced by the poet, who receives palliative care. I’ve found Hannah’s previous pamphlets extraordinarily impactful, honest and unflinching – she’s an exceptionally talented poet and such a special voice.
Published a little while ago, another Seren title to mention is All the Men I Never Married by Kim Moore. These vibrant, surprising and personal poems are written with lyricism and dexterity.
Amali Gunasekera was born and grew up in Sri Lanka and now lives in Cumbria. Her new collection, The Golden Thread (Bloodaxe), is full of beautiful, intimate and lyrical poems.
The poet and filmmaker David Spittle’s new collection, Rubbles (Broken Sleep Books), is expansive, experimental and linguistically adventurous. This is fascinating new work.
Another recent collection I recommend is Safety Nets by the North East poet Cynthia Fuller (Red Squirrel Press). These thoughtful and tender poems are rich with imagery drawn from the natural world and are characterised by an exploration of memory and keen observation.
There are so many excellent pamphlets being published. Two to mention here are Utøya Thereafter: Poems in Memory of the 2011 Norway Attacks by Harry Mann and Endre Ruset (Hercules Editions) – these elegiac heart-breaking poems are laid out in the form of the faces of victims of the horrendous 2011 massacre. Of Algae and Grief by Pip Osmond-Williams (D&W) is striking and vivid work by a unique new voice.
If you’re a poet based in the North or a publisher with a new collection or pamphlet by a northern poet and would like to be considered for future versions of this round-up, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org