Poetry Centre

  • Ignition Press
  • Pamphlets

    There's No Such Thing

    There’s No Such Thing

    Lily Blacksell

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    This debut pamphlet introduces a poet with a genuine enthusiasm for their reader. There is no pigeonholing these poems; they are amusing and thoughtful in equal measure. Reading Lily Blacksell’s poetry is like watching a tragic movie, going to a comedy show and listening to an album of greatest hits on vinyl, all at the same time.

    Lily Blacksell grew up in London and the Isle of Wight. She studied at the University of Birmingham before undertaking an MFA in poetry at Columbia University where she was also a Teaching Fellow. Lily has performed in venues around the US and the UK and was nominated in 2017 for the Best New Poets (United States and Canada) and The Pushcart Prize. She has written for the Boston Review, Sabotage and Prac Crit.

    Lily Blacksell’s poems are clever, urgent and deeply felt. That’s all I ever ask for from poetry, my own as well as others, and it’s a lot. Her work is as keenly attuned to the imagination with an intuition of the askew, as it is to our capacity for suffering and for joy. Poetry with as much soul as wit. In this form where a lot leaves you completely cold, this belongs firmly in the three percent I’d die for.

    Luke Kennard

    Listen to Lily Blacksell reading 'Brook'

    A Hurry of English

    A Hurry of English

    Mary Jean Chan

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    The sense of movement in Mary Jean Chan’s poetry is both external and internal. In this deft and assured debut pamphlet she strives to forge new relationships with her parents and country of origin, while learning to live out the beliefs and desires of her own emerging self. These poems couple rawness of emotion with crystalline language, and are a significant addition to the worlds of both poetry and queer writing in the UK.

    Mary Jean Chan is a poet, editor and academic from Hong Kong. Her work has been widely published in journals and magazines including Ambit, PN Review, The Poetry Review and The Rialto. Her poem ‘//’ was shortlisted for the 2017 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. She is currently a Research Associate at the Royal Holloway Poetics Research Centre, and is a co-editor of Oxford Poetry.

    Sparkling and vulnerable, A Hurry of English marks the arrival of an essential new voice. Navigating tangled histories at once personal and postcolonial, Mary Jean Chan sounds fresh notes “in a language [she] never chose”. These poems bring to life a story of queer awakening, transit between cultures, and a mother’s terrifying love shaped by the legacy of political turmoil in twentieth-century China. Hovering between tongues, what Chan’s work offers us is “never an apology / but always / an act of faith”.

    Sarah Howe

    Listen to Mary Jean Chan reading 'Practice'

    Glean

    Glean

    Patrick James Errington

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    Patrick James Errington’s atmospheric debut comes to grips with the vastness of human experience – its memories and unique physical wilderness. The poems are the gleaning of the field of childhood, a slow gathering of what remains after loss. His dexterous use of image takes the reader to a cold yet often welcoming landscape, providing shelter with his words and using our inheritance of language as a journey, where on arrival another sense of mystery begins.

    Patrick James Errington is a poet and translator from the prairies of Alberta, Canada. Winner of The London Magazine Poetry Prize and the Wigtown Poetry Prize, and highly commended in the National Poetry Competition, Patrick’s poetry has been widely published in magazines and anthologies. His French translation of PJ Harvey’s poetry collection, The Hollow of the Hand (Éditions l’Âge d’Homme), was released in 2017. He currently lives in Scotland.

    No doubt about it – not only is Patrick James Errington a real find, the scope of his imagination, combined with psychological integrity and linguistic rigour, mark him out as a poet I’ll return to again and again. He has the strength of will to put the poem first: no stock effects, just a highly tuned poetic mind interrogating its world for the mystery, the roots of pain and the wonder.

    John Burnside

    Listen to Patrick James Errington reading 'Still Life with Approaching Crow'