A suprise from Math Jones

Poet and Black Pear Press editor Polly Stretton, was thrilled to hear that Math Jones  featured her series of poems about Thomas Chatterton during his lockdown Facebook readings. Here is a link to the reading. Math delivered all the poems within 10 minutes, and with panache. Thank you, Math.

Chatterton Front Cover–Stretton

Available as an eBook here.

Launch of the Award Winning ‘It’s Who You Know’ by C. Curtiss

Winner of the University of Worcester Black Pear Press Prize for Fiction 2021 Christiana Curtiss’s first book It’s Who You Know will be launched at The Hive in Worcester Tuesday 3 May 2022, starting at 18:00. This will be a ‘hybrid’ or ‘blended’ event being both live at The Hive and online. Here is the online link:

Topic: The Hive–Worcester Uni Zoom Meeting
Time: May 3, 2022 06:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86496694108

Meeting ID: 864 9669 4108
Passcode: 400252

If you’d like it via email, click on this link and send a request:  Black Pear Press.

From the back cover:

From the back cover

UK customers £5 +P&P:

It's Who You Know front cover

Peter Sutton launches ‘Elgar Country’

Black Pear Press launched Elgar Country, Peter Sutton’s tribute in poetry to the famous Worcestershire composer, in April 2022.

Elgar Country front cover

Elgar Country is an exploration of the landscapes, lanes, towns and cities that formed the backdrop to Elgar’s life and inspired so much of his music. Sutton’s own love for this part of the country is manifest in these poems as he urges us to ‘come to the Malvern Hills, to the counties of Hereford and Worcester, and hear the marvellous words of poets, the sounds of the earth, and the magical music of Elgar’.

Follow this link to hear Peter Sutton read The Malvern Hills

Here is Peter Sutton’s second recording from Elgar Country, a poem entitled Music in the Air

Peter Sutton’s third recording from Elgar Country, Elgar the Composer

Here is a review of Elgar Country. Neil Leadbeater, writing for Write Out Loud says ‘Much of the music in these poems is achieved through alliteration and rhyme. With a nod to the apple orchards of Worcestershire, Sutton remarks that Elgar’s music “poured like cider, fruity, frothy, pippy part-songs” on to the printed page or, in Elgar’s case, the carefully ruled sets of five parallel lines that Alice used to prepare for him to compose upon. In ‘A Poetical Symphony’ Sutton casts his poem into the traditional four movements of a symphony using specialised vocabulary and rhyme to turn it into a sound poem.’ This is a brief extract from the review, which can be read as a whole by following this link.

To order your copy of Elgar Country:

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Review by Elizabeth Chell

An Extract from a Review by Elizabeth Chell

‘I have just finished reading Michael W. Thomas’s Collection of novellas and stories Sing Ho! High Cortez. It is a book I will want to read over and over. The central theme for this collection of stories is family life and friendships. The first novella, Esp: The Voice of Grenada, is the story of a group of boys. We journey with them as they grow from boys to men and learn the history of their country. The music they compose and play is more than the rhythm of their lives; it is their personal and Grenada’s battle for freedom. The writing is poetic and beautiful; the cultural refences to music and film resonate with one’s own journey from child to adulthood. It is witty and poignant. It is of no surprise that such a clever story, with its rich dialogue, should have been shortlisted for the UK Novella Award 2015.’

To see the full review please click here.

Sing Ho - front cover

Order your copy of Sing Ho! Stout Cortez here:

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Beth O’Brien–I Chase Lightning

Beth O’Brien’s second poetry collection with Black Pear Press I Chase Lightning  launched online in February 2022.

Front cover - I Chase Lightning

Available now (UK only): £6.00 +P&P buy-now-paypal

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Beth O’Brien’s writing never fails to transport me to another world, and I Chase Lightning is no different. Imbued with beautifully vivid descriptions, each poem tells its own story, making for a wonderful collection.

—  Emily Breeds, poet, and screenwriter

I Chase Lightning is a beautifully written collection that calls attention to weather in ways we so often miss. A stunning observer of the natural world, O’Brien is able to find all that is beautiful in what others may find frightful. These poems weave together how much of our daily lives are powered by weather, whilst honouring the female contributors who led us there.

— Anisha Mansuri, poet, and writer

I Chase Lightning is a beautiful poetry collection filled with lines, images and motifs that strike your mind’s eye, leaving you in wonder. O’Brien’s trademark footnotes add that spark of context that enhance the poems’ meanings. From the fast building “Storm Made” to the enrapturing “Neon”, O’Brien’s poems cover nature, science, historical events and hidden figures, forming a collection that crackles and smokes with the arresting minutia of life across the eras.

— Shakira Morar, poet, screenwriter, and podcaster

Launch of Carrots, Cream and Death

The 2021 edition of Worcestershire LitFest Flash Fiction Anthology, ‘Carrots, Cream and Death’ launched in December 2021. Super short, short stories.

Carrots C and D Front cover snapshot

Engaging stories of no more than 300 words – well-written and entertaining – order now as birthday or any sort of celebratory gift.

Please note: we are unable to despatch to destinations outside the UK.

UK deliveries only:

Single copy: £5 +P&P buy-now-paypal

x2 copies: £10 +P&P buy-now-paypal

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Sing Ho! Stout Cortez

Michael W. Thomas presents Sing Ho! Stout Cortez, a blend of novellas and stories. You are invited to an online launch event starting at 4pm Sunday 12 December 2021, you can see full details and, on the day, a link to the event here. From big picture to the smallest detail, these are compelling journeys through lives and places, studies of the human heart in all its richness.

Sing Ho - front cover

About Sing Ho! Stout Cortez:

All of these pieces were written between 2014 and 2020. The earliest, Esp, was shortlisted for the UK Novella Award, 2015, and enlarges on the experiences of Henderson Bray, first encountered in ‘Misshapes from Cadbury’s’ in Thomas’s story collection The Portswick Imp.

Ted Eames, poet, traveller, member of the Borders Poetry Writing Group, and cover designer for Sing Ho! Stout Cortez, considers this ‘… a wonderfully entertaining collection of novellas and short stories in Sing Ho! Stout Cortez. Thomas has the rare ability to combine good, satisfying storytelling with a poet’s judicious eye for the telling phrase and the vivid metaphor. He is especially skilled in the use of convincing dialogue between the various characters we meet. This collection, which takes the reader from familiar places to the Caribbean island of Grenada, is full of fine writing and rewarding, witty tales that warm us with their deft humanity.’
Ted Eames www.tedeames.com

Order your copy of Sing Ho! Stout Cortez, by clicking on the ‘Buy Now’ link below.

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Solace in the Silence–Amanda Bonnick

This book is a delightful mix of poetry and prose written during Amanda’s time as Poet in Residence at Worcester Cathedral.

Solace - front cover 4

It is a highly personal reflection on her experiences during that time, a ‘pilgrimage’.
The poems cover her profound faith, her interviews with the groups making up the Cathedral community…and her love for the building itself, which she describes as ‘a place of solace and refuge and beauty’. They tell their stories straightforwardly, without self-indulgence or overstatement, and relate not only to the Bible but to today’s everyday life…
At the launch event in November 2021, which took place at the Undercroft of Worcester Cathedral, Amanda was joined by nine other actors to voice the two main series of poems in the book: Philip Leach, Philip Ward, Susan Davidson, Leah Adkins, Alan Davidson, Ruth Stacey, Jenny Hope, Steve Quick, and Matthew Brockington.

Dr Charlotte Barnes PhD, known to most of us as Charley, gives her thoughts on Solace in the Silence:

‘Amanda Bonnick’s ‘Solace in the Silence’ truly is something special. A walk through a city’s iconic structure – Worcester Cathedral itself – and the time that saw the Cathedral doors close – the Covid-19 pandemic. Bonnick treats both elements with respect, bringing an artistry that explores the time and place, and her changing relationship to the latter through the former. Bonnick’s own documentation of her times in residency at the Cathedral are thought-provoking and commendably honest, and they have here paved a rich avenue into the writing insights behind this collection.

‘Throughout, there are flavours of religion and its many interpretations. Far from sermon-like, though, the facts of religious celebration are brought about throughout poetic device and distinct eyes for detail. Bonnick’s ‘How I’d Start a Church’ was a personal favourite – the wonderful use of short lines making for an instructive feel – alongside ‘The Size of Everything’, the first lines of which still linger with me now. The poet pinpoints dates in the Worcestershire calendar, with a nod to various events in the city, as well as moments in the religious calendar, handling both with care.

‘The poetic works are sandwiched around Bonnick’s experiences of working within this special space add both feeling and a personal touch, giving us a taste of the true voice of experience behind the book. This is the personal alongside the universality of recognised religious practices, and the two make for excellent bedfellows.

‘Humorous, tailored and expertly delivered, ‘Solace in the Silence’ is a gem of a publication from Worcester and one of Worcester’s talents. In all, a beautiful new release from Amanda Bonnick.’

Dr Charlotte Barnes, Author, Poet, and Academic

 

Available now (UK only): £7.00 +P&P
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