The Portswick Imp
A collection of stories from Michael W Thomas. A treat in store.
Past, present and future meet throughout Thomas’s stories, and the meetings are not without consequence. There is humour, too, and the chance for the reader to alight in different places at different times. Sunny San Gimignano. The Black Country at the lowest season of the year. An Irish farm circa Sputnik and The Twist. An England undone by humanity; another England undone by the inexplicable. A Midlands town seen through Grenadian eyes. A Welsh landscape in which man becomes shadow, shadow becomes nothing at all. With a quality that has ensured the publication of Thomas’ writing in titles as diverse as The Antioch Review, Muscadine Lines, Under The Radar, The London Magazine and the TLS, the stories in The Portswick Imp open up lives in all their ordinary improbability. Here, so often, is a desperation that refuses to be quiet but also an acceptance—laughing or simply wide-eyed—of a world where, in the words of one character, what is to come can feel like “the first yard of a desert” or, in the words of another, “the proper start.”
The Girl From Midfoxfields
Michael W Thomas’s latest collection of poems is available in print from Black Pear Press.
It is also available as an eBook: click here.
About the Author
“Since 2004, Dr. Michael Wyndham Thomas has helped develop and spearhead the workshops for the Key West Robert Frost Poetry Festival. His hands-on teaching skills make poetry exciting for even the novice; his depth of knowledge is impressive.
Because he has endeared himself to everyone associated with the festival—and to many others who live on this island at the southernmost point in the United States—Michael is fondly referred to as the Poet at Large in the Conch Republic Navy”– Barbara Bowers, writer and journalist.
Many thanks from The Robert Frost Poetry Festival Committee, Key West, Florida.
Michael Wyndham Thomas is an Irish-British writer and lived in Canada for a number of years. He now lives in Worcestershire. He is an internationally-known poet, fiction-writer, dramatist and musician. His poetry, prose and scripts have appeared in Critical Survey, English, The English Review, Fire, The Interpreter’s House, Iron, The London Magazine, Other Poetry, Pennine Platform, Stand, Staple and The Swansea Review (UK), as well as Poetry Salzburg Review and The National Gazette (Tirana), Alive!, From the Horse’s Mouth, Grain and Reflections (Canada), Etchings (Australia),The Black Mountain Review and Irish University Review (Ireland) and The Antioch Review, Magazine Six, Modern Haiku, Muscadine Lines and The Secret of Salt (USA). He also reviews for Other Poetry (Durham, UK), Poetry Nottingham (UK), Under The Radar (Rugby, UK) and The Journal of American Haiku (Toronto). His most recent reviews have appeared in The London Magazine and the TLS.
Since April, 2004, Michael has been poet-in-residence at the annual Robert Frost Poetry Festival, Key West, Florida. In consequence, he is Poet-at-Large in the Navy of the Conch Republic of Key West. Other recent events outside the UK include readings at Linnaeus University, Sweden and at Tampere University, Finland. Most recently, he gave the keynote address at Poems Are Being Written, a conference on contemporary poetry at the University of Portsmouth, November 2013.
Michael’s novel Pilgrims at the White Horizon was published by TQF, September 2013, and his poetry collection Batmans Hill, South Staffs was published by Flipped Eye International editions, December 2013.
He is available for readings, workshops and seminars on both the practice and the theory of poetry writing.
What the critics say about Michael W. Thomas’s poetry:
‘Michael Thomas’ poems are rich with the details of past and present lives. They explore the wildest possibilities of those lives with passion and humour.’
‘Michael W. Thomas’s poetry shows a real sense of exploration and discrimination of fine states of feeling…. Thomas cuts away all dead weight, creating a sense of economy with richness, and is not afraid of using a phrase that in a lesser craftsman’s hands would bring a sneer…. His language is vigorous and street-wise and his poetic tools work on experience in Coleridgean mode, dissolving, diffusing, dissipating in order to create a surprising world.’
–Peter de Ville, Poetry Salzburg Review.
‘Thomas is a poet who deals with the muscular and descriptive qualities of language…. The poetry often launches itself at the reader in a way that is both terse and direct [and] perhaps more sensory than sensual. Metaphor is often employed in a strange and imaginative way. Many of the poems deal with the domestic sphere, but Thomas also writes about unusual or imagined scenarios [and] is not afraid to write about many different subjects.’
–Maria Taylor, Under The Radar.
‘What is this man doing to me? I want easy references, polite allusions. I don’t want my thoughts to be shattered, to fall down like a wet wave! Michael Thomas tears the traditions of metaphors and similes apart. One feels each word took him hours to select before he cemented it in place; he has complete control of his medium. An American poet would shun some of his subjects—but I know my blood ran cold and then hot when I read [the poems] carefully. For me, they tossed Eliot’s spoonfuls on the rug and announced the new ‘Howl!’ Always his language is terse and efficient. No words are wasted on poetical indulgences.’
–Kirby Congdon, US poet, dramatist, editor and associate of the Beat Poets; author of Selected Poems and Prose Poems and New Mystic, Connecticut, Sixty-Five Years Ago.
‘The language throughout has a grit and tactility that seems distinctly British to this American ear. It has a bite which is, however, always without animus, ironic rather than sarcastic. These are poems that show abundant compassion, feeling for family, and affectionate regard for all the various characters Thomas encounters and describes.’
–Barry George, US poet and haiku master, author of Wrecking Ball and Other Urban Haiku, instructor at Spalding MFA Summer Residency, Louisville, Kentucky.