Olivia’s Certificate

Olivia is the winner of the University of Worcester and Black Pear Press Prize for fiction this year and was presented with her certificate at the Graduate Dinner. Her winning story will be published early in the New Year. Congratulations to Olivia.

Olivia Camozzi-Jones Black Pear Prize Winner 2019.jpg

Pressed Flowers

Pressed Flowers flyerA poetry anthology coordinated by Worcestershire Poet Laureate Charley Barnes and Polly Stretton of Black Pear Press as a result of sharing sunflower poems. Charley’s sunflower poem ‘Helianthus Forest’ won her the laureateship in 2019 and features in the anthology.

Charley says, ‘We put our heads together and decided that, given the many talented poets we know, we could stitch a whole pamphlet of these floral pieces if we tried.
Polly and I invited poets to participate in the project and, one email at a time, we leapt for joy when each person agreed…it’s been an utter joy to work with the poets
featured in this collection.’

Pressed Flowers will be launched at Parks Cafe, 4 Victoria Square, Droitwich WR9 8DS Wednesday 13 November 2019—doors will open at 18:30 for a 19:00 start.

You can pre-order your copy here.

Jill Todd comes to Malvern

Jill Todd will be signing copies of her locally-based novel, ‘Echo of Bells’, at WHSmith in Great Malvern from 11am on Saturday 19th October.
The Malvern Hills in winter play a major role in this atmospheric thriller from Black Pear Press, in which a young couple must unearth the secrets of their family’s tragic history or risk losing everything – including their lives. As the action builds towards a terrifying climax, the hills themselves become the scene of a final, desperate struggle for survival against the odds. (Acknowledgement to Malvern Gazette)

click here for more details

Echo of Bells Front Cover - low res

Review – The Portswick Imp

Part of a review by Sarah Hegarty recently published in Writing in Education

Review, Sarah Hegarty, Writing in Education, no. 78 (Autumn, 2109)

A sense of yearning for a simpler time, long gone, permeates some of [Michael W. Thomas’s] tales. The title story, told in the voices of a husband and wife, traces his boyhood passion for push-bikes, which he has put aside. Seeing cyclists on the road, “throwing air over either shoulder”, brings his true love back “like an old song”. At first, despite hating the “dank shops, each with its mumbly little man in a brown coat stuffed with pens”, his wife helps him search for the perfect bike. But no single machine is the answer. The end result, “five bikes’ worth”, he names the Portswick Imp, after a childhood memory. Out in the countryside she watches him ride, until his bike lights are “just a bit of the Welsh moon broken up”. He has ridden away, back into the safety of his childhood imagination.

Sarah Hegarty

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Click here to get your copy.

‘Something Wicked’

When Emma’s elderly uncle dies in a fall from a Devon cliff it soon becomes clear it was no accident. As she tries to uncover the truth behind his death she steps into a world where even a family fishing boat becomes a tool for acts of the darkest criminality. Emma is forced to confront the sinister undercurrents in her personal life and question whether she has misplaced her trust.

Another terrific read from Frances Bennett, who thrilled us with her debut novel Seeds Of Destruction five years ago. Something Wicked is her second novel and Frances would be interested in presenting her book and writing career to organisations looking for speakers.

Front cover

Pick Your Own—Amanda Bonnick

Amanda Bonnick’s debut pamphlet ‘Pick Your Own’ was launched April 2019 at Drummonds Bar, Worcester. Readings, guest poets and music led to an amazing evening enjoyed by all present.

Reviews

Pick Your Own is a beautiful collection of poems which prove that time travel is, in fact, possible. The childhood memories are particularly impressive and well captured. The sense of loss, of a father and of a child self,  permeates the collection. There are moments that caught my heart – especially in Creature – and many that tugged at my own memories. I look forward to revisiting this collection many times.
Susan Davidson—actor and poet.

These poems paint a vivid portrait of a girl negotiating the awkward passage to adulthood while coming to terms with her father’s death.That they never become maudlin or overly-nostalgic is a testament to Amanda Bonnick’s skill as a poet. From the subtle use of kennings, to the nod to Heaney in ‘Weeding’, these poems are aware of poetic tradition but move beyond it into something new. These are poems that know that even if prayer doesn’t work, sometimes it is important to pray,
and they are prayers to terrestrial gods, including fathers, boys, and nature.
Ben Parker—poet-in-residence at The Museum of Royal Worcester (2015), poet-in-residence at The Swan Theatre, Worcester (2016).

Amanda’s pamphlet is available direct from Black Pear Press.

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Get your copy direct from Black Pear Press £5.00 plus P&P:

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Two Reviews

Here are two of the latest reviews for Heather Wastie’s Don’t Oil The Hinges:

“I’m enjoying Don’t Oil the Hinges enormously… I love the way Heather weaves introductions into the book, I’ve never seen this done before and it creates a lovely, intimate reading experience.”
Nancy Campbell, Canal Laureate

“You can’t help but warm to Heather Wastie’s enthusiasm, creativity, and zest in putting poetry at the heart of a community.”
Greg Freeman  (Write Out Loud)

DOTH front v2

£6 +P&P

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