We’re very excited to announce an evening of poetry from our three new poets: Gareth Writer-Davies, Simon Cockle and David Van-Cauter. Each will be reading from their latest collections plus a selection of their other work. £3 on the door, to include nibbles, drinks and fine company. The Poetry Cafe bar and cafe will also be open upstairs. More details nearer the time.
In the title poem of this accomplished and often deeply moving collection, David Van-Cauter asks ‘Were we here, or were we only passing through?’ The answer is, of course, both.
These poems negotiate shifting landscapes of loss even as they celebrate the firm ground of married love, stretching the reader’s imagination while interconnecting the intimately personal with a vivid, detailed objectivity of observation..
For him darkness is at times ‘comforting’ and at others ‘vacant’ but, as in the beautiful ‘Living Room’ with ‘sofas shifted to accommodate a hospital bed’ and where ‘I watch you from a distance’, the room nevertheless ‘lights up/ with all we were and are.’
These are strong, affirmative poems – generous, tender, often marked by a sense of fun and banter underlying their seriousness, and always skilfully crafted.
Extract from my blog…
...Written towards the end of my round-the-world trip, which inspired several of the poems…
Relaxing in Vancouver with overcast weather, reminding me of home, less than two weeks away, seems like a good excuse to ruminate on the whole trip so far.
What have I learned? One key thing is that in order to see something clearly, you have to take a step back and look at it from a distance and with some perspective. I’ve had some rough years, but it’s time to move on, reassess, work out what’s important to me now. There’s a massive world out here and it’s often easy to forget that when you feel trapped in your own tiny realm of existence. It’s like opening the windows and letting the fresh air flow in. In an ideal world, everyone would be given the time and money to do this – it would open so many eyes and make people a lot less inclined to kill each other all the time. But I think it’s possible to open your mind without going to all the effort of going around the world. You can do it in small ways, every day. Look for the unfamiliar and the unique within the things you take for granted. Be prepared to do the unexpected, and that way, when bad things happen, you can take it in your stride and deal with them. I’ve been hibernating and hiding for too long. Back home, I’ll still be travelling.
Two things to make a great poetry collection review:
#1 Comparison to the great Ivor Cutler and
#2 when the reviewer says simply “Get it”. Read the confluence magazine review right <here>
In the nick of time and all - two days ahead of official publication date - boxes of Simon Cockle's gorgeous new poetry collection River Lane arrive into our office. The book is available <right here>
We're proud to announce the launch of our latest product: a first poetry collection by Brecon based Gareth Writer-Davies.
- Shortlisted for the Bridport Prize (2014 and 2017) and the Erbacce Prize (2014)
- Commended in the Prole Laureate Competition (2015) and Prole Laureate for 2017
- Commended in the Welsh Poetry Competition (2015) and Highly Commended in 2017
- His pamphlets ‘Bodies’, was published in 2015
- ‘Cry Baby’ published in 2017
"Reading these poems you could say that the love poem is alive and, if not kicking, then beautifully stretching out its long limbs and casting a cool and appraising eye on both the beloved and the lover. And it is this gaze, compellingly detached and tender, that informs many of these hugely enjoyable poems.
In language that is lucid and spare, yet attentive to a subtle lyricism, this first full-length collection by Gareth Writer-Davies offers an honest look at the self, the man in relationship, through a romantic eroticism that is both playful and deadly serious."
Greta Stoddart Feb 2018
68pp: 198 x 129mm (UK B Format)