New Releases Round-Up 16/9/13

Posted: September 16, 2013 by Lee in fiction, new releases, non-fiction

Several authors have been in touch with Cornish Literature to inform us of their new books, in addition to those covered in the last ‘Round-Up’.

B.D. Hawkey was born in Cornwall and can trace her Cornish roots as far back as the 18th century. Her first published work, the short poem Taken, was in Bright Voices: South West England, Channel Islands Edition by United Press Ltd in 2003. Her debut novel Old Sins, Long Shadows is available in paperback and kindle formats: at the time of writing it’s available as a free Kindle download. Speaking to Cornish Literature, Hawkey said:

“It is a Cornish Victorian romance set against the backdrop of the magnificent Bosvenna Estate, with eccentric rural characters and the sweeping hills of the dramatic Bodmin Moor. Janey Carhart’s story is a tale of obsession, jealousy and love.”

R. Rushforth Morley, meanwhile, described his new book to us as “a comic historical novel that attempts to deal with issues of Cornish identity”, it concerns events in a remote 19th century Cornish fishing village that are interwoven with tales of the Celtic saints, narrated by the lonely Parson Mudge. The Gift of Honey is published by Indigo Dreams in paperback and an extract can be read at the link above. Morley, too, is a published poet and helps run the Poetry on the Lake festival in Orta, on the Italian Lakes. The author received an Arts Council Grant to assist the completion of The Gift of Honey.

Like Morley, Sydney Higgins has experience of living and working in Northern Italy. Born in St. Ives he has been a lecturer at the University of Camerino since 1992. His book Theatre in the Round: The Staging of Cornish Medieval Drama is due to be published on 15th December. The importance of Cornish Mediaeval plays are well known to students of Cornish Studies and to Celtic linguists but Higgins argues that they are also important to understanding the development of theatre more generally in Britain.

As usual, anyone interested in reviewing any of these books for Cornish Literature should get in touch with us so that we may be able to provide you with a review copy.

Redruth writer Abi Wyatt has news of a second Murder of Krows Anthology, co-edited by Abi and Duncan Yeates, which is due to be launched in the autumn at The Melting Pot in Redruth. Along with special artwork, poems include offerings by Dr Alan Kent and Les Merton, and other poets in Cornwall. It will be a limited print run ! Copies are sure to be snapped up so get in touch with Abi, perhaps via Poetry24 or by Red River Poets facebook page.poetry24

Co-edited by Abi, in addition, is the international, news-inspired poetry web site Poetry24, and Abi is keen to encourage submissions from poets based in Cornwall. If you are a poet in Cornwall and would like to contribute, scoot over to Poetry24 and have a look . . . If you don’t yet feel up to contributing (yet), why not scoot over to Poetry24 and have a look anyway at today’s muse on the news.

Of Abi’s own work, her poem ‘The Long Falling Down‘ is included in a recent anthology of poems ‘Journey to Crone‘. This is one of the five star reviews:

Excellent and moving poetry. The Poems are original, insightful, well crafted, and distinctly female. The voices resonate long after the reading is complete.

Ashley and Eileen Ludgate organised a mini-folk music festival at the Bath Inn, Penzance, where Abi performed more of her poems, including the haunting and soon-to-be-anthologised ‘Dozy Mary‘. It’s good that music and poetry are mixing at events in Cornwall.

Staying in Penzance, a new writer’s group called Writer’s Cafe is set to meet every other Tuesday, at 2pm, in the Lost and Found cafe, Chapel Street, Penzance. The 9th July 2013 is the next meeting, that’s this Tuesday coming !! And from the 17th to the 21st July is this year’s Penzance Literary Festival, with dozens of excellent events – have a look at the website and browse through the schedule – too much good stuff to list here (and much of that is Cornish in composition and/or content – the usual suspects and some interesting others (including music) . . .).
Passio Cristi page from Scawen
One of the talks at Pz lit fest is presented by the Penzance Conservation Community Interest Company – in May they took delivery of William Scawen‘s original manuscript of his Antiquities Cornu-Brittanic 1688, and also his Observations on a Cornish Manuscript entitled Passio Christi i.e. the poem Pascon Agan Arluth. Cornwall Record Office also contracted Pz Conservation CIC to restore William Borlase’s 1750 Memorandums of the Cornish Tongue original manuscript. (These historically significant Cornish manuscripts might be held in the proposed Redruth archive centre, which was recently awarded a £386 thousand heritage lottery grant towards the price tag of around £15 million. It would be nice if these manuscripts above were fully digitised for public viewing before too long. Mar plek.)
Williams Llawnt
In 1865 Rev Robert Williams of Llawnt Ugha (Lawns Ughella / Upper Lawn) in Wales published Lexicon Cornu-Britannicum, which was perhaps the first modern Cornish dictionary. Now, Cornish cultural writer Derek R Williams has authored Williams: The Llawnt – a biography of the Welsh minister and linguist, published by the excellent Y Lolfa.
causley-theatreworks
Looking to Cornwall’s east, another publication brought to our attention is Theatreworks, a collection of plays by Charles Causley, edited by Alan Kent and published by Francis Boutle. Included among 11 librettos and other dramatic works are The Doctor and the Devils (inspired by the work of Dylan Thomas), The Ballad of Aucassin and Nicolette, first performed at the Exeter festival in 1978, and The Tinderbox,which Charles Causley wrote for Kneehigh Theatre in 1990. Alan himself drekly will have published his new books Towards a Cornish Philosophy and a book for children, Surf Dogs.

Sadly for its workers as well as for the future of book production within Cornwall, MPG Books of Bodmin has gone into administration in the last month with the loss of more than 50 jobs.

Written, and with photographs collected, by motor engineering aficiando Ernie Warmington of Redruth, Cornish Road Transport Through Time, published by Amberley Publishing (Amberley in Sussex being the resting place of ASD Smith/Caradar, by the way) traces its subject from Murdock’s engine, and horse drawn vehicles of various kinds to internal combustion motor vehicles used, and produced in Cornwall.
Road transport Cornwall

sniveslitfestThe St Ives Literature Festival 2013 is running from Saturday 11th – Saturday 18th May. (NB That’s this coming Saturday folks ! :-)) A host of events are to be held at St Ives Arts Club, St Ives Library and Café Art. Books by festival authors are for sale from Harbour Bookshop.

  • Book Launches, Readings and Workshops.
  • Poetry And Music In The Square – daily in Norway Square.
  • Free Speech – Open Floor – daily at Café Art.
  • The Big Frug

    • On Friday 17th May. Local duo Tir ha Tavas, Delia and Dave Brotherton, have teamed up with guests Vaughan Bennett, Peter Burton, former Grand Bard of the Cornish Gorsedd Mick Paynter and fluent Welsh speaker Gareth Parry for an evening of words and music starring the Cornish language, Kernewek, with a tasty serving of Welsh alongside.

      “We will be presenting our personal selection of prose, poetry and song in the old Celtic tongue,” said Delia, “a language almost lost in the mists of time yet one that lives on in the daily life of West Penwith and beyond.”

      Featuring many original compositions, this special evening will be held at the St Ives Arts Club starting at 9pm and marks the first of several events over the coming months to raise the profile of the Cornish language in a performance.

      “The Celtic language of Cornwall is once more being embraced as a symbol of her historic past,” added Delia, “reviving from ancient roots, while ever changing in the hands of the next generation who cherish the old culture and nourish the new.”

      Tickets £6.50, or 5 for £30, are on sale now from Café Art in St Ives, tel 01736 799450, or from the St Ives LitFest organiser on 753899 or from Dee on 799305. There is a full programme with more information on the St Ives Literature Festival website www.stiveslitfest.co.uk


      John Phillips was born in St Ives. His poems pose questions about how we perceive the world through language and the senses, deftly weaving together details of the external world with reflections on the thought processes and on the nature of words. At the St Ives Arts club at 15:00 on the opening day of the festival, Saturday, the 11th May, he will be reading poetry from his work so far.

      His publications include Language Is (Sardines Press, San Francisco, 2005) and What Shape Sound (Skysill Press, Nottingham, 2011). He work has appeared and been reviewed in a variety of magazines in this country, the U.S., Australia, Austria, Japan and Israel; it can also be found in the following anthologies: From Hepworth’s Garden Out (Shearsman Books, Exeter, 2010), Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years (W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 2013), and Succint (Broadstone Books, Frankfort, Kentucky, 2013). He runs Hassle Press, which has published a range of poets.

      Tickets £ 5.00 from Cafe Arts, tel 01736 799450, at the door or ring Jasna Phillips on 07969727040.

Call for submissions for Murder of Krows 2

Posted: April 15, 2013 by lallocropia in news, poetry

Duncan Yeates and Abigail Wyatt are inviting poets and artists to contribute to our next Murder of Krows* anthology.

The submission guidelines are as follows:

1)    All contributors should be resident in Cornwall.

2)    Poetry of a serious nature is looked on more favourably than comic or light-hearted verse.

3)    Please do not submit any more than two poems although there is no limit on length.

4)    All submissions should be e-mailed to either lallocropia@gmail.com or abigailelwyatt@rocketmail.com. Please submit poems as .doc or .pdf attachments where possible.

5)   Artwork can be any style or theme. All work should be black and white and scalable to A5 size. Please submit work as JPEGs.

6)    The closing date for all submissions is 1st June 2013.

*Murder of Krows is an anthology of poetry by published and previously unpublished Cornish poets. The first volume was launched at the Melting Pot Café at Redruth in March 2013 and proved to be a great success, selling out its print run and attracting guest readings from Dr Alan M Kent and Les Merton. If you would like to get a feel for the content and style of the first anthology, a PDF of it is available by e-mailing lallocropia@gmail.com. There are also a very limited number of copies left at the price of £2.00 inc. P+P – again please e-mail lallocropia@gmail.com if you wish to purchase one.

There will also be opportunity for all contributors tor read at the anthology’s launch night at The Melting Pot Café.

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images2Voog’s Ocean: a historical drama embedded with magic realist and spiritual overtones and a poetic and compelling new novel from Alan M Kent.

Readers of Kent’s previous novelistic output such as the social realist trilogy of Charlie Curnow books may be initially surprised that Kent has now shifted his attention to the opposite end of the historical spectrum. However, this dovetails exactly with what appears to be one of Kent’s key themes in his writing: a thorough and thoughtful examination of the Cornish identity and the Duchy’s impact on the wider world.

The geographical sweep and attention to detail in this novel is superb. Beginning in West Cornwall Kent introduces us to a fogou builder named Voog – who, after an unforgiveable indiscretion at the expense of a local village chief, is banished from his home. Displaced, he undertakes an epic seagoing journey assisted by a broad cast of unusual characters, many of who represent the evolving dynamic between pagan spirituality and the emergence of Christianity. Without wishing to ruin the plot of the novel Voog’s final stop on his journey works as an intelligent foreshadowing of Cornish migratory patterns in years to come.

The most striking thing about Kent’s writing in Voog’s Ocean is its sheer lyricism; something fitting with both the period in which the novel is set and the tone of many of our remaining stories from this era. It is also worth remarking on the verisimilitude of Voog’s voice. Having read countless novels where the narrator’s voice is clearly that of the author; it is refreshing to see in Kent’s sensitive and sparing use of dialect the cadences of Cornish speech. In addition to this I would commend to the reader’s attention the insight and understanding contextually relevant to Voog’s status: he knows what he knows and is an engaging and convincing narrator because of this. However, fans of the earthy humour and honesty Kent evinces in much of his written output will also not be disappointed. This is mainly due to the fact that although gifted with a poetic, storytelling voice Voog does not flinch from Kent’s trademark dark humour or covering the more unsavoury elements of the period.

As well as being a meticulously well-researched historical novel, Kent’s narrative also makes some interesting use of magic realism. This dovetails well with our lack of concrete knowledge of the era, and the myths and legend prevalent at this time – many of which were created by travellers such as Voog.

Rooted in Cornwall but with an acute awareness of the Duchy’s context in world history, Voog’s Ocean represents another positive phase of Kent ‘s journey to establish and delineate the specifics of Cornish identity.

Following the “Call for Submissions” post in the Cornish Lit blog last year, Duncan Yeates and Abigail Wyatt are delighted to announce the launch of their poetry anthology, “Murder of Krows” on 20th March at 7:00 pm at The Melting Pot, Redruth.

Featuring guest readings from the prolific and talented Alan M. Kent alongside Les Merton, the editor of “Poetry Cornwall”, this promises to be both an exciting and significant occasion to make space for in your diary.  The anthology itself is a selection of local poets from the Redruth area and beyond and gives an insight into the sheer diversity of work being produced in the small community of people who often convene to perform their work at The Melting Pot’s late opening Wednesday nights. In addition to this are other previously published and well respected poets such as John Phillips, and visual artists who work with language such as Janet McEwan, ensuring that this is a collection of work that really does showcase what Cornwall has to offer.

The night itself will include a free buffet and drinks for all who attend and a chance to buy a copy of this numbered and strictly limited anthology at the sum of £1.00.  If you are interested in purchasing an advance copy, please contact Duncan Yeates at lallocropia@gmail.com.

Please come and support Cornwall’s burgeoning creative writing scene. We intend that this anthology will be the first of many to promote Cornwall’s many published and unpublished writers.

book cover image enlarged

Cornish Studies Volume 20

At some point over the end of 2012 the latest volume in the Cornish Studies series of books was released by University of Exeter Press.  The series has, for the past twenty years, offered a collection of articles which have perceptibly and effectively altered our thinking about notions of Cornwall and Cornishness and, although I haven’t yet seen the contents of number 20 it should continue in this tradition, being a festschrift for the recently retired Bernard Deacon.  Bernard’s analysis of nineteenth and twentieth century Cornish social and industrial history in particular has been one of the principle developments in the “New Cornish Studies” whilst his contributions to language studies, literature studies and social studies have been no less welcome or insightful.

Priced at £15.99, Cornish Studies 20 is a paperback of 272 pages.