The Dark Hill Speaks

Iris Anne Lewis has been awarded 1st prize in the Gloucestershire Poetry Society competition for her poem The Dark Hill Speaks.

Judge Belinda Rimmer said of the poem: ‘As the title implies, this poem delves below the surface of things. There’s a strong connectedness between the different elements of art, poetry and landscape. They inform each other beautifully, darkly. I enjoyed the shape of the poem, reflecting perhaps the uniformity of ceramic pots. The poem was unsettling, elusive, and invited multiple readings. It rose slowly to the top, carrying me through to the last poignant line.’ 

The Dark Hill Speaks was inspired by Graham Sutherland’s painting Dark Hill, and will be published in the inaugural issue of ‘Steel Jackdaw’ later this year.

Cannon’s Mouth and Trouvaille Review

Frank McMahon has had two successes recently.

Emperor Akhbar Seeks Ultimate Wisdom was published in The Cannon’s Mouth in June this year. It was inspired by a visit to the former capital of the Mughal Empire, founded in 1571, where the Emperor would met with scholars from different faiths to discover which, if any, had the ultimate truth.

Rose Garden, was published on-line in Trouvaille Review in July this year.

Black Bough Poetry launches Deep Time Volume 1

Inspired by the deep time adventures of Robert McFarlane in Underland (2019), Black Bough Poetry’s anthology Deep Time is the first of two volumes dedicated to prehistory, mythologies, geological time and underworlds. In this volume, poets from across the world explore subterranean and submarinal environments, uncover the traces of the past in mining and archaeology and evoke the myths of ancestors.

Somewhere Else writer, Iris Anne Lewis, is delighted that her poem Swan Song in the Geissenklösterle Cave is featured in the anthology. You can listen to Iris reading her poem here.

Beautifully illustrated by Rebecca Wainwright, Deep Time is available from Amazon. An online version will be available on the Black Bough website in due course. In the meantime Black Bough Poetry has released a playlist of the poets reading their work introduced by music especially composed to accompany the poetry. You can find the play list here.

Listening to the music and the voices exploring these subterranean places is quite a meditative experience, so why not carve out an hour of your time, get yourself a cup of coffee or glass of wine and listen to this collection of work which Robert MacFarlane describes as ‘both contemporary and mythic, urgent and ancient. Strange voices for strange times sing out here’.

Family Gathering on Ragged Scratch

Frank McMahon’s poem Family Gathering has been selected by Ragged Foils Productions for their next Podcast, which is due to be released on Wednesday, 13th May.

The poem came out of a writing exercise, the object of which was to wander, observe and note what you saw, heard and felt in a large private garden… and then turn the results into writing. Frank transposed a gathering of his family into the garden.

‘Ridgeway’ on BBC Wiltshire

Sophie Livingston’s short story ‘The Ridgeway’ is being serialised this week on BBC Radio Wiltshire as part of the BBC’s Digital UPLOAD initiative.

The story, which is a mystery set on the long-distance footpath, is being broadcast in four parts. The first five minute episode, was aired on Tuesday 21st April. The next three episodes will run on the following Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights, during the station’s evening broadcast.

Sophie, who was interviewed live by Sue Kinnear on Tuesday night’s programme, said she was thrilled at the way the station had dramatised the story and would like to encourage other people to submit work via Upload.

The first broadcast will be available for the next month here. The interview runs from 1:22 and finishes at 1:29 on the recording time line. The first episode runs from 1:41 to 1:46.

You can find out more about BBC Upload here.