‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ at Theatre by the Lake

Review:   How do you pronounce the title?  This seemed to be the most common conversation in Theatre by the Lake’s foyer on Friday night. Fortunately, the mystery was cleared up within the first five minutes of the play (it’s ‘loo-na-sa’, if you’re wondering), and we could get on with enjoying the performance. And we […]

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‘Not About Heroes’ at Theatre by the Lake

Stephen MacDonald’s Not About Heroes is a play about poetry. It is also a play about pity. It is, of course, a play about war. But above all, it is a play about the strong friendship between two men: Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. In the Theatre by the Lake’s current production, directed by Jez […]

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Boggles Abound in New Book

[Press Release]   THE Ballad of the Kirkgate Brow Boggle at Cockermouth and tales of boggles at Salterbeck, Whitehaven and the rest of the Lake District are detailed in a new book. Boggle is a dialect term for ghost, poltergiest or ‘anything odd’) and the 84-page Boggles of Cumbria recounts some of the most famous […]

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Felltarn Friends Children’s Book Event

Bookends (66 Main Street, Keswick) and Claire Jane Mansfield, one of the authors of the fantastic new children’s book, Felltarn Friends, are holding an event at The Theatre by the Lake, 15th April 2014 at 11am. Written by two local mums, Felltarn Friends is a new activity book based on things to see and do […]

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‘Norman Nicholson: The Whispering Poet’ by Kathleen Jones

Kathleen Jones has written a new biography of Norman Nicholson: The Whispering Poet, which has just been published to celebrate his up-coming centenary in 2014. The book contains much new information from archives and from family and friends. It’s now available through all good bookshops and on Amazon as well as a Kindle e-book!   […]

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‘Swallows and Amazons’ at Theatre by the Lake

Adapting a well-loved childhood classic is always a risk, but in the case of Theatre by the Lake’s Christmas production of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons, the risk pays off. Helen Edmundson’s script, directed by Stefan Escreet, brings the novel to life for a new generation, while not losing the magical and nostalgic feel of the […]

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This is the story of two books…

 Ann Healey writes about two books from Ink Pantry Publishing: – x – This is the story of two books.  Sea of Ink and Fields of Words. Once upon a time, there were several students from all over the UK and Europe, who were enrolled on a creative writing course run by the Open University (OU). […]

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Kids – win a Kindle Fire!

applecorebooks-logoWriters Wendy Storer, from Kendal, and Sheffield-based Kate Hanney, are the brains behind new publishing imprint Applecore Books, specialising in realistic contemporary fiction for children and young adults. To help spread the word, they’re running a competition for 9 to 18 year olds, and the first prize is a fabulous Kindle Fire.

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Reviews round up – The Havocs, by Jacob Polley

jacob-polley1It may have missed out on the T.S. Eliot Prize, but Jacob Polley’s latest has received mostly positive reviews since it was published last November. Here’s our pick of the best of them by Ben Wilkinson, Miriam Gamble, John Field and Steve Matthews, plus links to poems from the collection published online and a recording from the T. S. Eliot Prize reading in London.

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Melvyn Bragg on ‘Grace and Mary’

Melvyn BraggGrace and Mary is not a book about dementia, BBC broadcaster Melvyn Bragg is keen to point out. Nor it is about his own experiences. Yet without either influences, his latest novel would not exist in the form it does.”

Melvyn Bragg talks to the Liverpool Daily Post before appearing at the city’s In Other Words festival on 11 May, just after the publication of his new novel. Cumbrian audiences can catch him in Wigton on 18 May and Carlisle on 6 June. (See our Calendar pages for details). Read more >>

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Electric Blue Poppies

blue poppy cropA book can take fifteen years to write but be out of print in no time and pretty much forgotten – a shameful state of affairs for Angela Locke’s novel Dreams of the Blue Poppy, according to fellow Cumbrian author and newbie independent publisher Kathleen Jones.

Originally published by Robert Hale in 2007, the novel – a historical romance with a botanical twist – has been re-released in an electronic edition by Kathleen’s Book Mill imprint. Read more >>

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The Cockermouth Poets 1700-2012

Cockermouth arkThe anthology we’ve all been waiting for! The Cockermouth Poets 1700-2012 is a labour of love by poetry activist and editor extraordinaire Michael Baron, bringing together 85 poets who have all either read publicly in the town, were born there, or passed though and breathed its sweet air. It’s an idea inspired by disaster, arising out of the ‘River Poets’ shop window poetry trail (also a Baron brainchild) to mark the first anniversary of the great flood of 2009.

Net proceeds from sales of the book – priced £8.50 – go to Cockermouth Mountain Rescue and Save The Children. Read more >>

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Heat and owls

It’s National Short Story Week, which is a good time to be telling you about two new collections of stories by Cumbrian authors. A publisher – Pewter Rose Press – has at last had the sense to gather up a bunch of Brindley Hallam Dennis stories and put them between a pair of soft covers. Talking to Owls is the result.

Elizabeth Stott has been messing about with Kindle software and has released a trio of her tales – This Heat – as an e-book, available from you-know-where. Read more>>

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