Congratulations to Polly Atkin from Grasmere, winner of the Mslexia Pamphlet Competition with her pamphlet Shadow Dispatches. The prize is publication by Seren Books in March 2013.
Seren editor and competition judge Amy Wack said: “Her poems were both artfully discursive and beautifully succinct – and many surprised me. I loved the way they skewed from straightforward narrative towards metaphors that were sometimes quite outlandish but always beautifully realised.”
In 1926, Coco Chanel launched her ‘Ford’ dress, the first definitive Little Black Dress (LBD), onto the haute couture scene. Both practical and chic, the LBD has since – allegedly – become a staple in every woman’s wardrobe. Elizabeth Stott’s been blogging about its continuing allure and has been squeezing into one for choir concerts. She makes the case for Little Red Numbers too, with a naughty little poem called ‘The Undoing’ …
not many resting here
made old bones
What is it with poets and country churchyards? Here’s Mick Yates mooching about in Milburn, out on the East Fellside in the Eden Valley. Read his poem, epitaph >>
Here’s an excellent post from Mary Robinson on her Wild About Poetry blog, commemorating the last typewriter to roll off the production line at the Brother factory in Wrexham last week, plus a poem, Transcript, inspired by her mother’s work as a shorthand typist.
After five series, the BBC has axed Merlin (left, looking none too happy about it). Maybe they found out that it was, historically speaking, a load of old cobblers. Maybe they’ve been reading Cumbrian blogger Esmeralda, who sets the record straight and claims him as an early Cumbrian bard.
You know you’re getting on when you start to notice white hairs on the heads of your children … In ‘Stopping at the Sleeper Bridge’, Patricia Pogson treads a well-worn path through a familiar landscape and half a lifetime of memories, in the company of her daughter.
“All I get is a pompous self-important leaf-eater asking Where is your sign for this? Where is your sign for that? Why have you not got a sign saying Fire Extinguisher above the fire extinguisher that’s painted bright red with Fire Extinguisher written in bold white writing on it??”
As an ‘embedded’ war artist, Derek Eland found that some of his subjects got more wound up by the Health & Safety bods than they did by the Taliban … Read more>>
“When my boys were young, it was a story I loved to tell. Throughout their childhood, teen years, and even into their twenties, my children appreciated this tale from my childhood and laughed along with me in all the right places …”
We’re not sure if this piece by Linda Bowes is fiction or memoir, but it’s pretty sticky. Read Marmalade Sandwiches>>
Cumbrian writer Ian Hill’s submission to Lancaster Litfest for a special publication of new work inspired by Lancashire landscapes is one of three pieces that make up The Language of Footprints, the latest ebook from the festival’s Flax imprint.
‘Instar’ explores and celebrates the liminal landscape of Leighton Moss and Morecambe Bay, where land and water continually change places and struggle for dominance. Read more>>
I missed you by a quarter of an hour.
I should have hurried through my morning shower,
missed eating breakfast in the sleepy sun
or read no emails, or replied to none …
Sue Millard’s granddaughter Naomi died last year of a rare form of cancer – Wilms’ tumour – six weeks before her sixth birthday. ‘Missing’ is the harrowing yet cathartic poem written in response. Read more>>
Curthwaite fictionista Brindley Hallam Dennis has been playing with some new toys and filming himself telling stories. Here he is with a quite brilliant tale (which you can also read on his blog) of a chilling encounter on a taxi rank, Turkey Cock>>
The children are ahead, pretending to be adults
walking and talking fast.
We are dressed like old people.
Even our stooped shoulders look real.
At a time of year when many parents have just deposited their children outside university halls of residence, Elizabeth Stott puts her eye to the other end of the telescope in Alumni>>
It’s not just a piece of old iron, you won’t find it on the back of a big red truck, and it hasn’t got any feathers – unless you’ve just plucked a chicken (or some other unfortunate fowl) over the hearth.
The Fire Crane, in fact, is Cumbria’s first literary newspaper. And it’s FREE.