What has been added to our collection this month? Here are a few highlights:
We've had a bumper haul of work by Denise Riley come into the library lately. Her Selected Poems 1976 - 2016, published this year by Picador, showcases an impressive 40-year career of varied and incisive poetry. Her essay Time Lived, Without Its Flow, a companion piece to Forward Prize-nominated Say Something Back, is a beautiful, erudite meditation on grief and time, written in the months and years following her son's death. And to top it off, we've recently acquired two books of Riley's philosophical work: The Words of Selves (2000) and Impersonal Passion (2005) both of which give us an insight into the theoretical background of her approaches to language and poetry.
Our Assistant Librarians returned from the Small Publishers’ Fair in London last month with a haul of lesser-known specimens from the publishing landscape. Amongst them were Wendy Morrow’s Fossil and Shevaun Cooley’s Granite, both part of Australian collaborative A Published Event’s Lost Rocks Library (2017-2021), a Tasmanian slow publishing project producing 40 novellas over four years. It started when two artists found an incomplete rock collection in a surburban flea shop and hit upon the idea of commissioning artists to replace the missing rocks with ‘fictiōnellas’. The project is supported by a series of live performances and will culminate in 2021 with a survey book and exhibition.
Poets are stepping up and responding to the climate crisis and this month we’ve acquired two anthologies about our planet aimed at children. First up is Poems from a Green & Blue Planet, edited by Sabrina Mahfouz, celebrating the beauty and wonder of the earth and its animals. Alongside classic poems by the likes of John Clare, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Christina Rossetti, Sara Teasdale and Rabindranath Tagore, are newly commissioned poems by poets including Raymond Antrobus, Mona Arshi, Salena Godden, A. F. Harrold, Hollie McNish and Kate Tempest. Wide ranging and majestic, this is a hardback volume children and adults can cherish.
In contrast, Be The Change : Poems to help you save the world is a slim, luminous green paperback but it also has big ambitions. Written by three poets, Liz Brownlee, Matt Goodfellow and Roger Stevens, it has poems in praise of wonky veg, Greta Thunberg and not always flushing the toilet. Along with the poems are practical “You can help” tips of small changes children can make, from plastic free pack lunches to turning off the tap while you brush your teeth. Two anthologies with a positive message of loving and looking after our planet that would make great Christmas presents (wrapped in recyclable paper of course!).
Look out for our Day of Children’s Poetry at the Imagine Festival on Monday 17 February which will have an environmental focus - more details soon!