This coming Sunday, 22nd July five working class poets will be reading at the Torriano Meeting House (the Torriano has a rich history of supporting working class poets for a number of decades). Each of us are, or will be published by Culture Matters, a co-operative, which promotes socialist and progressive art, culture and politics. The authors are Fran Lock, Alan Dunnett, Martin Hayes, Nadia Drews, Alan Morrison and myself. Our books cover many aspects of working class life, including work, politics, and culture.
Below are details for each poet: we hope to see some of you on Sunday.
FRAN LOCK: “…in those hotbed-of-non-event towns, / she dug in her heels, and she bit back her/ anger…” – From ‘our mother’s day will come’.
Fran is the author of four books: Flatrock (Little Episodes, 2011), The Mystic and the Pig Thief (Salt, 2014), Dogtooth (Out-Spoken Press, 2017) and Muses & Bruises (Manifesto Press/Culture Matters, 2017). Her work is concerned with the unlikely strategies for resistance in the lives of working-class women and girls.
PETER RAYNARD: ‘some of us are trench-foot perfect-fit coffin fodder taken in by the pointed finger of men bred from a moustache to dig a scar down France to bury ourselves in’ – From Tommy and the Common Five-Eighters.
Peter is the author of two books: Precarious (Smokestack, 2018) & The Combination: a poetic coupling of the Communist Manifesto (Culture Matters, 2018).
MARTIN HAYES – “...because in the end/ don’t we need these jobs/ for more than just their money don’t we need these jobs/ so that we can stand in front of mirrors/ and look at ourselves/ without feeling worthless/ or disconnected…” – From stitching this Universe together
Martin has worked in the London courier industry for over 30 years. He is the author of four books: Letting Loose The Hounds, (Redbeck Press). When We Were Almost Like Men,(Smokestack). The Things Our Hands Once Stood For, (Culture Matters, 2018) and Roar! (Smokestack, 2018).
NADIA DREWS – “It was in the way she spit./Jutting jets, tongue-funnelled,/Through a rizla-thin grimacing gap./Like a mill-misting drizzle.”– From The things she did not say
Nadia grew up in San Francisco sun and Greater Manchester mizzle. She is a former Farrago Poetry Slam Champion who protests through songs and plays including the pub-staged I Love Vinegar Vera (What becomes of the Broken Hearted). She is currently working on a collection for Culture Matters to be published later this year.
ALAN DUNNETT “Crucifixions/ on either side and winter/ coming on although it is still warm./ In the streets are banners/ and megaphones sounding/ through open shop doors,/ marching, democracy, discussion,/ disagreement. Let me help you up./ It’s not too late.”– From When The Well Runs Dry
Alan works mainly at Drama Centre, CSM, where he is also a UCU rep. His poetry has appeared online and in print including Stand, Skylight 47, The Rialto, The Recusant, The Robin Hood Book, The Best New British and Irish Poets 2016 (Eyewear). A Third Colour is Alan’s debut collection (Culture Matters, 2018).
ALAN MORRISON “…it’s permanent open season for press-/ Persecution of the unemployed as/ “Parasites” –fleas of unearned leisure;/ Stigmatizing strugglers as “scroungers”/ Is England’s guiltless pleasure…”– From ‘“St. Jude” & the Welfare Jew’
Alan is author of eight books, including Keir Hardie Street (Smokestack, 2010), Captive Dragons (Waterloo, 2011), Blaze a Vanishing/ The Tall Skies (Waterloo, 2013), Shadows Waltz Haltingly (Lapwing, Belfast, 2015), and the Forward-nominated Tan Raptures (Smokestack, 2017). His epic poem-in-progress, Odour of Devon Violet, can be sampled online (www.odourofdevonviolet.com). His forthcoming collection, Shabby Gentile, is due out with Culture Matters later this year.