The Country of Larks: A Chiltern Journey
In the autumn of 1874, the author Robert Louis Stevenson set out on a three-day journey across the gently rolling Chiltern Hills. Almost 150 years later, spurred by the looming construction of the HS2 railway, Gail Simmons takes to the highways and byways of her childhood to follow in his footsteps. Combining an account of her walk through beech woods, farmland and villages dating back to the Domesday Book with impassioned interviews and personal memories, she peels back the layers of history, recording forever a world destined for change.
My first novel CLICK is being published by HarperCollins Killer Reads on 29th March. (The paperback is out in June). A campus-set thriller, it explores digital relationships, millennial boredom, and the distorting effect that social media can have on our “offline” lives.
I graduated from York in 2014 with a degree in English Lit, and am very grateful for the creative and broad education it gave me. Especially grateful to Profs Brian Cummings, Erica Sheen, Bryan Radley and Michelle Kelly, who were/are just great.
Reconstructing Historic Landmarks:Fabrication, Negotiation, and the Past
Wayde Brown has completed a book on the use of historic reconstructions within heritage conservation, entitled: “Reconstructing Historic Landmarks:Fabrication, Negotiation, and the Past”, published by Routledge.
“Planet in Peril”: an anthology for our time.
Since graduating, Isabelle has started her own publishing company Fly on the Wall Press. In May 2018, less than a year after graduating, she was awarded runner-up for Best Anthology at the prestigious Saboteur Awards. This year, Kenyon is embarking on a global warming anthology of artwork and poetry.
“Planet in Peril” will combine beautiful photography of endangered species and delicate ecosystems, with poetry designed to increase public awareness of the complex issues surrounding climate change. There has never been a more critical moment in this planet’s history. Ecosystems and species stand upon the precipice of extinction and await human action. Spurred by the urgency of the situation, Fly on the Wall Press has teamed up with WWF, The Climate Coalition, Dr Michelle Cain (Oxford University), former Derbyshire Poet Laureate, Helen Mort, and wildlife photographer, Emily Gellard, to create an anthology for our future.
Sleepless by Julia Deakin
Julia Deakin’s fourth full-length poetry collection is now available from Valley Press. The new book consolidates critical and popular acclaim for her first three collections, each praised by leading UK poets. ‘Sleepless’ offers no cure for insomnia, but ‘poets can lose sleep over everything, from climate change to commas’ says Julia. Her hard-hitting, wryly humorous and intensely humane collection probes our emotions, digs deep for grains of common sense and plumbs the depths of our conscience to ascertain how truly awake we are.
Of ‘Sleepless’ Gillian Clarke, National Poet of Wales 2008-2016, says: ‘From the first poem’s quiet lyricism to the final poem’s dazzling thirty sentences, these are witty, sometimes experimental, always musical, sharp-eyed, intelligent poems that ring in this reader’s mind. A fine collection.’
Deakin was born in Nuneaton and worked her way north via the Potteries, Manchester and York to Huddersfield where she began writing poems on a poetry MA. Previously published as a feature writer and reviewer, her poems soon found widespread acclaim. One was read at Lynda Bellingham’s funeral and published in several online newspapers. Two have featured on Poetry Please and many others won competitions.
Michael Symmons Roberts praised her previous book, ‘Eleven Wonders’ (Graft 2012) as ‘powerful, assured, elegant. Her formal skill and inventiveness make this a rich and eclectic collection.
In 2013 she was one of four poets to walk the 47-mile Stanza Stones trail, learning the trail and the poems backwards to conduct ‘walkshops’ around Simon Armitage’s engraved poems. A compelling reader, she has performed throughout the UK as well as in Cork and Chicago.
The Road to Hastings 978 - 1066
The text covers the period from Aethelred the Unready to the final showdown between William of Normandy and Hatrold II at Hastings. Each king and their part in maintaining that link between the two is considered beginning with Emma of Normandy and her marriage to Aethelred and later to Cnut. The current site of the battle is questioned due to a lack of archaeology, as is the Anglo-Saxon use of cavalry and battle tactics. Original sources and prior authors works have been compared to provide a more complete coverage of the subject than currently available to students of the period. Naturally the Bayeux Tapestry is also dissected and its restorations and alterations are considered.
The Red Gene
My second novel, ‘The Red Gene’, will be published by Urbane Publications in April. Already available for pre-order on Amazon.
“This fine historical novel traces the intergenerational legacies of the Spanish civil war through two groups of families, English and Spanish. At the narrative core is an English nurse who volunteered in the civil war, was caught in the violence of the Republican defeat and eventually returned to Britain. The parallel narrative follows three generations of Spanish families whose lives, unknowingly but irrevocably, were intertwined with Rose’s Spanish experiences. The author, an English writer and long- resident in Granada, effortlessly evokes the powerful ethos of the civil war and of life during the dictatorship and the post-Franco transition to democracy. Quite simply, this is an enthralling novel with real historical heft.” –Judith Keene, University of Sydney
Elemental: How the Periodic Table Can Now Explain (Nearly) Everything
(Taken from Amazon)
Tim James, the secondary-school science teacher we all wish we’d had, provides an accessible and wonderfully entertaining ‘biography of chemistry’ that uses stories to explain the positions and patterns of elements in the periodic table. Many popular science titles tend to tell the history of scientific developments, leaving the actual science largely unexplained; James, however, makes use of stories to explain the principles of chemistry within the table, showing its relevance to everyday life.
Quirkily illustrated and filled with humour, this is the perfect book for students wanting to learn chemistry or for parents wanting to help, but it is also for anyone who wants to understand how our world works at a fundamental level. The periodic table, that abstract and seemingly jumbled graphic, holds (nearly) all the answers.
Update - marriage, awards and publication
What was it for:
Hiranmayee Mishra sent the following message which was lovely to receive.
“Hi, a very warm wish from India. I left York in 2011. Since then not a single day passed when I didn’t remember my university, the city and my loving friends. I have just now written a novel based on my England life. Its now on stands and highly appreciated by the readers. We had a release event of the book in September. September is also our month of marriage and we celebrated our 25th marriage anniversary this time. The pic I am sharing is from our silver jubilee anniversary album.I am very excited to share that I have been awarded by IIE, USA an alumni award for working on issues related to transgenders.
Hope to read all yours stories.
'Learning to have Lost'
During September 2018 Oz was International Poet in Residence at the Poetry on the Move: Inhabiting Language Festival in Canberra, delivering workshops and taking part in panel discussions and academic sessions on prose poetry. While he was there, his new chapbook of prose poems, ‘Learning to have Lost,’ was published by the International Poetry studies Institute at the University of Canberra. It was the culmination of an exciting year in which Oz has read and given talks in the UK, Europe, and USA following the publication of his sixth full collection, ‘The House of Ghosts and Mirrors‘ (Valley Press) in 2017. Oz is currently co-editing an anthology of contemporary British prose poetry for publication in May 2019, and working towards a full collection of my own prose poetry early in 2020.
Ours is a restless age. At one extreme, 24/7 corporate culture and social media addiction leave many unable to literally and metaphorically switch off; at the other, millions are roaming continents in fear of their lives while looking for a safe place to rest. In Sleepless, poet Julia Deakin tirelessly questions how we have come to this exhausting impasse.
Her hard-hitting, wryly humorous and intensely humane collection probes our emotions, digs deep for grains of common sense and plumbs the depths of our conscience to ascertain how truly awake we are.
Deakin’s work has drawn consistent praise from nationally-renowned poets. ‘Crafted, tender poems, written with passion and purpose,’ said Simon Armitage of her first collection, Without a Dog (Graft, 2008). Anne Stevenson ‘read it straight through at a single sitting’ enjoying its ‘mature wit and wisdom’. ‘Real linguistic inventiveness’ said Ian McMillan. ‘Bold, irreverent and wickedly funny,’ said Alison Brackenbury of her Poetry Business Competition winner, The Half-Mile-High-Club.
MMU Professor of Poetry Michael Symmons Roberts appraised Eleven Wonders (http://www/graftpoetry.co.uk) as ‘Powerful, assured, elegant. Her formal skill and inventiveness make this a rich and eclectic collection. Those who, like me, have admired her individual poems in the past, will be struck by their cumulative strength and range.’
Of Sleepless, Gillian Clarke (National Poet of Wales 2008-2016) says: ‘From the first poem’s quiet lyricism to the final poem’s dazzling thirty sentences, these are witty, sometimes experimental, always musical, sharp-eyed, intelligent poems that ring in this reader’s mind. A fine collection.’
Deakin was born in Nuneaton and worked her way north to Yorkshire where she taught, married, did a Poetry MA and took up ice skating. A compelling reader, she has featured twice on Poetry Please and won numerous competitions – none of them for skating.
Oak Fish Island
Oliver Comins has published his first, long anticipated, full-length book of poetry called ‘Oak Fish Island.’ A selection of twentieth century work is included plus many previously uncollected poems written more recently.