Rachael Clyne is from Glastonbury: her collection Singing at the Bone Tree (Indigo Dreams) concerns eco-issues, her pamphlet, Girl Golem (4Word Press) explores her Jewish, migrant background. Her new collection, You’ll Never Be Anyone Else, will be published by Seren in 2023. It expands on themes of identitiy, including sexual orientation.
Melanie Branton is a poet, spoken word artist and education worker from Redfield in Bristol. Her published collections are Can You See Where I’m Coming From? (Burning Eye, 2018) and My Cloth-Eared Heart (Oversteps, 2017).
Jennie E. Owen has been widely published online, in literary journals and anthologies. She teaches Creative Writing for The Open University and lives in Lancashire with her husband and three children. Jennie is currently working on a poetry PhD with MMU.
Lauren is currently a second year on the MA in writing poetry with Poetry School London, with Newcastle University. She has been published in various print and online publications, most recently Lighthouse Magazine and Magma. She also published a pamphlet, Silver Hare Tales, with Blood Moon Poetry in December 2021. twitter:@laurenmywrites
Gram Joel Davies is a poet in Devon. His collection Bolt Down This Earth (V. Press) was published in 2017. It’s been a while, but he is getting back into writing after training as a counsellor. A recent poem in The Moth marked his return.
Fokkina McDonnell’s poems have been widely published and anthologised. She has two collections and a pamphlet. Fokkina received a Northern Writers’ Award from New Writing North in 2020 for Remembering / Disease, published by Broken Sleep Books October 2022.
Our featured publication for January and February is A Census of Preconceptions by Oz Hardwick, published by SurVision books.
“A Census of Preconceptions is a dangerously witty and uncanny masterpiece. In subversive prose poems, Oz Hardwick creates extraordinary peregrinations into the neo-surreal and phantasmagoric, where TV networks hire owls instead of people, ‘graveyards are the new shopping malls’ and volcanoes are hidden inside houses. In this searing collection, Hardwick explores language’s possibilities in lyric gestures that repeatedly break free from lyric norms. He creates achingly wistful junctures where the reader edges into ‘the narrowing space between two bodies that, like magnets, push harder away the closer they approach’. This prose poetry transforms, reinvents and marvels – it speaks as much in its haunting gaps and silences as it does in its beguiling lexicon.” Cassandra Atherton
“In this triumph of language and imagination, Oz Hardwick makes the impossible appear before your very eyes, with sleight of hand juxtapositions. He is a straight-talking storyteller, the lava lamp-bearing usher of troubling shadow theatres that have set themselves up in scuffed liminal spaces of a down-at-heel town. Go on, take the weight off your feet, here’s a brew, now let this book do its work. These poems are rare dazzling gifts – behold!” Helen Ivory
“Humane, funny but hard-edged, A Census of Preconceptions filters memory and experience through a beautifully distorted stained-glass window: there’s a wink with the melancholy and a shiver of doubt to the resilience and joy. These are poetic reports from the field with points of reference at once familiar and strange. Hardwick makes the form his own here, and as in the best prose poetry there’s a deceptive ease to the voice: it welcomes you, sits you down and begins to speak, before shining a light right in your eye.” Luke Kennard
Not Fade Away
Epiphanies for All
Oz Hardwick is a European poet, photographer, occasional musician, and accidental academic, who has been described “as a “major proponent of the neo-surreal prose poem in Britain.” He has published “about a dozen” full collections and chapbooks, including Learning to Have Lost (Canberra: IPSI, 2018) which won the 2019 Rubery International Book Award for poetry, and most recently A Census of Preconceptions (SurVision Books, 2022). He has also edited or co-edited several anthologies, including The Valley Press Anthology of Prose Poetry (Scarborough: Valley Press, 2019) with Anne Caldwell. Oz has held residencies in the UK, Europe, the US and Australia, and has performed internationally at major festivals and intimate soirees. In 2022, he was awarded the ARC Poetry Prize for “a lifetime devotion and service to the cause of prose poetry,” though he is quick to point out that he’s not dead yet. Oz is Professor of Creative Writing at Leeds Trinity University.
Copies of A Census of Preconceptions are available to purchase from the Survision website, or directly from Oz.
Julia Webb is a writer, poetry mentor/tutor and editor, based in Norwich. Her third collection The Telling was published by Nine Arches Press in May 2022. She is steering editor for Lighthouse – a journal for new writers.