Featured Publication – Manland by Peter Raynard

Our featured publication for September and October is Manland by Peter Raynard, published by Nine Arches Press.

Peter Raynard’s Manland is a bold, brilliant and outspoken new collection of poems that scrutinise men and manhood, mental health, working class lives and disability. Aloud and alive with music, wit, anger and rebellion, this is an accomplished, politically aware and vital book.

Raynard is a skilled observer, and these razor-sharp poems document parenthood through the lens of a stay-at-home dad, attempt to tell the truth about men and depression, study our cultural and social and medical relationships with drugs and drug-taking, and lay bare the realities of life at the sharpest edges of society. By turns frank, painful and bleakly funny, this humane and brilliant book encompasses pride and prejudices, the bonds between lads and dads, the toxic pressures of masculinity and the way illness and poverty irrevocably shape lives.

In Manland Peter Raynard traverses the unstable terrain of working-class masculinity. His poems meet manhood in all of its banter and swagger; its persistent myths and dangerous silences. With his characteristic lyric verve, Raynard explores what it means to be a man, a father, a husband, and a son. The result is moving, candid, wise and tender, full of humour and hard-won insight. A convincing and beautiful book.” Fran Lock

Part manifesto, part hymn, part raging lament, this collection takes apart the dirty engine of so-called masculinity, strips it down to its component parts, reconsiders and rearranges them using a dazzling array of poetic forms. It is only through acknowledging the strength of their vulnerability, these poems suggest, that men will be able to manifest change in our broken system where the violence of patriarchy is the enemy of us all.” Jacqueline Saphra

One of the things I love most about Peter Raynard’s work is his voice. His voice is necessary, vital, passionate. It is the voice of anger at social injustice, a voice that deconstructs toxic masculinity, a chronicler of illness. Above all, it is the voice of truth. He tells us how the world is, not how we would like it to be. In this way, Peter Raynard is nothing short of a truth-teller.” Richard Skinner

Go On My Son

Previously published in the Rialto

Home-Father’s Beside Himself at the Seaside

previously published in the North

A Sestina to Die For

previously published in The Brown Book Anthology


Peter Raynard is a disabled working class poet, and editor. Born in Coventry, he now lives in St Albans. He has been widely published in journals and anthologies. Peter edited Proletarian Poetry: poems of working class lives, for five years (www.proletarianpoetry.com), featuring over 150 contemporary poets.

He has written three poetry books; Manland (Nine Arches Press, 2022), Precarious (Smokestack Books, 2018), and The Combination: a poetic coupling of the Communist Manifesto (Culture Matters, 2018). He has been an associate of Culture Matters and alumni of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen where he was a member for five years.

Copies of Manland are available from the Nine Arches Press website.

House-Father Has Shit on the Carpet – Peter Raynard

House-Father Has Shit on the Carpet

Love is not a lump of shit on a white carpet
when the carpet is no longer white
when it can be no longer called a carpet
when there is only Calpol on a spoon
with a baby screaming into a room
with all of its contents now crammed inside
this House-Father’s head. He starts to question
the apocryphal power of this purple sugar-based syrup.
Maybe baby is hungry. Father smokes a spliff.

He always wanted to do a philosophy degree
or an engineering degree or better still
a philosophy of engineering degree
that by degree would show him the mechanics
of a quiet world. He could do it in France
they love theory. Now House-Father thinks
he’s shit himself. Will nobody help him?
He can’t do this by himself in the middle
of a night when everyone is dead, refusing
to rise and all the others who now realize
that we are put on this earth to wipe away
all of the shit we never shit in the first place
but are still meant to call it love. Shit!

Peter Raynard is editor of Proletarian Poetry (www.proletarianpoetry.com). His  books of poetry are: ‘Precarious’ (Smokestack Books, 2018) and ‘The Combination: a poetic coupling of the Communist Manifesto’ (Culture Matters, 2018). ‘Rumbled’ will be published by Nine Arches Press in 2022.