Monday 16 December 2019

Beauty, Dreams, Books & Art

will share wonder in living things
beauty, dreams, books and art
love your neighbour and be kind
and have an open heart

So here is a Top 10 of beautiful books, anthologies and projects I worked on and contributed to most recently. Here comes the winter solstice. Here comes the long dark and here comes the light. These will make great Xmas gifts, unique and thoughtful presents for your friends and family or for yourself and for your own hibernation and winter holiday inspiration. 

This past year or so I've produced a lot of different work for a broad range of projects: poetry, prose, essays, children's poetry, music, film, radio work, short fiction, gorgeous books, posters, CD and vinyl. Some of these items were made to raise funds for charity, so if you get these you will support indie publishing and some great charities and have a good read all at the same time. 

Please give poetry this Xmas. Please give the gift of books. Give dreams and colour and art. It has been a very busy and chaotic time for us all, but before I hibernate, here's my top ten tasty treats:


1. EightyFour is a beautiful poetry collection edited by Helen Calcutt raising funds for CALM @theCALMzone and published by Verve @VervePoetryPres - 2019 was a year of brave people talking about mental health through poetry and art and performance. Shout out also to Jake Wildhall and Amy Acre and @badbettypress for The Dizziness of Freedom I'm proud of both of these two books, they are remarkable. Both contain brutal honesty and power and both also offer help and links to resources and charities. Let's share, let's talk, let's listen...


2. #Poemsfromagreenandblueplanet is an exciting and awe inspiring anthology packed with hope for the future and love of nature, it is published by Hachette @HachetteKids and edited by Sabrina Mahfouz. This book features a glorious range of poets, all writing with a heart filled with wonderism and love for this green and blue planet. I recommend this book for all ages!

3. “Food glorious food...” This glorious and delicious food-themed children’s poetry collection #midnightfeasts is edited by AF.Harrold. This book is beautifully illustrated by Katie Riddell, its out now with Bloomsbury @KidsBloomsbury a perfect Xmas gift for the young foody in the family! 

4. What is Masculinity? Why does it matter? And other big questions: Thanks to Jeffrey Boakye and Darren Chetty for asking me to contribute to this powerful kids book published by Hachette Kids books @HachetteKids  This whole series is amazing. A perfect gift for any child with lots of big and important questions!

5. No Holds Barred: Earlier this year I worked with Tangerine Press @TangerinePress to make these exquisite, collectible, limited edition posters. You'll find these and a plethora of beautiful handmade books and other artworks at Tangerine HQ:

6. Pessimism is for Lightweights: Framed poetry posters make great Xmas gifts and look lovely in your home. You can find these very lovely limited edition yellow letter press prints #Pessimismisforlightweights and books and more at Rough Trade Books @RoughTradeBooks You can also order whole pamphlet sets, RTB have some great bundle deals for Xmas!

7. This year we launched Others #othersbook with Unbound @unbounders Thank you to Charles @cfernyhough for working so hard on this and for asking me to contribute. It was an opportunity to give my sister a platform and help my sister Jo tell her story in her own words: We Are The Champions! Order this book! Buy this book! Give this book! Help us all raise funds for @stophateuk @RefugeeAction


8. TGI! Shout out and BIGlove to the TGI family, to Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman, this was the year they launched The Good Immigrant in America. Our book also came out in translation in Japan this year with this yellow cover. I'm so proud of you and so proud to be part of the rising TGI family! Phenomenal! Thank you! #thegoodimmigrant 

9. And this happened! The essential #smashingitbook edited by powerhouse Sabrina Mahfouz was released in October 2019 and launched at the Purcell Room on the Southbank - Smashing It: Working Class Artists on Life, Art and Making It HappenThis book contains a key, a map and some armour. It is the perfect Christmas gift for young artists and for the brave and creative soul in your family. Published by Saqi Books @SaqiBooks  Highly recommend!

10. Poetry on vinyl! Poetry CD’s! Poetry albums! Tickets to #LIVEwire events! T-shirts and zines! These will all make superb Xmas gifts! Please check out the shop and the excellent events and releases coming up in 2020 @nymphsandthugs -

That's all folks! Thanks to publishers and bookshops and all writers and readers. Give poetry this Christmas! Give books! Share the hope and the wonder and the love! This winter I’m gonna be deep inside my 'Mrs Death Misses Death' world and I’m very excited about that ... Happy midwinters to you all! Happy Holidays! Merry merry! Ding dong! Xx

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