New collections from Tessa Foley, Mark Fiddes, Antony Mair and Tessa Foley.
What Sort Of Bird Are You?
"A few poets are original, a few are distinct, a handful are sad, some wise, some funny. I can’t think of any recent English poet who’s arrived with so much of this already blazing. Tessa Foley is a brilliant and unmistakable new poet, in whose hands the language is pure glistening matter." Glyn Maxwell
Tessa Foley is a poet whose work explores feminism, sexuality and the rejection of normalcy. Her debut poetry collection, ‘Chalet Between Thick Ears’ was published by Live Canon in November 2018 and has inspired a series of Live Canon films. The same year, Tessa also self-published ‘Garden’, illustrated by her sister, Anna Foley, to raise money for the Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling Service where she volunteered for three years. She has recently been recognised in the Ware Poets Competition, the Charroux Poetry Prize and the Canterbury Literary Festival Poet of the Year Competition.
A Suitcase Filled With Hope
Antony Mair’s début collection, Bestiary, and Other Animals, was shortlisted for the 2017 Live Canon First Collection Prize, and published by Live Canon in June 2018. His second collection, Let The Wounded Speak, was published by Oversteps Books in October 2018 and was longlisted for the Poetry Book Awards 2020. In A Suitcase Filled with Hope he offers the reader poems touching on a wide variety of subjects, including personal memories, gay identity, climate change and elegies for departed friends, and an equally wide variety of locations, from Kefalonia to Hawaii. A lifelong love of literature is shown by references to poets old and new, from Christopher Smart to Adrienne Rich. His poems are sometimes in his own voice, but often adopt the voice of others, in other times, other countries, or other social situations. They attempt to convey some of the richness of human experience, in which suffering is alleviated by love – and hope.
In the 1980s Sue Burge worked at the Royal Academy of Dancing and witnessed the effect of AIDS on the world of dance. Confetti Dancers investigates her memories of this era. It begins with a mythic, psycho-geographic journey to Russia and Eastern Europe where dancers feature amidst a wider cast of brides, witches, film-makers and lovers before moving to a very different poetic landscape to explore the intimacy and universality of loss.
"The mythological and the very real collide in this startling and profoundly moving collection by Sue Burge. Subjects as diverse as modern Russia, the AIDS epidemic among ballet dancers in the eighties, family history and lockdown are skilfully woven together – managing to walk a delicate line between the profoundly personal and the worldly. This is a collection that reaches inside you and twists you up. These poems spoke to me and changed me a little – which is what a good collection should do. Burge does not shy away from the difficult stuff, but there is an optimism here too, that shines through and left me with an overarching sense of hope." Julia Webb
Sue Burge is a freelance creative writing and film studies tutor and writing mentor based in North Norfolk. Her poetry has been widely published and anthologised. Lumière (Hedgehog Poetry Press) Sue’s debut pamphlet, which explores Paris’s cinematic heritage, and her first collection, In the Kingdom of Shadows (Live Canon), were both published in 2018. Her second pamphlet, The Saltwater Diaries (Hedgehog Poetry Press) came out in 2020. This is her second collection.Other Saints Are Available
Mark Fiddes' new collection explores modern idolatry – from celebrity culture, to toxic masculinity, to the technology that crowds us out of our own lives. In this digital cacophony, Mark Fiddes looks for how we survive through friendship, love, resilience and hope. His modern lyric is edged with humour and empathy for anyone lost in the labyrinth of an automated answering service.