From Poetry

Natalie Ann Holborow reads ‘The Janitor is Crying in the Gents’

Natalie Ann Holborow reads one of two new poems featured in Issue Thirteen of The Lonely Crowd. Find out how Natalie wrote the poem, here.   Natalie Ann Holborow is the author of And Suddenly You Find Yourself and Small (Parthian) and co-author of The Wrong Side of the Looking Glass (Black Rabbit Press). She…

Read by the Author: ‘The Ladybirds’ by Katherine Duffy

Katherine Duffy reads The Ladybirds from Issue Thirteen of The Lonely Crowd.   Katherine Duffy lives in Ireland. Her poetry pamphlet Talking the Owl Away (Templar Poetry, 2018) received Templar’s Iota Shot Award. Two previous poetry collections were published by The Dedalus Press (Ireland). Her work was highly commended in the 2018 Rialto Nature and Place Poetry Competition. Recent poems have appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, The Blue Nib, Skylight 47, Mediterranean Poetry, and in the anthologies The Word Ark (Dedalus Press, 2020) and Places of Poetry (Oneworld, 2020).

Read by the Author: Eleanor Hooker

Eleanor Hooker reads from Issue Thirteen of The Lonely Crowd. The Lonely Crowd · Eleanor Hooker reads ‘The Girl With Bees In Her Eye’ Eleanor Hooker’s third poetry collection Of Ochre and Ash (Dedalus Press) and her chapbook Legion (Bonnefant Press, Holland) were published in 2021. A recipient of the Markievicz Award in 2021, her poetry book Where Memory Lies…

‘Dancing As Fast As I Can’ / Eleanor Hooker

Legion is a sequence of origin poems using the honeybee as a metaphor for the poet and a sting in childhood as the impetus to write. Michael Hartnett’s poem ‘A Necklace of Wrens’ is perhaps one of the best know origin poems by an Irish poet. The wrens settle on the young child in a feather necklet, marking him as a poet.  This anointment caused the wrens to injure the young poet – Their talons left on me/scars not healed yet. Without subscribing to the notion of the tortured artist in this poem, Hartnett acknowledges, unsentimentally, that his craft arrived from an early wound. In his elegy to Yeats, ‘In Memory of W. B. Yeats’, Auden wrote Mad Ireland hurt you into poetry/ Now Ireland has her madness and her weather still. The idea of writing from a wound or a place of sorrow is not new and although disparaged as cliché, it resonates as a reality for many poets and writers, and to deny this fact is a form of silencing.‘Dancing as Fast as I Can’ is a poem that looks at the symbiotic relationship between the artist, their advocates and the ‘establishment’. It questions what these associations might entail for an artist and their artistic independence.  The poem acknowledges that while most artists would like their work to be selected and advanced, not all are chosen, and perhaps a negative consequence of being absorbed into the hive is that the artist becomes managed, and looses their ability to produce beyond the constraints of that environment.

NEWS: Visions of Llandaff by John Freeman & Chris Humphrey

‘… I’m seeing things, but more than seeing is the feeling – the way the permeation of water through air under tall trees and taller spire creates a soft fellowship in which things, bloom and are tenderly magnified…’ The Lonely Press is proud to present, Visions of Llandaff, an exquisite collaboration between the poet John…

‘Protocol for a Window Visit’ / Katherine Duffy

  Katherine Duffy reads ‘Protocol for a Window Visit’ from Issue Thirteen of The Lonely Crowd, which may be purchased here. Katherine Duffy lives in Ireland. Her poetry pamphlet Talking the Owl Away (Templar Poetry, 2018) received Templar’s Iota Shot Award. Two previous poetry collections were published by The Dedalus Press (Ireland). Her work was…

Strangeness Came Along in Spades / Katherine Duffy

But what galvanized me most, I think, was the sheer strangeness of that time. I know I’m not alone in feeling I had stepped through a portal into a different world. A surreal, science-fictiony, movie-set world of deserted roads and official, yellow sigils, with a soundtrack of repeating, robotic health and safety announcements. It’s hardly surprising that an experience such as standing outside a window in freezing winter air, attempting a phone conversation with my mother trapped on the other side, would make my mind shift gears enough to craft a poem at cruising speed for a change.

On Writing ‘Mushroom’ / Lisa Kelly

During Lockdown in 2020 I became obsessed with fungi. My regular walk around a nature reserve became a daily ritual, during which time I looked out for fungi, took pictures of them on my phone and tried to identify them. At a time of collective trauma, my fascination with fungi and learning about their life…

Writing Bathsheba / Tracey Rhys

Tracey Rhys on the impetus for her four Bathsheba poems in Issue Twelve. There has only been one dream in my life that I have ever written about, although I’ve often woken up convinced that I’d dreamt the best plot ever, only to realise … well, it was a bit shit really. This one was…

Read by the Author: Two Bathsheba Poems by Tracey Rhys

Tracey Rhys reads two of her Bathsheba poems from Issue Twelve of The Lonely Crowd. The Lonely Crowd · Tracey Rhys reads ‘Bathsheba In Eden’ And ‘Bathsheba’ Tracey Rhys’ first pamphlet, Teaching a Bird to Sing (Green Bottle Press, 2016) was longlisted for the Michael Marks Award in 2017. Her poetry has been exhibited at The Senedd…

Responsive Literary Writing in Two Acts / Hisham Bustani

Hisham Bustani discusses the creative process behind his two poems in Issue Twelve of The Lonely Crowd.   Act I We met in front of the closed door of a martial arts training centre, in a drab building located in the heart of what was (at that time) a haven for well-off Iraqis who fled…

Winter Readings: Two Poems by Niamh MacCabe

Niamh MacCabe reads two new poems from our special anniversary issue. The Lonely Crowd · ‘And Her Father’ by Niamh MacCabe Niamh MacCabe is an award-winning writer and visual artist, with experience as collaborator and director on many multi-disciplinary art projects. She is published in over forty literary journals and anthologies in Ireland, the U.K.,…