Sally Barrett’s You cannot see yourself with your eyes shut is a single poem across a number of sections that introduces a new voice, who has over the last few years regularly performed her work in Manchester.
Her writing is luminous and elusive, but with a firm grasp on the attention of the reader through her use of humour, shock and tenderness, characteristics that the poem sequence has in abundance.
Through a fragmented narrative – part memory, part dream – she unpicks the present through shards of the past. Like Eliot’s cacophony of voices, she pulls on a range of different registers, the “many voices” we hear as we struggle with our own mental health…our own desires.
After a startling opening, in section two (of fourteen) she is waking from an hallucinatory state and finding lyrical fulfilment in nature:
I am watching the water breathe so I run and hide in the shade with daisies under the weeping willow on an old sofa cushion covered in dirt and grass
This easy melody is found throughout the piece, making the hallucinatory lucid, and the lucid dreamlike.
We are so pleased to make Sally Barrett the third poet to have a pamphlet published by Some Roast Poet, the pamphlet format providing an opportunity to give this long poem the space it needs and deserves.
Sally Barrett is originally from Leeds and currently lives in Manchester, where she works in social care. This is one of two books she has coming out in 2021-2. She has edited a number of limited edition “themed” zines.
Finished before the current lockdown, Some Roast Poet #3 already feels like a message from the world we’ve lost, and when Nell Osborne read her poems from this issue at a recent Peter Barlow’s Cigarette, the simplicity of just going to see some poets read on a Saturday afternoon, with a glass of wine, seems a more precious thing now than it did then.
You can read Nell’s poems alongside other poems by Tim Allen, Stuart Calton (who also designed the fetching cover), Joe Darlington, Thomas England, Robert Galeta, Alan Halsey, Steve Hanson, Karen Hendrick, Nell Osborne, Robert Sheppard, Adrian Slatcher, Scott Thurston and Rhys Trimble.
Some Roast Poet continues to take the temperature of Manchester’s contemporary poetry community and its associates, and we’ll be working on a 4th edition to give us something to celebrate when we come out of lockdown.
You can buy Issue #3 for £3 (plus £2 p&p) UK Only here.
Steven Waling’s latest book “Spuds in History” is the first part of a long term project under the title “Disparate Measures”. Here, we see Waling’s longstanding interest in the cut-up and the askew brought into focus with his customary observational tendencies. It’s not just that he notices what other’s don’t but from a different angle, and often with a relatable compassion.
Thus, the opening poem, “Little Bird”, sees him accompanying a woman on a visit to York Minster and her pointing out with joy the “little bird” in the stained glass pane. In this sense his poems are often a palimpsest, tracings over memories that are themselves reworkings of the instances that provoked them.
He combines this with an often funny, and always engaging fascination with the layers of language, whether its in the frequent use of Lancashire dialect or in the lexicons that we use to make sense of the world.
BUY A COPY OF SPUDS IN HISTORY £5 (PLUS £2 P&P, UK ONLY) HERE
the working class dream in black and white
drawn down from Moston to Moss Side the population doubles in a century till the family move to Wythenshawe packing old clothes in new cupboards (From “Go West Where the Skies Are”)
“Making the Dark Visible” by John G. Hall is the first pamphlet published by Some Roast Poet, over 50 pages of Hall’s latest poetry, described by Tom Pickard as “an original voice burnt in and built out of the experience of pre-apocalypse capitalism”, including half a dozen specially commissioned “graphic poems” where artist Sarah Peploe interprets Hall’s words in stunning strip cartoons.
Every death is significant every life has significance but his struggles signified more than both of these. (“Muhammad Ali in a council house”)
You can order a copy of “Making the Dark Visible” for £7 plus £2 P&P by clicking here . (Uses Paypal)
Spring 2019. Featuring Yinka Akintayo, Richard Barrett, Sally Barrett, Carol Batton, Mike Du, Joey Frances, Steve Hanson, Tessa Harris, Amy McCauley, Adrian Slatcher, Rhys Trimble, Ben Willems, Barry Wilson.
“What kind of family collectively hallucinates hippos?” (“Surface Tension arises from the polar nature of the molecule” by Tessa Harris)
You can order a copy of Some Roast Poet #2 (Currently UK Only) for £3 plus £2 P&P by clicking here (Uses Paypal)
Autumn 2018. Featuring Tim Allen, Richard Barrett, Sally Barrett, Carol Batton, Michael Conley, Joe Darlington, Robert Galeta, Steve Hanson, Agnes Lehocsky, Janet Rogerson, Adrian Slatcher, Scott Thurston, Steven Walling.
“First I’d like to talk about the view from the hole: at the farthest point you can see the sea.” (“And Second” by Janet Rogerson)
You can order a copy of Some Roast Poet #1 for £3 plus £2 P&P (Currently UK Only) by clicking here. (Uses Paypal)