Peterloo Poets

Poetry Publishers 1972 - 2009

We are sorry to announce the death of John Whitworth 11.12.1945 to 20.04.19
Many of you will know John was a well loved and respected member of the Peterloo Poets “family” in its day and was a staunch Peterloo Poets supporter over the years.

The funeral will take place at Barham Crematorium Chapel at 12:40pm on Wednesday 22nd May
Barham Crematorium (CT4 6QU) is 9.6 miles (a 20 minute drive) from Canterbury, using the A2 to Dover.
No flowers, please, but any donations would be appreciated, in John’s name, to: Pilgrim’s Hospice, 56 London Road, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 8JA or online at www.pilgrimshospices.org

 Following his editorship of the poetry magazine Phoenix (1958 - 1975), Harry Chambers founded Peterloo Poets in Manchester in 1972.
Peterloo’s first two full collections published in 1976 were Elma Mitchell’s The Poor Man in the Flesh and Edmond Leo Wright’s The Horwich Hennets. Peterloo Poets went on to publish 240 volumes of poetry.

To view the full Peterloo Poets Catalogue
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The Raw Side



Original Cover Price:



Poems by Frank Goodridge


Frank Goodridge has taught English and Creative Writing in the University of Lancaster. He is better known as author of the Penguin Classics Piers Plowman and two controversial studies of Wuthering Heights. The Raw Side brings together poems written over a period of 20 years. It is a first collection.


The Raw Side

Why, in bleak December, in your black leather jacket
do you sit alone and not shiver
building a little fire in the shape of a steeple
on the raw side of the river?
You, and your tiny fire and a matchbox transistor,
not making a racket,
but singing on the grayed grass that the water has mangled,
preferring the mud and gravel’s open scars
that weep and fester
to juke-boxes and steam of coffee-bars.

The mist is in the trees, the tide is down,
the stumps that stand in the stream are naked now,
and a hundred sparrows have taken refuge to sing
in a clump of tall green reeds above the brown
bays of broken bank, where the water seeps
from beneath the barren brow
of an empty, murderous towpath facing  convent.

On the raw side, the wounded land gives way;
the water undermines it, and for miles behind
dead sowthistles rattle and brown ragworts hiss,
parsley, hemlock and oxtongues scythe the wind
around treacherous pits, without a tree.

If you raise your eyes, you’ll see on the healed-up side
the gardens backed with stone, where the heavy tide
swings against delicate boathouse;
school and college, chapel and block of flats,
memorial gardens with a statuette
a decaying mansion that’s To Let
with its rusted grating, home of water rats
beside the boatbuilder’s warehouse piled with logs,
and other suburban premises
suitable for gentlewomen with their dogs.

Perhaps you prefer the raw side,
the drift, the mud, the singing birds, the tide
and hanging branches of willow that rise and fall
with the wind’s breath
to the silent death
of suburbs in a wintry pall
of smog and gothic pride
simpering along a sullen waterside.


Price 4.95 per copy post free (3.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: Not credited
Publication: 1978 (36 pages laminated paperback)