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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Wheal Zion



Original Cover Price:



Poems by John Gurney


The poems in Wheal Zion are suffused with a strong sense of history and pre-history. Concerned with identity, suffering and the process of transformation, they feel their way intuitively through a recurrent sequence of categories: West Country moorland, abandoned mines and shipyards, bird and animal life. There is a close, almost obsessive concern with the vocabulary of metal mining and shipbuilding, which involves to a certain degree the use of the calculated shock of the unfamiliar term, but such terms give freshness and newness to the whole. The basic poetic form is that of the Classical iambic pentameter. At times this is allowed to run freely, and at others it is slowed down to give a dense, almost unyielding, granitic quality to the verse, inviting / challenging the reader to join in with the poet in the conscious interpretation of the poetic process.

Wheal Zion is John Gurney’s first full collection. Previous pamphlet collections have been published by Outposts and Mandeville. John Gurney’s poems have appeared in most of the leading literary journals and anthologies in this country.

The author acknowledges assistance from the Arts Council of Great Britain towards his researches in West Country industrial archaeological sites, mines, museums and record offices which led to many of the poems in this volume.


The Anthroparian

Things trespass from the edge of consciousness:
whisper, chill as silver, harsh as steel,
attracting my attention. When I turn,
concentrate awareness on each word
interpreting its meaning, nothing’s there,
a splash across an adit, falling stones,
disintegrating echoes. Yet I’m stirred,
darkened in my laughter, in each smile,
perplexed still by a presence, by a form
grotesque, yet disembodied. By a sneer
from something small and dwarfish, incomplete,
miniature, metallic, with no love,
that watches all my movements; intervenes
though sunken deep in matter, set in rock,
and waiting to be cut and broken up.


Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover photograph: Wheal Zion by Kathryn Morcom
Publication: SUMMER 1979 (64 pages laminated paperback)