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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Original Cover Price:



Poems by Keith Howden


’Every year the Onkonkay came heralded into the village by the song “Ay addy Onkonkay”. The Onkonkay was a sacked figure trapped in a mesh of ribbons and might have been associated with fertility or even sacrifice. But it was a landscape of few long tradition, with its deepest roots in the industrial revolution,and “Ay Addy Onkonkay” was only the voice’s imitation of the trumpet call announcing a dancing bear.’

Also by Keith Howden: Marches of Familiar Landscape (Peterloo 1978). ‘. . . dynamic and impassioned . . . Keith Howden has done something impressive and original.’ – Fraser Steel, Poetry Editor, BBC Radio.



at the year’s blasting
his horned statement
beware is coming.

Of the high fell
pelted like moorland
drinks at the black streams
under thunder feasts
bright berries
of mountain ash.

Spare on the black fell
rules the raped moor
scours the waste tarns
is thorns’ king
the wind’s lost beast
whose breath acid
whose language stone
stalks the sour marshes
comes trumpeting
his beaked festival.

Moves now
his ponderous dance
on these pavements
comes yearly coiled
in children black strength
in ribbons to drum
these mean streets.

Beware is coming.


Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: author’s own montage incorporating ‘Arrival of The Bear’ by Oxley Grabham (1910) courtesy of The Royal Photographic Society.
Publication: 1984 (70 pages laminated paperback)