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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Changing Sides



Original Cover Price:



Poems by John Levett


John Levett was born in 1950 and has worked as a librarian. His poems have received awards and commendations at the Stroud and Cheltenham Literature Festivals and have appeared in a range periodicals including Encounter, The Honest Ulsterman, London Magazine, New Statesman, Outposts and the Times Literary Supplement. He was the recipient of the New Statesman’s Prudence Farmer Award for 1982.



We drift upon the sunlight now,
The lake interpreting the prow,
Our dripping oars half-raised to meet
The island’s turf-hung parapet,
And gently moor beneath the tree,
Its leaf-cut exclusivity
Thrown out in shadow on the warm
Untroubled surface like a charm
That hides our stiffened, cautious step
From water to the thick mud’s lip.
Beyond the traces of a fire
We pick through debris, skirt desire,
Spent sheaths, abandoned underclothes,
The beds of smothered bracken, paths
That squirm and wriggle into where
A clump of bright forsythia
Is huddled with its unforced hoard
Of beaten, vegetable gold.
We choose what happens here, your guess
Brutality, mine tenderness,
And turning back confirm ourselves
Cast off from where the sunlight shelves,
A glitter of synthetic tides,
Emerged from shadow, changing sides.


Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: ‘The Philosopher’, wood engraving by Gwen Raverat
Publication: 1983 (52 pages laminated paperback)