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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MOLE, John

Depending on the Light



Original Cover Price:



Poems by John Mole


John Mole was born in 1941 in Somerset and was, for many years, a teacher in Hertfordshire where he still lives. He has published several collections of verse, including In and Out of the Apple (1984) and Homing (1987). His work for children includes Boo to a Goose (1987) which received the Signal Award for the year’s outstanding contribution to children’s poetry. As a broadcaster, he has presented editions of Poetry Now, Time for Verse, and Poetry Please on BBC Radio, as well as compiling feature programmes. He has been co-editor, with Peter Scupham, of the Mandeville Press, and between 1983 and 1989 he was poetry critic for the magazine Encounter. He has published a collection of his review essays – Passing Judgements: Poetry in the Eighties (1989). John Mole is married to the illustrator Mary Norman.

From reviews of Homing (1987):

’. . . skilful, approachable, often deeply moving poetry.’ George Szirtes, The Cambridge Review

’He is a poet at the height of his powers, finding strength with each volume and with a considerable body of work to his name. If his good-humoured, unflashy intelligence has caused him sometimes to be taken for granted, Homing will make it still more difficult to fail to see him as one of the most accomplished poets of the age.’ Bernard O’Donoghue, The Poetry Review

’I’m sure Graves would have admired “The Doll’s House” and Auden seen much to praise in “Coming Home”. These names are not invoked out of random pretentiousness, but in order to give a sense of Mole’s achievement.’ John Lucas, New Statesman



The pin-striped thug, the middle-aged
Sartorial bully is a lost soul
In this tunnel. Tense, ophthalmic
On the edge of murder, going
Nowhere between stations. Opposite
I read a book and then pretend to, watching
As his anger swells from silence,
Pours into a well that can’t contain it
And the black bile overflows. A girl
Sits down beside him opening her bag
And taking out three carrots. She begins
To bite them – click, click, click, click -
As if he wasn’t there, as if beside her
Was a gentleman who wouldn’t mind
Because he was a gentleman, at most
Might be amused by this – click, click -
Or say My little rabbit, but instead
His sour face swivels round towards her
Muttering More noise, come on, please
Make more noise, why not, let’s hear it,
We all want to hear it!
He attempts
A supercilious snarl. Her pale face
Pales still further but her eyes are tip-toe
On the edge of murder. She outfaces him,
She blinks, she bites again – click, click -
And gazes coldly. She will never be
His victim but again he tries. If you don’t
Stop I’ll pull the communication cord
And then you’ll have to and that won’t
Be all –
click, click, click, click,
She finishes. She reaches for another. Do
She says then you’ll be fined – click, click -
Until he sits there speechless and until
I close my book. The train slows down. She says
I think there’s something wrong with you . . .
I leave at the next station.


Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: Henri Matisse, Head of Laurette With a Coffee Cup (1917). © H. Matisse / DACS 1993.
Publication: SPRING 1993 (64 pages laminated paperback)