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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BARTON, Matthew

Learning to Row



Original Cover Price:



Poems by Matthew Barton


Matthew Barton was born in London in 1954. He worked on farms, in psychiatric clinics, as a class-teacher in a Rudolph Steiner school, and in a prison education department where he taught creative writing and drama. He now works as a translator and editor, and in education welfare.

His poems have appeared in a wide range of magazines, newspapers and anthologies, including London Magazine, The Independent, Thumbscrew and Resurgence, and he has won prizes in several competitions. In 1996 he won second prize in the National Poetry Competition, and in 1997 he won the BBC ‘Wildlife Poet of the Year Award’ for his poem “Octopus” which he also read on BBC Radio 4’s Poetry Please.

Learning to Row is Matthew Barton’s first full collection.


Grande Mer

Rag-rug of mussels, fluted
limpets knotted to rock,

a whole haberdashery of seaweeds:
from frilliest negligee to elastic

ribbons of bladderwrack.
We’re down on the beach

on hands and knees -
as I was once before

my long-gone grandmother’s
button-bag – sifting through sea-beads:

gravel, pebbles, shells
slip through my fingers – I’m looking

for well-worn treasures, something
curling, shiny, the mother-of-pearl

of memory. The sea’s
running stitch gathers its muslin, folds it

over in a gentle breath,
the wrinkled fingers smoothing out


Price £7.95 per copy post free (£5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover  illustration: by Irmeli Kalliomäki.
Publication: SPRING 1999 (64 pages laminated paperback).