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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Dull Weather Dance



Original Cover Price:



Poems by Arnold Rattenbury


Born in China in 1921, Arnold Rattenbury comes of a long line of parsons. After war service he was, from 1943, an editor (Our Time, Theatre Today) and sometimes a poet, but in the 1950’s became an exhibition designer. He returned to poetry only in the 1960’s, since when two collections have been published and a play ‘in doggerel and prose’ produced. Dull Weather Dance is his third collection.

From reviews of his earlier collections: Second Causes, Chatto & Windus 1969 and Man Thinking, The Byron Press, 1972:

’It is poetry with the oddity and earnest ness of inevitable art. There is a playfulness and wit also, but the overriding impression is of a subdued and probing wonder in face of the big mysteries . . . His technique relies upon local distortions and deceptions inside traditional forms . . . Always the will to say something accurately syncopates the music we predict . . .’
Brian Jones, London Magazine

’There is a real power in these poems; their author has a philosophical and also a satirical cast of mind. What is perhaps the most impressive thing about his work is happy assurance.’
Elizabeth Jennings, Daily Telegraph

’Many of the poems are models of craftsmanship and sensibility. The cerebral exercise suggested by Man Thinking is a far remove from arid discourse as Mr. Rattenbury turns a witty phrase and thinks passionately. A great variety of rhymed verse forms are handled with cunning . . .’
Times Literary Supplement


Welshman Working His Dogs

He stands there in his certainties:
The English are such and such, and he
A so and so. I am. He is.
And the dogs are beyond sight and the sheep -
Those darker than milkwhite entities -
Are problems, like any other to solve;
But simple problems, the dogs his.

He gravels at once in a Welsh stream
Of invective, to another is a mewing curlew,
Whistles a third in a pierce of steam.
They shark the grass, flop, snake.
Would that all our problems came
Bucketing over the mountain’s rim
And through this lip of the cwm like cream!

But that, by even so sure a touch
Of the artist, needs blatant certainties -
As that the Welsh are such and such.


Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: detail of Sleights Tom, probably the oldest surviving folk costume in Britain (EFDSS): photo, Paul Harber
Publication: SPRING 1981 (64 pages laminated paperback)