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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Flowers of the Hudson Bay



Original Cover Price:



Poems by Tony Roberts


Tony Roberts was born in Doncaster in 1949. He was educated at Didsbury College and then, on a Drapers’ Scholarship, at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

Flowers of the Hudson Bay is a first full collection in which Tony Roberts reveals a strong sense of the contemporaneity of historical event and the eternality of human response. His imagination is particularly held by American history (the early attempts at settlement of the continent, the Civil War), eighteenth century English history, Shakespeare, and the Classical world. Always it is the little heroisms of the spirit that he celebrates. Poems within this volume first appeared in Acumen, Argo, Encounter, Iron, London Magazine, Poetry Durham, Poetry Review and other leading magazines, and have won prizes in major national competitions. A selection of Tony Roberts’s poems appeared in Peterloo Preview 1 in 1988 and attracted many favourable review notices:

’The real find of the collection is Tony Roberts. His historical investigations are powerfully inhabited and keenly felt . . . On this showing alone Roberts seems destined to become a fiction-maker par excellence . . . and all his poems enact real warmth and delighted interest.’
                                          David Kennedy, Poetry Review

’The sense of larger historical currents . . . is Tony Roberts’s consuming theme: he likes museum set-pieces, a closed cinema, monologues from the American past . . . his eye for detail is strong.’
                                         Sean O’Brien, Times Literary Supplement



Of his efforts to supply what was to be the Lost Colony of Roanoke, John White wrote:
”And when we were come thither, the season was so unfit, & weather so foule, that we were constrained to force to forsake that coast, having not seene any of our planters, with losse of one of our ship-boates, and 7 of our chiefest men.” (1593)

All night we lay off the most northern point
Of Roanoak, being bothered by the call of crow.
The saylers fell to speculation, I to pray

And watch for hours the light from fired pine shape
Darkness with its dance. At first we took it for
The planters’ sign, but since the Iland sat

As still as Muta at the eloquent
Address we made with Grapnel, English tunes and
Trumpet, it could not be. Wither my Elyoner?

I had not thought her ‘mine’ time out of minde.
Nor had I meant to stand and dwell on past
With seven dead in surf that day. Yet night is mind.

With dawn we slipped the Boates & swopped the stain
Of spreading light for the shifting shades of the forest.
We found the fire had been the work of Sunne

On tinder grass, & not as I had thought was true:
The men of Dasamongwepeuk out flushing Deere.
Conies ran before us; black wings shuffled in trees.

Where we had left, three yeeres before, my crew
We found fresh Salvage prints, and on a sandy banke
A tree and on it carved in faire Romane: CRO

To signifie the place where we would find
Them safely seated with our friends, there being
No Crosse to show distresse. The sign was faire

And yet . . . Their sundry houses had been taken downe
In favour of a palisade of great trees
That stood new breached by wild Melon. And Dis

Held court within. Diverse sly handes had been at work
By means whereof Iron barres, two pigges of Lead,
Sackershotte and such lay throwen and wove with weedes.

And more: my buried chests lay open ruins.
My bookes torne from their covers; my picture frames
And Mappes rotten with rayne; my armour sieved with rust.

It is well that Time had tanned the old hide
Of my heart. I showed not care, save to command.
Next day we would to Croatoan, but here

A tempest grew and light lost all its fierce cast.
My bookes and Mappes, their swollen tongues! My daughter!
O I feared to make construction of the cro.


Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: ‘Indian Village of Secoton’ from The Complete Drawings of John White by Paul Hulton (The University of North Carolina Press and British Museum Publications, 1984). Courtesy of The British Museum.
Publication: AUTUMN 1991 (64 pages laminated paperback)