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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BELL, Robin

Scanning the Forth Bridge



Original Cover Price:



Poems by Robin Bell


In the thirty years since his first book was published, Robin Bell's distinctive style has set critics struggling for comparison. The Times has compared him to Dylan Thomas, Poetry Review to Edgar Allan Poe, The Scotsman to Robert Frost and The Honest Ulsterman to Matthew Arnold and Robert Browning. The Spectator summed up his work as ‘sheer oddity and charm.’

He is probably best-known for Strathinver: a Portrait Album 1945-1953 which won the 1985 Sony Award for Best British Radio Feature. In 1992 his translations of the French poems of Mary, Queen of Scots, Bittersweet Within My Heart, became a Scottish best-seller. His controversial The Best of Scottish Poetry is the most widely used anthology of contemporary Scottish poetry in secondary schools. Poetry Review called his previous Peterloo collection, Radio Poems, 'a powerful achievement.’

In Scanning the Forth Bridge, Robin Bell's second Peterloo collection, the title poem is a handy mnemonic for metrical forms in which iambic trains, trochaic trains, dactylic trains etc cross the Forth Bridge in their various rhythms. More seriously, the volume includes haunting lyrics and love poems, some set in the author's native Perthshire, some taken from his family past or the history of places where he has worked: a disused church becomes a shelter in lambing season; an elephant is trapped in a First World War trench; a crusading journalist visits a slum in Manhattan; a Red Indian tour the Paris Exhibition of 1900.


Ruchill Linn

I heard a curlew in the almost dark
of midnight June. I heard it wake
among the wheat and free itself from fear
with one clear call.
                              The waterfall
was to itself a waterfall,
a moving in water, a white arc
of foam. It did not seek to slake
the trees nor thirst of you not here.

Heavy green branches overhung the pool.
The water formed itself on stone and formed the stone.
Its swirling rings
                        succour the movement of bright wings
and hidden roots and mindless bones.
Ruchill Linn. The world relaxes its hermetic rules

and lets us be tonight. Lie on the ground
and listen: to curlews’ calls
                                       and waterfalls
and the innocent sounds the world makes going round.


Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover Illustration: Running the First Train over the New Forth Bridge (1890).
Courtesy of the Hulton Deutsch Collection Limited.
Publication: AUTUMN 1994 (56 pages laminated paperback)