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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SYMES, Gordon

Names For Shadows



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Poems by Gordon Symes


Gordon Symes was born and raised in Shropshire on the Welsh border. He won n Exhibition in classics to Worcester College, Oxford, where he contributed to various University periodicals. A wartime infantryman and Intelligence Officer, he contributed poems, short stories and critical pieces to a number of literary journals (in the U.S.A. and India as well as this country) during the 1940s and early 1950s, and was offered, though unable at the time to accept, a Rockefeller ‘Atlantic Award in Literature’.

After some years of other kinds of bread-and-butter writing, he began writing and publishing poetry again in the later 1960s. This work has appeared in many leading periodicals and anthologies, has been broadcast (radio and television) and won awards at both Stroud and Cheltenham Festival Poetry Competitions.

A selection of Gordon Symes’s poems, which does not include any of the poems in the present volume, appeared in Treble Poets 3 (Chatto & Windus, 1977). Names for Shadows is Gordon Symes’s first full collection.



He sucked moments to see
What stays on the tongue,
Sweet salt pure false right wrong.

He squinted at the sun through grapeskins,
Languaging easily into birth
Good heavens from good earth.

Mad many puzzled that one,
Mining for meanings,
Pinning irresolution
With a profound pun.

He was content to frame
An attic-ful of local views.
Pretty bubbles of order and pity
Another kept sending up like prayers.

A lady talked to the bees.

A castaway posted a bottle.

He picked at a sore quick.

Her lover’s spine was tilted.

But one, the furthest in time,
Nearest in blood, found names
For the growling shadows, sang them backwards,
Took the right steps over embers,
And healed by numbers.


Price 4.95 per copy post free (3.30 post free to Associate Members)
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