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
Click here





TOMS, Margaret




Original Cover Price:



Poems by Margaret Toms


Margaret Toms came late to poetry - that is if you discount the inadequate efforts of youth. When her children were grown up, the spell of words became a compulsion and a constant preoccupation. Her work has appeared widely in magazines and anthologies.

Once a teacher, particularly concerned with remedial work, she has also an interest in music, particularly choral singing.



Dragons were created
from old bones, travellers’ tales,
fossil prints on a rock face -

fleshed out with fever dreams,
blow-flies, bat wings,
the lizard’s bead mosaic;

their breath in rank shadows
beyond smoking torches
reeking of fresh blood, old wounds.

Crouched behind stalagmites,
iris-fire gleaming
through sheets of wet calcite,

they loomed indistinct -
howled over still water
in lost, reverberant caverns.

Dragons, writhing
out of the waves in hazy
dawn light and evening

slithered in sea mist over
ribbed sand, rattling shingle;
smoothed out curve over curve in drying sand;

bellowed As tide beat through
caves lined with amethyst,
gold and grave goods.

Wing-beats across the moon,
marsh gas, wood-rot,
ooze bubbling sulphur.

Dragons, made insipid
for cartoon folklore,
take their revenge in dreams,

defy extinction.


Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: 3 clawed Japanese dragon by courtesy of The Mansell Collection Limited.
Publication: MARCH 1985 (51 pages laminated paperback)