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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COGGIN, Linda (Ed)

Everybody’s Mother



Original Cover Price:



An anthology of poems compiled by Linda Coggin and Clare Marlow


Mother measuring curtains, picking up from school. Mother as dancer, diver, explorer, barrage balloon, the sea. Memories and "the smallest whisper of death" (Brian Patten in "The Armada").

To write about our mother is to explore the deepest of our emotions, and in this collection there are no commonplace hearts and flowers but expressions of gratitude, respect, regret and love by some of our best living poets, including Simon Armitage, Jean "Binta" Breeze, U.A. Fanthorpe, John Freeman, Tony Harrison, Seamus Heaney, Liz Lochhead, Andrew Motion and Benjamin Zephaniah. There are also poems by Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling and D H Lawrence.


Getting to Go
By John Whitworth

When we'd done with Sunday school, she wasn't there.
Not then. Not soon. Not ever. No more Mum.
She had fallen on the landing by the stair,
Just coming up, and now she would never come.
Though I prayed and cried and prayed, God didn't care.

In the Edinburgh Infirmary she lay
On life support. We did not get to go,
And how she looked at last I cannot say.
They told us all they thought we ought to know.
My father went to see her every day,

Bess who had laughed and talked and smoked late as
Twenty past two on Sunday afternoon,
Now emptied into absence, a hiatus
As uninhabitable as the Moon,
Something connected up to apparatus.

He watched the picture of Elizabeth
Jean Boyes, who was fat and witty, who was good
And kind and lost her temper, watched her breath
Pumped in, sucked out, her tubes, her bottled blood.
He watched the whole technology of death.
All this I think. Of course I do not know.
We did not see. We did not get to go.


Mother, Dear Mother
By Elma Mitchell

She is invigilator; her name is knife.
She changes nappies and sleeps in my father's bed.

If I cry or trickle, she'll come to my whistle
And give me her breast. Or let me lie and cry.

Half of her's mine, and half is my hot fat father's.
To each, one arm, one eye - and then what?

What is the good of possessing half a woman?
I'll put her down to me by her swinging hair

And eat her all up, moon-face, belly and toes,
And throw the skin to my father, to keep him warm.


Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover design: Not credited.
Publication: 2001 (99 pages laminated paperback)