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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St. Patrick’s Night



Original Cover Price:



Poems by Elsa Corbluth


Elsa Corbluth won joint 1st prize in the Cheltenham Festival Poetry Competition, 1981, for ‘Dirge For St. Patrick’s Night’, the title poem of the present collection.

On 17th March 1980 her daughter Eilidh, 18, wishing to “help Mother Teresa” went as a voluntary worker to the Mother Teresa hostel for women in Kilburn, London. On her first night there, during which she helped with a St. Patrick’s Night party, a fire was started by one of the residents. There were no fire precautions, although the hostel had been open for 6 years and housed some alcoholics. (There was not – and there may still not be – a legal requirement for such “independent” hostels). Eilidh, and nine homeless women, died.

St. Patrick’s Night is a collection of poems attempting to deal with Eilidh’s death.


Dirge For St. Patrick’s Night

Rain on the red roses:
I had a daughter. I have none.
Grey fog on green hills rises:
I had two children. I have one.

Mist on the scented blossom:
she left, one afternoon,
face a flower, body lissom:
the same night burned to bone.

Needing to tend the needy,
so to find, and touch, Christ,
she reached his house unready
for this mocking of her trust.

Flowers of flame flourished redly
in her window while she slept:
love of dead Christ proved deadly,
her youth and my joy trapped.

Jesus said, suffer children,
not black-stick skeletons.
God’s Joan or devil’s cauldron?
Ash, all the holy ones.

At her grave’s head, pale roses
picked with their claws of blood:
eighteen summers’ slain praises:
under wet grass lies her God.

I use words: no-one listens.
I use tears with no ending.
My one girl the rain christens,
gutted house beyond mending.


Price 3.95 per copy post
Cover illustration: ‘Lands End’ by Eilidh Boadella, aged 14.
Publication: APRIL 1988 (48 pages laminated paperback).