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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The Turn of the Cucumber



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Poems by Ann Drysdale


Ann Drysdale lives halfway up a mountain in South Wales. Her home-made headed notepaper carries the self-description "Poet and Peasant". The peasant is already well-known for her thoughtful and humorous prose, both in a long-established column for the Yorkshire Evening Post and in a highly acclaimed series of bucolic books: Faint Heart Never Kissed a Pig, Sows' Ears and Silk Purses and Pearls Before Swine. In 1994 Cardiff University awarded her an M.A. with distinction in Teaching and Practice of Creative Writing. She has also won the Dylan Thomas Prize of 1,000 guineas and Poetry Digest's 1994 United Kingdom Bard of the Year Award.

The Turn of the Cucumber represents Ann Drysdale's first coming-out as a poet. Her poetic voices are as varied as the makings of a bride's outfit: something old, something new, something borrowed ... She displays mastery of the traditional crafts of poetry alongside innovative departures and wicked parody. Not to mention, here and there, a subtle touch of blue.

For sophisticated readers who feel that contemporary poetry is boring and obscure, Ann Drysdale is a refreshingly amusing and accessible poet who satirizes love, sex, and literary pretension, whilst retaining the ability to move the reader deeply on matters of common human concern. The cucumber forms the link between the opening poem, which celebrates an undervalued female poet who lived 500 years before the birth of Christ, and the final poem, which takes a compassionate view of the Marquis de Sade.

The volume is in 4 sections. The first is concerned with Arisings from everyday life; the second, Poets' Corner, contains parodies of well-known poems and poets together with her own wry insights into creative writing. The third is a single sequence, funny and moving by turns, celebrating The Seven Ages of the She-poet; and the final section, From Further Afield, contains poems of place and travel, including a long poem recounting a train journey across Wales with an adjustable aluminium draining-board.

This collection is rather like a box of buttons: each one carefully snipped from an experience and waiting to be matched to another, inviting readers to rummage.


Tin Wheels

They were the very first of my found things.
Two little wheels, joined by a metal rod,
Part of a cheap tin toy; all small enough
To huddle hidden in a toddlers hand.
I loved them dearly for their jolly roundness
Giggling along the flags at a finger-push.
I loved the having and the keeping-safe
Of this, the first fruit of my own finding.

An adult found the rust and the sharp edges.

I still recall the day I found them gone
And what was said. Even now, in lost nights
When I have ‘nothing better to cry for’
I wail as I did then:
’Gran says you threw my little wheels away’.

They were the last love that I ever hid;
They were my first irrevocable loss.


Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: Next! by Beryl Cook from One Man Show John Murray (Publishers) Ltd, and Gallery Five Ltd, 1981.
©Beryl Cook 1981. (Reproduced by arrangement with Rogers, Coleridge & White Ltd).
Publication: SPRING 1995 (72 pages laminated paperback)