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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Abolishing the Dark



Original Cover Price:



Poems by Peter Forbes


Peter Forbes was born at Burton-on-Trent, and grew up in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire. He read Chemistry at Bristol University, and has held an odd assortment of jobs, including helping to build the M6, Assistant Works Chemist at a gypsum plaster factory, three very unsuccessful months as a professional musician in northern clubs, and the obligatory late-1960’s drop-out phase. He has also worked in scientific publishing, and has edited illustrated reference books.

He was a columnist for Vole magazine and has contributed articles to New Scientist, World Medicine and other magazines. His anthology, A Poet’s 1982 (Poet & Printer, 1983), was widely acclaimed, his poems have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies, and his pamphlet collection The Aerial Noctiluca (Poet & Printer, 1981), was favourably reviewed:

‘Writing of all-too-familiar themes . . . Peter Forbes demonstrates how completely such material can be transformed by invention and a little learning . . . In “We Have Abolished the Dark” he is able to give an unexpected imaginative depth and verbal texture to what is, after all, no more than common observation.’
                                  Roger Garfitt / Times Literary Supplement

’. . . the three strongest poems in the collection – the title poem, “Man of Letters” and “We Have Abolished the Dark” – are imaginative and compelling pieces.’
                                              John Gohorry / Albion

’Peter Forbes has an Audenesque penchant for strict lyrical forms . . . but can rise to individuality when dealing with specifics . . . (His) grotesquerie comes from close observation. Grotesque Jacobs are rare and interesting, more like true brothers of Esau . . . In any case they come out winners usually.’
                                             George Szirtes / Quarto


The Aerial Noctiluca

This bonfire is a dragon who swallows his tail,
Curlicue on curlicue, evanescence.
Genies of vapour detach from the pyre
Like solar storms on a moon-blocked disc.

Apotheosis of the frivolous,
The portentous whoosh yields a fleeting shower,
Auditioning rockets blow their chance to be stars,
While the moon sails on in high disdain.

In Wright of Derby an alchemist stares
At the essence of moon, his bottled noctiluca,
Spilling from a flask on scrolls and amphorae:
The Philosopher’s Stone is chiaroscuro.


Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: ‘Grand Fireworks at the Castel Sant’Angelo’ by Joseph Wright. By courtesy of Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery.
Publication: 1984 (60 pages laminated paperback)