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 Terracotta Army



Original Cover Price:



Poems by Gary Geddes


The Terracotta Army won the Best Book Award, Americas Region, in the Commonwealth Poetry Competition when it was first published in Canada. Gary Geddes has also been the recipient of the prestigious Gabriela Mistral Prize and the National Magazine Gold Award and his Active Trading: Selected Poems 1970-1995 (Peterloo 1996) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Formerly a professor at Concordia University in Montreal, Gary Geddes is well known as Canada’s best political poet. His poems have been translated into Dutch, French, Spanish and Chinese, and his charismatic poetry readings are popular across Canada and in the U.S.A., the U.K., Europe and the Far East.

In the third century B.C. the first emperor of China, Ch’in Shi Huang Di, caused to be constructed near the ancient capital of Hsienyang (Xian) a pottery army of some 8000 individually sculpted, life-size terracotta soldiers and horses, to accompany him as an imperial bodyguard in the afterlife. These figures were discovered in 1974, quite by accident, when commune workers tried to sink a well. Had their shovels been pressed into the soil two feet to the left, the terracotta army may well have remained sealed in the earth for several more millennia. Now the reconstructed columns of men and horses look straight ahead, perhaps to some unknown point in the future where armies will be, truly, a thing of the past.


Minister of War

I was a young man on the make, a brain for hire,
a travelling politician. I saw my chance,

adopted Ch’in, advised the death of feudal tenure,
not to mention purges and the burning of books.

I scorned the golden mean of men like Mencius
and learned my politics from rats in the latrine;

yet I had respect enough for the written word to know
that old records and systems are better destroyed

than left to seed rebellion and discontent in the period
of transition. The same logic applied to scholars

and authors, those masters of anamnesis, or recall.
I kept the Emperor occupied with toy soldiers

and the arts, or fears of death and court intrigue,
while the real politics unfolded as I knew it would:

highways, taxes, centralization, promotion by exam.
He might have stopped my war against the past,

but I saw to the depths of his and all men’s hearts,
where artist lies down, at last, with bureaucrat.


Price 7.95 per copy
Cover illustration: Calligraphy by Shuai Lizhi.
Publication: DECEMBER 2007 (56 pages laminated paperback)