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
Click here





GODDEN, Richard

Breathing Exercises



Original Cover Price:



an argument

Poems by Richard Godden


Richard Godden was born in 1946 and taught literature in the Department of American Studies at the University of Keele. In 1984 he was the winner of the York (Penguin) Poetry Prize for a sequence of poems that appears in this, his first volume. Breathing Exercises is sub-titled ‘an argument’. The ‘argument’ in these poems is about voice; ranging from the relative simplicities of words overheard to the overlays of irony and the political and historical forces separating people from their own voices. These distinctive, crafted poems are sure to provoke both pleasure and thought.


Not in Memoriam

My study’s full of suicides on ice -
high divers, hypothermic ditherers,
lost in the lower reaches of some fall
from their own height. I catalogue by note.
“Sod off” (spelled out in Phenobarbital,
love’s wristlet on a pillow). “I do not care
to see my life pass by my thickening eye
again”. “I am a perch for foul mouthed birds”.
“Band aid my heart” (this from a single wrist).
Their punch lines, said, unsaid, at parapet
or mantel, might have saved them: no rule can tag
the cold green breath which parts the fur on gas,
to stand like lark song, shimmering and scared.
Its call is to the scaffolding on words,
where absolute and commonplace confer
in sorts of songs, as sharp as everyday.
The third time throat commits its edgy air
to rusting pipes, stale waters and the dark,
leaving the notes propped up above the earth,
immense as breath, preserved by our translation.


Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: Vincent van Gough, ‘The Potato Eaters’ (April 1885). Lithograph, printed in black. Collection, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Rosen. Photograph © 1985 The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Publication: SPRING 1986 (72 pages laminated paperback)