My latest poetry book is Loose Threads and Sacred Spaces. It was published in October 2021 by Limelight Classic Productions Limited of Seaton Sluice. The pamphlet was designed and laid out by Talking Pen aka diarist, editor, publisher and poet, Steve Urwin.
I’d wanted to work with Steve for a while and I guess lockdown gave me the time to reflect on the idea and then ask him if he fancied a Cusack Challenge! I admire Steve’s work, performance skills and approach to his craft. I also love the books, pamphlets and zines he produces by hand.
I started chatting with Steve via email back in March about producing a pamphlet of poetry. It wasn’t called Loose Threads and Sacred Spaces then and inevitably, my ideas for content and artwork changed over the months. Thank you so much to Steve for guiding me through the process of choosing poems, layout and the combinations of covers, endpapers and paper for the contents. Thank you for your patience and professionalism too.
The poems in Loose Threads and Sacred Spaces are inspired by my home since 2010: the North East coast and countryside from Blyth down to Tynemouth. Almost half the pamphlet’s poems were written between March and June of 2021 and I have another North East-based poet to thank for the inspiration behind them.
I was blown away by Rob Walton’s debut poetry collection This Poem Here which was published earlier this year. I attended the online book launch in March and an answer Rob gave to one of the questions posed at the end of the session opened up a VELUX window in my head. I realised I could write about anything I wanted to, including the stuff I’d never dared to tackle in the past. Since then I’ve written dozens of poems so thanks very much Rob for the unexpected inspiration.
I’m also a big fan of Northern poet, playwright, lyricist Tom Kelly who bought a copy of Loose Threads and commented:
“An honest, readable and rewarding collection that charts pain and heartache and yet there is a ‘Happy Ending’ to be found in the penultimate poem,
‘I thought I died years ago.
Turns out I’m alive after all
or perhaps I am reborn.’
Attractively designed and layout (in five different colours) by the redoubtable Steve Urwin: this collection stays in heart and head.“
Will Mackie from New Writing North included Loose Threads in his winter 2021 review of recent poetry publications and wrote: “These are lovely, elegantly crafted poems that have been put together and produced with great care.”
Poet and Preston North End fan, Rob Hawley wrote to me after reading Loose Threads: “I love the understated / controlled tone you use to deal with what are obviously sometimes very emotionally charged themes. And despite those themes you always deploy a kind of uplifting wryness e.g. in Are we there Yet? or a calm tone which seems to mix acceptance with defiance, e.g. Baby Steps, or the wonderful last two stanzas of Loud and Clear …your poems suggest both vulnerability and strength and, as such, they have a real impact on the reader. The poet’s personality shines through in a winning way! I really like intriguingly philosophical ones like The Poem with no Name ; but then I also like the lyrical / spiritual ones like (evensong). Goes without saying I liked the football one with its brilliant image of being unable to shake off ‘football flu’! So, all in all, a great collection. I very much enjoyed it, and I really hope it gets the acclaim it deserves.”
The initial small print run of Loose Threads and Sacred Spaces comes in five different cover/endpaper/paper combos. Which flavour will you go for? Click on the cover of your choice to buy
- Butterscotch with yellow cover, dark green endpapers and cream pages
- Chocolate Orange with orange cover, dark brown endpapers and cream pages
- Morello Cherry with purple cover, dark blue endpapers and white pages
- Pistachio with green cover, greeny blue endpapers and white pages
- Slushy Pup Cyan Blue with blue cover, grey endpapers and white pages
You won’t find Loose Threads and Sacred Spaces in a shop. Buy from this website at a special post inclusive price but hurry! Once these delicious flavours have gone, they’ve gone. Later printings will not have a range of cover combos to choose from.