Loose Threads

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 Mer-Poet in Loose Threads at a Sacred Space, August 2021. Photo credit: A. Kennedy.

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.

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.


I’ll be reading from Loose Threads and Sacred Spaces at the following events:

Saturday 23rd October 1pm Mellow & Fruitful: an afternoon of autumnal poems at Bowes Railway, Springwell Rd, Gateshead NE9 7QJ. Inspired by Keats’s Ode to Autumn, attendees are encouraged to bring along favourite autumn poems to share in a relaxed and friendly environment. I’ll be reading some of my favourite poems from the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness as well as from Loose Threads and Sacred Spaces. There will be signed copies of my books available to buy. Pre-booking essential. £3 includes refreshments. Book advance tickets

Thursday 11th November 7.30pm Seven Bells at The Brewery, Whitley Bay. An evening of words and music hosted by Sandy Chadwin and featuring Elaine Cusack, Renata Connors and James Tucker There will be signed copies of my books available to buy on the night. Book advance tickets