This major new anthology of war poetry brings together for the first time the work of poets who saw active service on the Western Front, but not with a gun in their hand. Their role was to save life, not to take it.

Ernest Hemingway and E E Cummings drove ambulances. Mary Borden, Carola Oman and Vera Brittain were nurses. All of them volunteered their services to help those caught up in the war, often at great personal risk to themselves.

Finding themselves amid scenes of unimaginable horror, each one experienced the realities of the war first-hand and wrote about what they saw and did with great honesty and compassion.

Release date: June 2018

Book launch: Professor Paul O’Prey will speak about the book at La Caixa Cultural, Palma de Mallorca, Spain on Wednesday 11 July, at a small launch event during the XIV International Robert Graves Conference there, 10-14 July 2018. The date and time of the launch is to be confirmed. Contact pjvilla@aol.com for further details.

Copies of the anthology, published by Dare-Gale Press, can be ordered via Amazon in the UK or through the University of Chicago Press in the USA.

 

Ivor Gurney: poet and composer

Free Event

At the Ivor Gurney Hall; King’s School Gloucester, Gloucester, GL1 2BG
7.30 pm and 8.30 pm, Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Tel: 07739910510

Ivor Gurney: poet and composer

FREE EVENT

For further details, and a map of the venue, click on the link below:

http://www.thecityofgloucester.co.uk/whats-on/ivor-gurney-poet-and-composer-p2490093

On Thursday 1 November 2018, 6.30 p.m. to 7.45 p.m., Dr Guy Cuthbertson of Liverpool Hope University will give the this year’s Chatterton Lecture on Poetry, on Edward Thomas, titled ‘I should want nothing more: Edward Thomas and Simplicity’. The lecture will be given at the British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH. Admission is free but seats must be reserved in advance. For details and to book, visit https://www.britac.ac.uk/events/edward-thomas-and-simplicity.

An exciting national poetry competition to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War is taking place. A shortlist of the five judged the best, with the full texts of the five poems, has been published. The winner is being decided now by a public vote in which you can now participate. One vote per person is permitted.

The competition is named A Poem to Remember and chaired by HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. It is intended to honour and convey the challenges faced by the current men and women serving in the Military, and their families.

The winning poem will be chosen by the public and read by HRH The Duke of Cambridge at a special event at the new Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC) this Summer. It will also be mounted at the DNRC and its author will receive a cash prize of £2,000, with four runners-up receiving £500. Only one entry per person was permitted. Entries from any location were accepted. Poems had to be no longer than 25 lines. The closing date for entries was 9 April 2018. The competition was open to everyone aged 17 and over.

Entries were whittled down to a long list of 25 before a short list of five judged the best were selected by a panel of short list judges, chaired by historian and broadcaster Dan Snow and including Stephen Fry and Andy McNab. The winner is now being decided by a public vote.

More information on the competition and how to vote can be found here.

This series was produced as part of the University of Oxford, Faculty of English Spring School (3-5 April 2014) and is aimed at members of the public, particularly those who have read some World War One poetry and are now seeking a deeper critical appreciation.

Oxford University has made theses podcasts available on an on an open education basis and under a Creative Commons licence. Visit the following page to see a list of the lectures recorded and listen to them: http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/series/british-world-war-one-poetry-introduction . Under the terms of the CC licence the recordings should not be republished commercially.

Mary Borden Poems of Love and War edited by Paul O’Prey (Dare-Gale Press)Borden foto 4x3

Suffragette, socialite, novelist, nurse, Mary Borden wrote some of the most remarkable poems of the First World War. Still in her twenties, she used her own money to set up and run a field hospital for French soldiers at the Somme, situated ‘as close to the fighting as possible’. Her poems are spontaneous, passionate reactions to what she saw and did. Although married with three children, she fell in love with a young British officer she met at the Front. The poems she wrote to him while they were both at the war have an immediate and reckless intensity.

Mary Borden is featured in several major anthologies of First World War poetry, but this is the first full book of her poems to be published, 100 years after they were written. Many of these poems are published in book form for the first time, including the love poems.

Borden’s memoir, The Forbidden Zone (1929) is one of the most compelling accounts of Front Line service in the war.

The book was launched at the Wimbledon Book Festival on 11 October 2015, by Shirley Williams and Paul O’Prey.

Borden front cover for NIELSEN

Download the PDF here

To mark the centenary of the CWGC’s foundation by Royal Charter in 1917, a ground-breaking exhibition is being staged at CWGC Brookwood Military Cemetery near Woking, Surrey.

It was officially opened on Saturday 20 May by English actor and adventurer Brian Blessed OBE and will run for six months.

For Then, For Now, Forever celebrates the first 100 years of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Curated by CWGC Archivist Andrew Fetherston, it is being staged in the Grade 1 listed Canadian Records Building at Brookwood Military Cemetery – the largest CWGC site in the UK with more than 5,000 burials and 3,500 commemorations on the Brookwood Memorial.

The exhibition tells the history of the CWGC from its foundation during the First World War through to the present day, using historic objects and artefacts from our archive and collections.

Many of the exhibits have never been publicly displayed before. They include an original First World War grave marker and a petition from the 1920s addressed to our then-President, HRH Edward, Prince of Wales. The petition contains more than 8,000 signatures – predominantly from mothers who had lost sons in the war – asking the Commission to reconsider the use of a uniform headstone in favour of a cross.

These and other objects tell the sometimes difficult story of how the vision of one man — Fabian Ware — came to forever change the way we remember the war dead.

There are also daily tours at 11am and 5pm, from volunteers, telling individual and collective stories of the cemetery and of those commemorated there.

For more details please visit www.cwgc.org or email community@cwgc.org

 

Jennie Sweeney
Head of Community Engagement

EDWARD THOMAS: A LIFE IN PICTURES, by Richard Emeny

In June 2017, Enitharmon Press will be publishing the long awaited illustrated biography of Edward Thomas by the Edward Thomas Fellowship’s chairman, Richard Emeny. This is the culmination of many years’ study of the poet’s life and work and draws also on Emeny’s extensive knowledge of Thomas’s family, friends, literary associates, publications and the places he either lived or visited. Offering in some ways a revisionist biographical portrait, the book combines the story of Edward’s life with numerous illustrations, including photographs, printed material, maps and original letters, many of which have never been published before. It will add significantly to what is already known of Thomas and his family before and after his death by putting his biography into a visual and historical context.

 

SUBSCRIPTION OFFER

Those of you who wish to subscribe to Richard Emeny’s book in advance of publication may opt to have your names included in a ‘List of Subscribers’ to be printed at the end of the book. The publication price will be £30, which is inclusive of postage within the UK. To subscribe (the deadline for subscribers is Thursday 13 April), please email: info@enitharmon.co.uk, telephone Enitharmon on 020 7430 0844, send a cheque payable to Enitharmon Editions to 10 Bury Place, London WC1A 2JL, or visit the Enitharmon website page with this link: http://www.enitharmon.co.uk/product/thomas-life-pictures/


UNDER THE SAME MOON: EDWARD THOMAS AND THE ENGLISH LYRIC, by Edna Longley

A hundred years ago Edward Thomas was killed in the Battle of Arras (April 1917). The reputation of his poetry has never been higher. Professor Edna Longley has already edited Thomas’s poems and prose. She now marks his centenary, and adds to the growing field of Thomas studies, with this close reading of his poetry. Longley places the lyric poem at the centre of Thomas’s poetry and of his thinking about poetry. Drawing on Thomas’s own remarkable critical writings, she argues that his importance to emergent ‘modern poetry’ has yet to be fully appreciated. Thomas, as a leading reviewer of poetry in the early 1900s, was deeply engaged with the traditions of poetry in the English language, as well as with contemporary poetry. Under the Same Moon takes a fresh look at Thomas’s relation to the Romantic poets, to Great War poetry, to Robert Frost, to W. B. Yeats. By making detailed comparisons between their poems, Longley shows how the aesthetics of Thomas and Frost complement one another across the Atlantic. She argues, perhaps controversially, that we should think about Great War poetry from the perspective of Thomas as ‘war poet’ and critic of war poetry. And she suggests that to focus on Thomas is to open up poetic relations in the ‘Anglo-Celtic’ archipelago. Under the Same Moon is also a study of lyric poetry: its sources, structures and forms; the kinds of meaning it creates. Longley asks what exactly happened when, in December 1914, Thomas morphed from a prose-writer into a poet; and she approaches the lyric from a psychological angle by comparing Thomas with Philip Larkin.

£25 hardback, April 2017. To order, please email: info@enitharmon.co.uk, telephone Enitharmon on 020 7430 0844, send a cheque payable to Enitharmon Editions to 10 Bury Place, London WC1A 2JL, or visit the Enitharmon website page with this link: http://www.enitharmon.co.uk/product/under-same-moon/