Deadline looms for Frogmore Prize entries: 31 May 2024

The deadline for entries to this year’s Prize (31 May 2024) is fast approaching. Adjudicator Graham Mort will read all submissions. Full details are available at: www.frogmorepress.co.uk/frogmore-poetry-prize

The Prize was established in 1987 with a generous endowment from André Evans in his capacity as President of the Frogmore Foundation. John Rice, then Director of the New Metropole Arts Centre in Folkestone (and also a widely published poet in his own right) was persuaded to adjudicate, conditions of entry were drafted, and we were ready to roll. There may or may not have been a good reason for the decision to award the prize money in guineas rather than pounds sterling. This may or may not have been because 25 guineas sounded more desirable as booty than 25 pounds. Whatever the grounds, once the principle was established, it became a defining feature of the Prize, though the booty has multiplied tenfold over its thirty-seven years and now stands at a more impressive 250 guineas. Not that it has ever been about anything quite as vulgar as cash, albeit cash paid in guineas. Kudos, we hoped, would be the lure, and so it ultimately proved, with increasing numbers of submissions from poets whose names were recognised and whose work encountered in publications of note (though reputation counts for little when entries are judged anonymously, as they have been since the Prize’s inauguration).

David Satherley won that first Prize back in 1987, and Lynda Plater won last year. Between them there have been a series of notable winners, with John Latham and Howard Wright both winning twice, Caroline Price three times and Emily Wills on an astonishing four occasion! In every case, the Prize was awarded by a different adjudicator on each occasion, surely testament to the skill and craft of these poets.

The Papers’ 103rd edition in their 41st year

Cover art by Arusyak Pivazyan, inspired Paul Truan’s poem ‘Tones’

The Frogmore Papers’ 103rd edition is published this month. It’s another international number, featuring a striking cover by Armenian artist Arusyak Pivazyan (inspired by a poem from Cornish poet Paul Truan), translations of Georges Brassens by Michael Swan and the Belgian poet Marc Tritsmans by John Irons, poems by Peter Bakowski (Australia) and Christine Hennemann (Ireland) and a short story by Stephen Silvester (Canada). Closer to home, there is also work by Mike Barlow, Vuyelwa Carlin, John Greening, Stuart Henson, Myra Schneider, Paul Stephenson and a host of others. ‘From the Archive’ features a 1997 poem by Tobias Hill, who, sadly, died last year. Several of his early poems appeared in the Papers, and Tobias was awarded the Frogmore Prize in 1995 by Linda France for his poem ‘Flora and the Admiral’.

The Frogmore Papers are available post-free (£5.00) from The Frogmore Press or from Skylark, the independent bookshop in the Needlemakers, Lewes. Subscription rates to the Papers have remained at £10.00 for one year, £15.00 for two years since 2010.

Kokopelli looms large in morphrog’s 28th number 

The 28th edition of morphrog is now live at www.morphrog.com  In addition to new work by Yorkshire poets Jenny Hockey and A D W Kerr, California-based James Piatt and Geoffrey Winch, awarded the accolade of the UK’s best Small Press Poet by Purple Patch magazine in 2011, morphrog 28 features an extended sequence of poems about Kokopelli, the joker god of the Native American pantheon in the South-Western United States, by renowned poet, translator and grammarian Michael Swan, a former winner of the Times’ Stephen Spender Prize.  

Submissions are invited for morphrog 29, which will go live in July.  

Into autumn with Frogmore Papers No.102

September 2023 sees the publication of The Frogmore Papers’ 102nd edition. Ukrainian artist Marysya Rudska has created a stunning cover for the issue, inspired by Fred Johnson’s poem ‘Language’.

LANGUAGE

A wicker chair gone a hundred years into
mauve cold. In the old wood,

mice shiver like censers
swinging. The man there watches

a long stuck clock of road.
Folds arthritic hands and thinks

of nothing, really—only,
it’s snowing. That is to say,

the sun is a bone.

Thinks, now there’s something:

prints in the white clean. A red doe
limping, speaking.

Other contributors include poets John Freeman, Christine McNeill, John Mole and Graham Mort and Armenian artist Arusyak Pivazyan. All ten poems shortlisted for this year’s Frogmore Prize by Helena Nelson are published, including Lynda Plater’s winning poem and those by runners-up Alison Binney and Christoper Horton. The issue also includes new work by previous Prize winners Sharon Black, Margaret Wilmot and Howard Wright, and, in the ‘From the Archive’ section, a poem by Andrew Waterhouse, first published in number 46 of the Papers in 1995.

Copies are available for £5.00 (post and packing free) from The Frogmore Press, 21 Mildmay Road, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 1PJ. Subscriptions remain at £10.00 for one year, £15.00 for two years. Email frogmorepress@gmail.com for details of how to pay by bank transfer or PayPal.

Poetry Prize adjudicator announced

Adjudicator announced

The 38th Frogmore Poetry Prize will be adjudicated by writer and Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing and Transcultural Literature Graham Mort. Graham is the author of ten full-length poetry collections, most recently Black Shiver Moss (Seren, 2017)  and three collections of short fiction, most recently Like Fado and Other Stories (Salt, 2021). He has also written BBC radio drama. Graham has read his work widely across the UK and overseas in South Africa, Uganda, Vietnam and China. 

The deadline for submissions is 31 May 2024. Full details at:  http://www.frogmorepress.co.uk/frogmore-poetry-prize

This year’s Prize (2023), adjudicated by Helena Nelson, was won by Lynda Plater with her poem ‘The Revd. Michael Woolf on his way to a parishioner in need’. Runners-up were Alison Binney and Christopher Horton.

morphrog 27 goes live

The latest edition of morphrog is now live at www.morphrog.com, featuring poetry and prose by a roster of contributors from around the world. Work by familiar names – Angela Arnold, Ian Heffernan, Gordon Scapens, Gerald Seniuk, Ian C Smith, Rodney Wood – is complemented by contributions from newcomers Ben Banyard, Salvatore Difalco, Vyarka Kozareva, Massimiliano Nastri, James Owens, the pseudonymous sds and John White, whose poem ‘Picnic at St Catherine’s Guidlford’ is accompanied by a photograph of the event itself by Fred Pipes.

Number 27 is an especially varied edition, including as it does a  long poem about the story of Ukraine by Canadian poet Gerald Seniuk, himself of Ukrainian heritage, Ian Heffernan’s poems inspired by the work of Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai and republication of Luigi Coppola’s poem ‘Poetry Set to Music’, now set to music! Submissions for morphrog 28 (January 2024) are now open. Send no more than six poems, accompanied by a bio note and headshot, to morphrog@gmail.com

Lynda Plater takes 37th Frogmore Poetry Prize

Lincolnshire poet Lynda Plater has been awarded this year’s Frogmore Prize by adjudicator Helena Nelson. Lynda has been writing poetry for more than forty years and her work has been published in Rialto, Stand and Verse, among other poetry journals. She has published two pamphlets with Wayleave Press, Three Seasons for Burning and Saving Fruit, of which Rennie Halstead has written: ‘Saving Fruit creates a vivid and memorable picture of life in rural Lincolnshire in the first half of the twentieth century. Plater captures the wildlife, the landscape and the lives of the people living and working in it with a pictorial, almost photographic realism. She has the ability to transport the reader back into the past through her spare imagery and simple language.’ 

Of her Frogmore Prize-winning poem, ‘The Revd. Michael Woolf on his way to a parishioner in need’, Helena Nelson comments: ‘It has imprinted itself on my mind like a painting. I find it strangely compelling, and perfect. The form and thought are precisely matched, beautifully balanced. So much that it doesn’t say! So much it evokes!’

First runner-up is Alison Binney with ‘Party Susan’, which Helena describes as ‘funny and a little sad. I admire the way it appears at first casual – almost awkward – while subtly and tenderly working its magic.’ Second runner-up is Christopher Horton with ‘Elvis Presley Makes it Just In Time for the Charity Event in an English Village’, one of the longest entries for this year’s Prize, but, Helena notes, ‘the reading investment is worth it. It is exquisitely detailed and beautifully rendered: a short story of a poem – a delight.’ Other poets shortlisted were Alex Barr, Sharon Black, Eric C Brown, Charles Evans, Jane Kite, Laura Strickland and Jane Thorp. Their poems will all be published in the September edition of The Frogmore Papers, available from The Frogmore Press for only £5.00, including post & packing.

Lynda Plater

THE REVD. MICHAEL WOOLF
ON HIS WAY TO A PARISHIONER IN NEED

This is plainsong: flat line of marsh,

cordgrass, seeding thrift, sow-thistle,

sliver of sea far out where boats

rest in Humber’s low tide.

Grey seals are wintering: monophony

of their song in cold air

as he cycles between staves

of fields: cassock, the wing of a rook.

Frogmore’s 40th anniversary celebrations

Frogmore marked 40 years of publications on Friday 2 June 2023 with celebratory readings at the New Venture Theatre in Brighton.

Managing Editor Alexandra Loske welcomed an appreciative audience to the venue, and co-founder Jeremy Page provided a brief history of the Press from the early days at the famous Folkestone tearooms to the present in a discourse that embraced the Sex Pistols, Margaret Thatcher, H G Wells and Pizza Hut! Readings by Frogmore poets Caroline Clark, James Flynn, Robin Houghton, John O’Donoghue, Jeremy Page, Janet Sutherland and poet emerita Ros Barber followed. (scroll down for larger views of the photographs).

Frogmore’s 40th anniversary has been further celebrated with the publication of a festschrift entitled, appropriately enough, Frogmore @ 40, which includes writing from every individual Frogmore Press publication and also from the first and one hundredth issues of The Frogmore Papers. Among the writers featured are John Agard, Brian Aldiss, Sophie Hannah, Tobias Hill, Matthew Mead, Grace Nichols, Dorothy Nimmo and Susan Wicks. Copies are available (£5.00 post free) from: The Frogmore Press, 21 Mildmay Road, Lewes BN7 1PJ. Cheques payable to ‘The Frogmore Press’ or email frogmorepress@gmail.com for details of how to pay by BACS or PayPal.

From left to right: Peter Stewart (morphrog), Rachel Playforth, Robin Houghton, Janet Sutherland, Ros Barber, Jeremy Page, Caroline Clark, John O’Donoghue
Alexandra Loske, Caroline Clark, Janet Sutherland
Caroline Clark, Janet Sutherland, John O’Donoghue, Ros Barber, James Flynn, Robin Houghton
Jeremy Page
As above
Caroline Clark and Jeremy Page

Frogmore at 40

The Frogmore Press celebrates four decades as an independent publisher this month. Yes, it was forty years ago, in May 1983, that the first edition of The Frogmore Papers appeared. The 101st issue was published in March, and to commemorate this significant milestone Frogmore at 40, a Festschrift including contributions from each of the Press’s individual publications and also from the first and 100th numbers of the Papers has been compiled.

Neil Gower has designed a striking cover, and within its pages will be found work by a varied roster of writers which includes John Agard, Brian Aldiss, Sophie Hannah, Tobias Hill, Grace Nichols and Susan Wicks. Frogmore at 40 is available from The Frogmore Press, 21 Mildmay Road, Lewes BN7 1PJ for only £5.00 (post free) or, for locals, from Skylark in the Needlemakers, Lewes.

Come and celebrate with us on 2 June 2023 in Brighton

Frogmore Poets will mark the 40th anniversary with readings at the New Venture Theatre, Brighton on Friday 2 June. Details and tickets at: https://newventure.org.uk/index.php?view=article&id=24:frogmore-at-40-jun23&catid=8:coming-up

Deadline looms for the 37th Frogmore Poetry Prize

The deadline for entries to this year’s Prize (31 May) is fast approaching. Adjudicator Helena Nelson, poet, critic, publisher and founding editor of the renowned HappenStance press, will read all submissions. Full details at: www.frogmorepress.co.uk/frogmore-poetry-prize

Helena Nelson

The Prize was established in 1987 with a generous endowment from André Evans in his capacity as President of the Frogmore Foundation. John Rice, then Director of the New Metropole Arts Centre in Folkestone (and also a widely published poet in his own right) was persuaded to adjudicate, conditions of entry were drafted, and we were ready to roll. There may or may not have been a good reason for the decision to award the prize money in guineas rather than pounds sterling. This may or may not have been because 25 guineas sounded more desirable as booty than 25 pounds. Whatever the grounds, once the principle was established, it became a defining feature of the Prize, though the booty has multiplied tenfold over its thirty-seven years and now stands at a more impressive 250 guineas. Not that it has ever been about anything quite as vulgar as cash, albeit cash paid in guineas. Kudos, we hoped, would be the lure, and so it ultimately proved, with increasing numbers of submissions from poets whose names were recognised and whose work encountered in publications of note (though reputation counts for little when entries are judged anonymously, as they have been since the Prize’s inauguration).

David Satherley won that first Prize back in 1987, and Laura Jenner won last year. Between them there have been a series of notable winners, with John Latham and Howard Wright both winning twice, Caroline Price three times and Emily Wills on an astonishing four occasion! In every case, the Prize was awarded by a different adjudicator on each occasion, surely testament to the skill and craft of these poets. A selection of poems shortlisted for the Prize was published in The Frogmore Poetry Prize Anthology 1987–1991 and also in Decade: Ten Years of the Frogmore Poetry Prize. The 40th anniversary of the Prize in 2026 may prove to be the moment to bring its forty deserving winners together in one volume.