Since 1994, when I first visited Cannero, on the northern shore of Lago Maggiore in Italy, I’ve been there in many different states of mind and health. I’ve been with family, with friends, on my own, through days of incessant storms, sparkling sun, cruel winds. I’ve swum in Cannero’s waters and hiked the surrounding hills at all times of year.
The better I know a place, the more difficult I find writing it; poems were slow to emerge, slower to reach a final state, until at last I had distilled a short collection I was happy with. End of Season was a winner in the Coast to Coast to Coast poetry competition 2020, and came out in a gorgeous handmade limited edition in 2021. There was soon a plan for some of the poems to be set to music, and for a bilingual edition of the poems to coincide with the premiere – in Cannero – of the song cycle composed by Amy Crankshaw (this took place a few weeks ago).
A series of creative processes has come to fruition this autumn with the Frogmore Press edition of End of Season / Fine di stagione. Italian versions of the poems are by Franca Mancinelli and John Taylor. The chapbook is designed by Katy Mawhood and printed on paper made from algae that would otherwise have clogged the Venice Lagoon.
And the whole tells the story of a long and intense love affair with Cannero, and with the idea of place.
Clare Best, October 2022
Copies of End of Season /Fine di stagione are available from Clare Best directly (email her at firstname.lastname@example.org) or from The Frogmore Press. Price £12 or 15 Euros.
The 37th Frogmore Poetry Prize (2023) will be adjudicated by poet, critic, publisher and founder of HappenStance Press Helena Nelson. Helena’s latest collection, Pearls: The Complete Mr & MrsPhilpott Poems (2022) is reviewed in the latest edition (number 100) of The Frogmore Papers. She is also the author of the acclaimed How (Not) To Get Your Poetry Published (HappenStance, 2016), a book that collects the insights and useful ideas she has gathered over her many years in poetry publishing.
28th September saw the launch of the 100th edition of The Frogmore Papers alongside Clare Best’s new bilingual Frogmore publication End of Season (Fine di Stagione) at the Elephant and Castle in Lewes.
From left: AndréEvans (co-founder of The Frogmore Press), Neil Gower (with original artwork for Frogmore Papers 100), Jeremy Page (holding first issue of The Frogmore Papers from 1983), Clare Best with her collection End of Season, Alexandra Loske (Managing Editor, with a copy of Frogmore’s 2019 anthology Pale Fire: New Writing on the Moon)
Frogmore Press Managing Editor Alexandra Loske welcomed a near capacity audience before handing over to Clare Best, who spoke about the background to her new work before reading a selection of the poems, which were delivered in both English and Italian. Frogmore Papers editor Jeremy Page then introduced the second part of the evening, with Frogmore co-founder André Evans reading his account of the Papers’ origins at the legendary Folkestone tea-rooms.
This was followed by readings from some of the more local contributors to the 100th edition: Stephen Bone (Newhaven), Neil Gower (Lewes/Berlin), Robin Houghton (Eastbourne), Wendy Klein (Lindfield), John O’Donoghue (Brighton), Peter Stewart (Lewes), Janet Sutherland (Lewes) and Margaret Wilmot (Selmeston).
This special issue of The Frogmore Papers is available post-free from The Frogmore Press, price £10.00. Clare Best’s End of Season is £12.00. Payment by cheque payable to The Frogmore Press, at 21 Mildmay Road, Lewes BN7 1PJ, or email email@example.com for details of how to pay by BACS or PayPal.