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.
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.
The 98th edition of The Frogmore Papers has now been published and is available post free from The Frogmore Press (£5.00).
This issue, with a stunning cover by Ukrainian artist Marysya Rudska, includes new poetry from John Freeman, Stuart Henson and Wendy Klein, prose from Ian Inglis and Henry Woolf and artwork from Lydia McDonnell, as well as all the poems shortlisted for the 2021 Frogmore Prize by adjudicator Clare Best, which was won by Sussex-based Californian Margaret Wilmot. Runners-up were Stephen Keeler (Ullapool) and Mike Barlow (Lancaster).
The other shortlisted poets were Katie Colombus, Cróna Gallagher, Marion Hobday, Vanessa Lampert, Nick Pearson and Anne Stewart.
Subscriptions to the Papers are still £10.00 for one year (2 issues) and £15.00 for two years (4 issues). Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details of how to pay by BACS or PayPal, or send a cheque in the old fashioned way payable to ‘The Frogmore Press’ at 21 Mildmay Road, Lewes BN7 1PJ.
Adjudicator Clare Best has awarded this year’s Frogmore Poetry Prize to Margaret Wilmot for her poem ‘The hands’ part’. Margaret was born in Berkeley and attended the University of California. She taught English in the Mediterranean and New York before moving to Sussex in 1978, where she continued to teach. Her poetry has appeared in various British magazines including Acumen, ARTEMIS poetry, The Frogmore Papers, Magma, Oxford Poetry, The Rialto, and The North. Smiths Knoll published a pamphlet in 2013 entitled Sweet Coffee and The High Window published her collection – Man Walking on Water with Tie Askew – in 2019. She is represented in Poetry South East 2021.
The hands’ part by Margaret Wilmot
He puts the chisel down, surveys the window
emerged out of the wood, almost a porthole
(he with no home port)
String it, and it might play – no, not even in his dreams –
he sweeps up chips
makes black tea
sands, for days
One evening rubs a small disc silken
to wire in that space his eye keeps slipping through
Runners-up for the Prize were Stephen Keeler (Ullapool) and Mike Barlow (Lancaster). Poems by Mike Barlow (again), K I Colombus, Cróna Gallagher, Marion Hobday, Vanessa Lampert, Nick Pearson and Anne Stewart were shortlisted.
All shortlisted poems will be published in number 98 of The Frogmore Papers (September 2021), available for £5.00 (post free) from The Frogmore Press, 21 Mildmay Road, Lewes BN7 1PJ. Please email email@example.com for details of how to pay by BACS or PayPal.
We are very pleased to announce that the Frogmore Prize for 2021 will be adjudicated by Clare Best.
Clare Best. Photo: FreddieWillatt
Clare Best’s most recent books are her prose memoir The Missing List (Linen Press, 2018) and a new poetry collection Each Other, published by Waterloo Press in autumn 2019. A pamphlet End of Season will come out with Coast to Coast to Coast in spring 2021. Other publications include Excisions; Breastless; CELL; Springlines. Recent work has appeared in Agenda, Envoi and Finished Creatures. Website: www.clarebest.co.uk
On Wednesday 24 October he will be reading upstairs at the Elephant and Castle in Lewes (White Hill, Lewes BN7 2DJ), with fellow Frogmore writers Clare Best and Kay Syrad. Clare will be reading from her memoir The Missing List while Kay will read from her new collection of poems Inland. This is a free event. All welcome. Doors at 7.00 pm, readings from 7.30: http://www.culturedllama.co.uk/events/jeremy-page-launches-london-calling-in-lewes
London Calling is available direct from Cultured Llama or can be ordered through your local bookshop. In Lewes it is available from Skylark in the Needlemakers.