Two poems in Peloton, the new Templar anthology

Hot on the heels of my fluffed-up reading in Oxford (see previous post), I drove up to Matlock Bath in Derbyshire for the launch of Templar Poetry‘s 2013 anthology, Peloton.  I say “I drove up” but in fact it was my kind and encouraging husband, Andrew, who did the driving, and our two children, Kitty, 14, and Johnny, 12, came along for support.

Templar Poetry run several excellent competitions each year, including the Templar Poetry Pamphlet & Collection Awards for which I submitted twenty poems.  Although I haven’t won the competition (needless to say, you would have heard the blog bells ringing deliriously if I had) two of the poems included in my submission have been selected, along with the work of 50 other competition entrants, for publication in the annual Templar anthology. Cue pictures of this very smart book.  Also pictures of a racing bicycle since the word peloton describes the main pack of riders in a road bicycle race.  I suppose the poets in Peloton are the ones who didn’t surge forward to win the race… Nonetheless, I’m delighted to be part of this pack and proud to be in the anthology.

The book was launched, along with other new Templar titles, at the Derwent Poetry Festival in the beautiful setting of Masson Mills, Matlock Bath.  Here’s a picture of the mill building and one of the gorgeous hand-painted signs that led festival goers in the right direction.  I have to say that the art work and production values in all of Templar’s books are stunning.  These are books to read, treasure and keep on display.

I was going to write a few words about the Festival itself but I’ve discovered that Gareth Prior, who has two excellent poems in the anthology including a fine sonnet about the 1972 chess game between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky (what a fantastic idea for poetry – I hope Gareth’s writing a sequence) has written a terrific blog post here, which really captures the atmosphere of the weekend.

I’ll end by saying that I wished I’d planned better and stayed longer at the Festival.  I managed to attend a fascinating and inspiring talk given by Jane Weir about the lives and creative work of the modernist textile designers and makers, Phyllis Barron and Dorothy Larcher and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to poetry by some of this year’s anthologists.  I particularly liked Jessica Traynor’s poem, dedicated “to the women of the Stanhope Street Magdalene Laundry” and my 12-year-old son’s favourite was a poem by Ruth McRoy’s in Scots dialect. I wish I’d been able to stay longer.

Finally, this is what happens when you give your phone to your teenage kids and ask them to take a photo of their mum reading a poem – but they did come good in the end!

11 comments

  1. Congratulations on your inclusion in the anthology – hope the reading went smoothly.
    Did you manage to visit Matlock Bath itself? A wonderfully weird place, all chip shops and amusement arcades like a seaside town, but as far from the coast as you can possibly get in England!

    1. Hi Anna, we didn’t see very much of the place, mainly because the heavens opened. We’ve all said that we’d like to go to the festival next year, stay longer and explore more thoroughly. It’s a perfect setting for a poetry festival!

  2. Sorry I missed your reading, Josephine. Sadly I could only make the Sunday.

    1. Thanks, David and I’m sorry I missed you, too. Your poems in the anthology are so strong, I’m just re-reading them.

  3. Congratulations! I have stumbled this post. Will you please put up a stumbleupon button for quicker submissions in the future?

    1. Hello and thank you, timethief! I’m not familiar with “stumbling”‘ but I’ve added the button at your request and will be interested to see if there any changes to how my posts are shared. I saw that you tweeted this post and many thanks for that!

  4. Hey, well done Josephine – wish I could have heard you read. I shall look out for the anthology.

    1. Thanks, Valerie! It was a lovely feeling to be part of the Festival and it’s one I’ll put on the calendar for next year.

  5. can I lift this review, credited, to behind the arras? it will raise the profile and hits for your blog.

    1. By all means, Gary, please share the post although a far better review was posted by Gareth Prior (mentioned in my post, above). My post is mostly my personal experience at the Festival. – Josephine

  6. […] Derwent Poetry Festival.  An absolute highlight of my year was reading at this gorgeous festival and my only regret is that I didn’t stay longer.  Gareth Prior wrote this wonderful blogpost about it. […]

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