South London – a homecoming launch

On Wednesday 17th July we read at Battersea Power Station. Woohoo!

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Hilaire writes: Okay, not actually inside the Power Station itself, which is still being restored, but in the nearby Marketing Suite.

Continue reading South London – a homecoming launch

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What reviewers are saying about London Undercurrents

To be seen. To be heard. To be understood. It’s made us a bit teary at times. Thank you to everyone who has reviewed our book – and thank you to all our readers. It’s what we did it all for – to communicate with our fellow human beings. If you’d like to review, or buy, our book you can contact Bernadette at Holland Park Press.

“London Undercurrents offers a cornucopia of female experience across four centuries, from spirited cockneys and land girls, to factory workers and women in service. The result is both fascinating and educational… Back-street abortions, lead poisoning, sit-ins by Gujarati workers, frost fairs on the Thames, 18th century lavender harvests, knitting for the Spanish Republicans – wherever women have tilled, toiled, laughed, suffered or survived, Hilaire and Sparkes follow, with empathy and imagination… The poets have tapped into a rich array of character and circumstance and transformed it, with exuberance and clarity, into poetry which is fresh and accessible.”

Claire Booker, Ink Sweat and Tears

“Gathering and grouping the poetic products of Sparkes and Hilaire’s combined research […] thematically as opposed to chronologically or separated into two authored halves of the North and South of the city, allows each piece and each voice to converse in a way that builds connections; by-lines that travel between the experiences of women through the landscape of the city and into the past… these poems feel full of possibility even in desperate situations, and in other moments, gleeful and utterly joyous… The richness and variety, intrigue and emotion, together provides an illustration of London as a tumultuous and exhilarating place, occupied by women throughout its history who have built and shaped its terrain from the bottom up and from the top down.”

Laura Tansley, Litro Magazine 

“The Thames runs through it. North and south of the famous river lie the “hidden histories” of mostly forgotten women. London Undercurrents brings them vividly back into our literary consciousness in this remarkable collection, written and compiled by two of the city’s female poets… What emerges through these evocative and accessible poems is a unique urban chronicle that is a joy to engage with.”

Karina Magdalena, Cape Times, 7 June 2019

 “Many of these poems are exuberant in their experimentations with dialect and linguistic play… there is no shortage of poems that deal with serious subjects in witty, light-hearted, accessible language… This volume of poems kindles curiosity, as it sheds light on the underground lives of women, their determination and humble struggles, across different periods and places in London.”

Jennifer Wong, Magma issue 74

“…an intriguing, worthy collaboration that focuses on histories in two specific areas of London. The poems imaginatively give voices to stories often overlooked from those who usually go unheard. Both poets, Hilaire and Joolz Sparks, have distinct but complementary voices but share the ability to use selective details to bring their subjects to life in an engaging manner.”
Award-winning reviewer Emma Lee, blogpost https://emmalee1.wordpress.com

“This collection scores highly because of its unusual subject matter, its slice of social history, striking vocabulary and clever wordplay. Above all, it fills a gap in our understanding of the conditions under which women worked north and south of the river. Joolz Sparkes and Hilaire have not only come up with a brilliant idea, they have executed it with panache.”

Neil Leadbeater, WriteOutLoud

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24 hours in Ledbury

IMG_0624How much poetry festival can you cram into 24 hours? Quite a lot. Ledbury Poetry Festival runs for 10 days in July, and this year we made it along for the final weekend.

We arrived Saturday lunchtime and departed just over 24 hours later on Sunday as the…  Continue reading 24 hours in Ledbury

Lovely write-up of our reading at London Book Fair on the Deilbiri blog.

This really is a corner at LBF and sadly rather a noisy one, principally because of its proximity to coffee shops! However, this didn’t distract from the hardcore poetry lovers from perching on backless blocks or escape-proof bean bags, to enjoy a range of poetic offerings. The first one I attended in full – I […]

via LBF Poetry Corner — deilibri

Liftoff!

Our book is now officially published! We launched it into the world last Thursday, 28th March, and what a joyous occasion it was. Holland Park Press hired the beautiful Gradidge Room at the Art Workers Guild, and we were overwhelmed by the number of people who came along to celebrate this milestone with us. The wine flowed, the room filled with laughter and chatter, books were bought and signed; and before we got too merry, Bernadette hushed the crowd and we gave a short reading from our collection. Then, more book buying and signing! More wine! Amazingly, by 9pm virtually all the books that Bernadette and Arnold had brought along to the launch party had been sold.

Our thanks to everyone who came along, especially those who travelled from outside London; those who sent congratulatory messages and bought the book online; and of course to Bernadette and Arnold at Holland Park Press for organising such a lovely party.

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Look at those books! Photo: Nick Rogers

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Ready for our guests Photo: Nick Rogers

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Photo: Sarah Sparkes

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Photo: Holland Park Press

Reading at the London Book Fair.

The London Book Fair attracts over 25,000 visitors. Who wouldn’t want to read at one of the publishing industry’s main trade fairs? When our publisher Bernadette at Holland Park Press suggested she could pitch for a slot for us to read from our forthcoming collection at this year’s fair we jumped at the chance.  Continue reading Reading at the London Book Fair.

We’re delighted with the first review of our collection, on Emma Lee’s blog. Are you interested in reviewing our book? Contact Holland Park Press to request a review copy. Have a good weekend!

Two poets explore the hidden histories of women based north and south of the river Thames in London through poems with Joolz Sparkes focusing north of the river, and Hilaire south. Poems are grouped by theme so chronologically they jump around and are marked N or S to indicate the writer. Some poems feature a […]

via “London Undercurrents” Joolz Sparkes and Hilaire (Holland Park Press) – book review — Emma Lee’s Blog