Slow Things: Poems about Slow Things


Slow ThingsEdited by Rachel Piercey and Emma Wright

Illustrated by Emma Wright

Paperback ISBN 978-1-910139-16-5
Publication date: 14th May 2015
64 pages, 31 poems, 7 illustrations
Price: £10 (paperback)/£5.50 (ebook)

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‘Touch that water, taste calm, hear the clear
and pleasant stranger lapping at your sight,
stroke fronded stones. Breathe out. Stay here.’

– from ‘That water’, by Di Slaney

What’s so good about being fast? Sometimes a little patience goes a long way, and a slow thing can be just what you need. Slow walks, slow thoughts and slow afternoons in the sun provide inspiration for the poets in Slow Things, an anthology which celebrates taking life at a leisurely pace and existing in the present. As ice, traffic and a giant wooden boulder all advance with a soothing inevitability, the poets invite us to see the beauty in the accretion of tea-stains in a teapot and the unwavering stare of a loris.



‘The Emma Press’ bitesized anthology is as appealing as any well-pitched children’s book; the cover’s enticing maroon and Quentin Blake-esque sloth illustration suggests another, less complicated world of the sort in which I would like to dwell. […] By poem one, I felt calm. By poem ten, I was blissed out. In foregrounding poems’ essential luxury – yes, they can (and should) be moving, provocative, startling; but they are also a past-time – the editors have made of this little book an invitation to cosiness.’ — Penny Boxall for Sabotage Reviews


About the editors

Rachel Piercey is a former editor at The Cadaverine magazine and a current editor at the Emma Press. She studied English Literature at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, where she won the Newdigate Prize in 2008. Her illustrated pamphlet of love poems, The Flower and the Plough, was published by the Emma Press in 2013 and her second pamphlet, Rivers Wanted, in 2014.

Emma Wright studied Classics at Brasenose College, Oxford. She worked in ebook production at Orion Publishing Group before leaving to set up the Emma Press in 2012. In 2013 she toured the UK with The Mildly Erotic Poetry Tour, supported with funding from Arts Council England as part of the Lottery-funded Grants for the arts programme.


About the poets

Juana Adcock is a poet and translator. Her work has appeared in Magma, New Writing Scotland, Gutter, Asymptote and Words Without Borders. Her first book, Manca, was selected by distinguished critic Sergio González Rodríguez as one of the best poetry books published in 2014.

Elizabeth Barrett has received several awards for her poetry, including an Arts Council England Writers’ Award in 2000. ‘May’ is from a series of sonnets written following the death of her mother and published in her fourth collection, A Dart of Green and Blue (Arc Publications, 2010). 

Alison Brackenbury was born in 1953. Her eighth collection is Then (Carcanet, 2013). A new collection is due from Carcanet in Spring 2016. She has won an Eric Gregory Award (1982) and a Cholmondeley Award (1997), and has broadcast recently on Radio 3 and 4. She lives in Gloucestershire and is, often, spectacularly slow.

Cameron Brady-Turner’s poems can be found in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 Barbican Young Poets’ anthologies and in Kumquat Poetry. He is a member of the Burn After Reading poetry collective and is currently studying for an MA in English at UCL.

Charlotte Buckley’s poems have appeared in Icarus Magazine, The New Writer, Stinging Fly and The Cadaverine Magazine (for which she is a regular poetry reviewer). She came third in the 2013 Basil Bunting Poetry Award, was highly commended in the 2014 Gregory O’Donoghue Poetry Prize, and came second in the 2015 Jane Martin Poetry Prize.

Kay Buckley lives in Barnsley. She was overall winner of the 2014 York Mix poetry competition and her poems have been published in magazines including Antiphon, Butcher’s Dog, Brittle Star and Proletarian Poetry. She loves having Sunday as a slow day – reading while drinking a hot pot of tea.

George David Clark is the author of Reveille, winner of the 2015 Miller Williams Prize from the University of Arkansas Press. He is the editor of 32 Poems and lives in Indiana with his wife and their three young children.

Geraldine Clarkson lives in Warwickshire. Her poems have appeared in The Best British Poetry (Salt, 2014), Furies (For Books’ Sake, 2014), and The Poetry Review. She was the Selected Poet in Magma 58 and won the 2015 Magma Editors’ Prize. She is working on her first collection. You can read some of her poems here.

Catherine Temma Davidson is a writer and teacher who grew up in LA and now lives in London with her husband and two children. She has published one novel about myths and Greek women, called The Priest Fainted, and two poetry pamphlets: Inheriting the Ocean and Behind the Lines.

Alexandra Davis lives in Suffolk with her husband and four sons. She teaches English and her poems have been published in Agenda magazine and commended in the 2014 Second Light and 2015 Torriano competitions. Her poetry draws on her roles as wife, mother and teacher. She is also a Zumba instructor. 

Isobel Dixon is the author of Weather Eye, A Fold in the Map and The Tempest Prognosticator and co-wrote and performed in The Debris Field. In 2016 Mariscat will publish a pamphlet, The Leonids, and Nine Arches will publish her new collection, Bearings.

Suzanna Fitzpatrick has been widely published in magazines and anthologies, including Furies (For Books’ Sake, 2014) and Birdbook III (Sidekick Books, 2015). She won second prize in the 2010 Buxton Competition, and won the 2014 Hamish Canham Prize. Her pamphlet, Fledglings, will be published by Red Squirrel Press in 2016. 

Caroline Gill won the inaugural Zoological Society of London Poetry Competition in 2014. She had a poem nominated for the 2014 Pushcart Prize and her chapbook, The Holy Place (co-authored with John Dotson), was published in 2012 by the Seventh Quarry Press in conjunction with Cross-Cultural Communications (New York).

Linda Goulden lives beside the Peak Forest Canal. Her poems have appeared in: publications such as Magma; competitions including Nottingham Open Poetry (1st, 2013), Poets and Players (3rd, 2013) and Happenstance (Double Dactyl, 2015); the repertoire of a local choir; the woods at Grinlow; and the RSPB’s Dovestone reservoir. You can see Linda performing a poem here.

Charlotte Higgins was born in Belfast and now lives in Cambridge. A previous winner of the Foyle Young Poet of the Year Award (2010, commended), and SLAMbassadors (2011), she has performed at the Royal Festival Hall, the Proms, Latitude, and the Nuyorican Poetry Café. She runs Speakeasy, a poetry night in Cambridge.

Paul Howarth was born in Chester and now lives in Suffolk with his wife and two boys. He works promoting reading through libraries and beyond. He contributes to various national and regional reader development projects, working with places like Writers’ Centre Norwich, the Reading Agency and the BBC.

Alex Josephy works as an NHS education adviser and lives in London and Italy. She enjoys the way the instability of travelling between countries can open up new possibilities. Her poems have been published widely in magazines and she has won awards including the 2014 McLellan Poetry Prize. Her first poetry pamphlet is publishing with Cinnamon Press in Spring 2016.

Anna Kisby is an archivist and mother of three children, and has recently moved to Devon, UK. Her poems have been placed in competitions and published in magazines and anthologies including Magma, Mslexia, Poetry News and several Emma Press anthologies. She was the winner of The New Writer 2011 poem prize.

Gill Learner’s poetry has won awards and been widely published, in places including Agenda, Her Wings of Glass (Second Light, 2014) and The Emma Press Anthology of Dance. Her collection, The Agister’s Experiment, was published by Two Rivers Press in 2011 and she hopes to have a second in 2016.

Michael Mackay was first published in the Critical Quarterly in 1969. He recently gained an MA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Keele University and he is currently working on a book-length poem based on the ancient Songs of Ossian. He is also working towards his first poetry pamphlet.

Char March has won awards for poetry, playwrighting and short fiction. Her credits include: short story collection Something Vital Fell Through, five poetry collections including The Thousand Natural Shocks, six BBC Radio 4 plays, and seven stage plays. She ‘did’ plate tectonics in her degree, and is still in awe of it.

Sarah Miles writes poetry and flash fiction. Her poems have been published by Prole and various websites, featured on a poster at the Canterbury Wise Words Festival in 2014, and won a national writing competition. She lives in Sussex and runs Paper Swans Press.

Sara Nesbitt Gibbons has an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway and her poems have been in journals and anthologies, commended in competitions and performed as theatre in St Pancras International, the Old Operating Theatre Museum and other venues. She also has an archived blog on clothes and identity.

Alun Robert was born in Scotland and has spent most of his adult life in southern England. A prolific creator of lyrical verse, he was first published in the Observer during the seventies. Recently, he featured in a Palestine anthology. His influences extend from Burns to Shakespeare, Kipling to Betjeman, Dennis to Mazzoli.

Ben Rogers lives and works in London. His poetry has been published in various magazines, including Magma, Succour, 14 and Long Poem Magazine. A selection of his poetry appears in the Carcanet anthology New Poetries VI. His first pamphlet is forthcoming with Emma Press in 2016.

Lawrence Schimel was born in New York in 1971 and has lived in Madrid since 1999. He writes in both Spanish and English and has published over one hundred books, including poetry collections Fairy Tales for Writers and Deleted Names; short story collections His Tongue and Two Boys in Love; and children’s books Little Pirate Goes to Bed and Let’s Go See Papá.

Jessica Schouela is from Montreal and is currently pursuing an MA in Art History at UCL. She is based in Edinburgh and has been published in Metatron, The Quietus and Squawk Back, amongst others. She writes a blog called Cabbage Moths Lay Their Eggs On My Kale.

Di Slaney is a smallholder, marketing consultant and publisher from Nottinghamshire. She co-owns Candlestick Press, and her poems have been widely published as well as shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. She won first prize in the 2014 Brittle Star Poetry Competition. Her pamphlet Dad’s Slideshow is available from Stonewood Press

Rob Walton is from Scunthorpe and lives on Tyneside with his family. He won first prize in the 2015 National Flash Fiction Day Micro-Fiction Competition and his poems have appeared in Butcher’s Dog, Firewords Quarterly and Northern Voices. He has written scripts and collated the New Hartley Memorial Pathway text.

Lucy Williams works in Wales as a technical author, freelance writer and Italian translator. She is co-Secretary of the Open University Writing Society and judge for the Hysteria Writing Competition. She is studying Creative Writing, contemplating an MA in Screenwriting, and has had poetry published in Hysteria3 and other journals.

Simon Williams has written poetry for 35 years. He was Bard of Exeter in 2013 and founded The Broadsheet magazine. He has five published collections, the latest being A Place Where Odd Animals Stand (Oversteps Books, 2012) and He|She (Itinerant Press, 2013). He performs regularly at events locally and further afield.
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