Psychological Menopause – a guest blog from Claire Lynn

I had a psychological menopause before the physical one. By my early fifties, I’d had enough of the whole business of menstruation and was ready to move on. Unfortunately, my ovaries were still hard at it. But as soon as my periods started getting the tiniest bit irregular, I decided that was it. As far as I was concerned, it was all over. Unfortunately, in fact, it was all over, bar the bleeding. Each time I had a period, I was taken by surprise. Each time, I’d think,

What? This, again? Really?

So that was the inspirational force behind my poem, Enough Already. It’s a villanelle, and I hope that the repeating, re-cycling form reflects something of its subject matter.  I was delighted when I saw Arachne’s call-out for submissions to an anthology on the menopause. I was ready for it, and by then, I’m happy to report, I was through the menopause as well!

Join us online TODAY Friday 6th October at 1pm for our first sneek preview of the book, in advance of publication. Free tickets via eventbrite

Claire Lynn teaches Creative Writing around Northumberland.  Her poems have been placed in the Bridport Prize (1999), the Wasafiri New Writing Prize (2017) and Marsden the Poetry Village Competition (2019) and have been published in Virago anthology “The Nerve”, the Ver Prize anthology (2017), the Wolverhampton Literature Festival Anthology 2020, Beyond the Storm: Poems from the Covid-19 era, The New European and Independent newspapers, and various magazines including Butcher’s Dog, Smiths Knoll, Writing Women, Other Poetry and Dream Catcher.  Her poem Sixteen Summers was commissioned by the Ilkley Literature Festival 2022.

 

 

Menopause: The Anthology Advance copies have arrived

We have office stock for Menopause: the Anthology! These are mainly going to authors, endorsers and reviewers, (If you are a reviewer and this appeals to you, give us a shout)

We are taking pre-orders for October now!

Gorgeous cover by Kate Charlesworth.

A wild and wonderful mix of poems and short fiction edited by Catherine Pestano and Cherry Potts

Is the menopause really all about hot flushes, empty nests and HRT? Forty-three writers challenge the clichés in poetry and short fiction.

This anthology will be published on Menopause Day, 18th October 2023. When, we have decided, all (post)menopausal women should celebrate their last period, since we never actually know when it happened. Memorial or celebration, you choose, but we will be having cake. Put the date in your diary!

ISBNs: Print 978-1-913665-85-2 100pp £9.99
eBook: 978-1-913665-86-9 £4.00

By turns furious, funny, passionate, elegant, eloquent, sometimes all of these things at once, but always intimate and incisive, this is an amazing collection from a wonderfully diverse range of voices. It absolutely exemplifies what the arts can do to communicate personal experience in a highly political and socially impactful way. I LOVED IT!


Joanna Brewis, Professor at The Open University and menopause at work researcher

Utterly relatable and so, so clever! I love the combination of humour, sadness, anger and strength that shines through the writings of these talented women.


Jackie Lynch, The Happy Menopause nutritionist, author & podcaster

 

This is such an important book. The menopause should not be just a vanilla-sisters, posh white woman conversation. It affects all of us and global majority women often have worse symptoms which start earlier. I found these stories both inspiring and moving. I’m sure you will too.

Eleanor Mills, Founder of Noon.org.uk – home of the Queenager

The subject of Menopause is just beginning to break the barrier of taboo and become a mainstream discussion point, but that discussion has until now been very serious, medical, and, we would argue, heterosexual and white. This anthology of poems and short fiction aims to address that, with wild and wonderful writing from humour and anger, relief and distress, by women who have experienced menopause, whether naturally or as a result of surgery; with a healthy dose of views from the global majority and the lesbian, bisexual and trans communities.
poetry and stories from:
Adele Evershed
Alison Habens
Alyson Hallett
Amanda Addison
Anne Caldwell
Anne Eccleshall
Anne Macaulay
Cath Holland
Cheryl Powell
Chloe Balcomb
Claire Booker
Claire Lynn
Clare Starling
Ellesar Elhaggagi
Elizabeth A Richter
Em Gray
Erica Borgstrom
Genevieve Carver
Ginger Strivelli
Helen Campbell
Jane Ayres
Jane Burn
Jane McLaughlin
Jessica Manack
Joanne Harris
JP Seabright
Julie-Ann Rowell
Karen F Pierce
Kavita A Jindal
Kim Whysall-Hammond
Lucy Lasasso
Marina Sànchez
Martha Patterson
Mary Mulholland
Rachel Playforth
Ruth Higgins
Sian Northey
Susan Bennett
Susan Cartwright-Smith
Tessa Lang
Tina Bethea Ray
Victoria Bailey
Victoria Ekpo

Arctic Diaries online launch- Poems part 2

Here are the final poems from the online launch for The Arctic Diaries by Melissa Davies from back in April. Explore Fleinvær, off the north coast of Norway in poems.

The Arctic Diaries

Melissa is taking part in Edinburgh BookFringe, reading and talking about The Arctic Diaries, at Typewronger bookshop on Monday 28th August at 6pm get your tickets!

They Call Him the Salmon King of Norway

Seaweed

Treasures from the first boat

Bird Wife

Lookout Men

Værøy

Bird wife

 

About Queer Joy… a short video

Co-editor Jeremy Dixon introduces the submission call for Joy//Us, our anthology of poetry celebrating queer joy, and reads a couple of poems that fit the theme, with a short follow up from Cherry Potts about what she is (and isn’t) looking for. If you are thinking of submitting please do so via Submittable before 11th October, and you are welcome to join our free workshops on line in September. Please spread the word!

Arctic Diaries online launch- Q&A part 2

Here’s the second half of the Q&A from the online launch for The Arctic Diaries by Melissa Davies from back in April. Explore Fleinvær off the north coast of Norway in poems. Melissa, a Cumbrian native, talks about the impact that Fleinvær has had on her writing and her life, complete with map and live feed to the island! The poems read at the launch will follow…

The Arctic Diaries

Melissa is taking part in Edinburgh BookFringe, reading and talking about The Arctic Diaries, at Typewronger bookshop on Monday 28th August at 6pm get your tickets!

 

Arctic Diaries online launch- Poems part 1

Here are the first poems from the online launch for The Arctic Diaries by Melissa Davies from back in April. Explore Fleinvær, off the north coast of Norway in poems.

The Arctic Diaries

Melissa is taking part in Edinburgh BookFringe, reading and talking about The Arctic Diaries, at Typewronger bookshop on Monday 28th August at 6pm get your tickets!

Collectors

Coffee

The Fisherman remembers a Boy Disappeared

Halibut

 

Guardians

Fleinvaer is Made up of 365 Islands

Vanishing Act

Arctic Diaries online launch- Intro and Q&A

Another slow start on my part – here’s the first half of the Q&A from the online launch for The Arctic Diaries by Melissa Davies from back in April. Explore Fleinvaer of the north coast of Norway in poems. Melissa, a Cumbrian native, talks about the place, people and stories that inspired the book. The rest will follow, when it’s been captioned!

The Arctic Diaries

Melissa is taking part in Edinburgh BookFringe, reading and talking about The Arctic Diaries, at Typewronger bookshop on Monday 28th August at 6pm get your tickets!

 

Sealey Challenge!

Just a few days to go until the start of The Sealey Challenge, which is to read a book of poetry a day throughout August.

Although the idea of my hammock under the apple tree and a pile of poetry books is very appealing, I don’t think I can actually achieve that while working – not if I’m going to read properly and take in what I am reading with the proper attention – so I’m planning re-reading for some of these slots.

Rather than just randomly pick up poetry books, I am focussing on books by poets we have published at Arachne Press, which have been published elsewhere.

I’ve got 34 (I think!) to choose from, and if you are inspired to join in, here’s a link to our Bookshop.org page where you can buy most of these listed, and the books we have published by these poets, and a handful of others that I don’t actually own (yet) – Where they aren’t listed, it is because they are out of print, not stocked by the wholesaler that Bookshop.org use, or only available from the publisher.

OR…!! you can go to our webshop and get 10% off poetry collections and anthologies, and hybrid anthologies (poetry and short fiction) with code SEALEY until 31st August.

OR…!!!!

you can buy our poetry books as ebooks, and a handful as audiobooks, on our ebookstore after all, you Sealey Challenge doesn’t HAVE to be in print.

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We mostly found these poets through open calls for anthologies, and I’ve grouped them by where we first published them (not always poetry!), or if we have published a collection with them subsequently. Some of these poets were well known at the time we published them, some it was their first outing in print, and every possibility in between.

I’ll be posting about the books daily on Twitter and Instagram, and weekly here.

Here’s the list…

Poets with whom we have published collections

Claire Booker: The Bone that Sang/ Later There Will be Postcards (Arachne Collection: A Pocketful of Chalk)

Jennifer A McGowan: The Weight of Coming Home/ Still Lives with Apocolypse (Arachne Collections: With Paper for Feet and How to be a Tarot Card (or a Teenager)

Kate Foley: I own Kate’s entire works, but I really want to re-read A Fox Assisted Cure (Arachne Collections:The Don’t Touch Garden, A Gift of Rivers, Saved to Cloud)

Ness Owen: Moon Jellyfish can Barely Swim (Arachne Collection: Mamiaith)

First published by us in A470 Poems for the Road/ Cerddi’r Ffordd

Angela Graham: Sanctuary

Christina Thatcher: How to Carry Fire

Kevin Mills: Zeugma

Matthew Smith: Keeper of Aeons

Rae Howells: The Language of Bees

Stephen Payne: The Windmill Proof

 

First published by us in Departures, and contributed to The Story Sessions (Live literature)

Zoë Brigley: Hand and Skull

 

First published by us in Lovers’ Lies

Tania Hershman: Terms and Conditions

 

First published in one of our Solstice Shorts Anthologies

Jenny Mitchell: Her Lost Langauge

Julian Bishop: We Saw It All Happen

Lisa Kelly: The House of the Interpreter

Martyn Crucefix: The Lovely Disciples

Olivia Dawson: Unbottled

Paul Deaton: A Watchful Astronomy

Sarah James: Blood Sugar, Sex, Magic/ Plenty-Fish

 

First published by us in The Other Side of Sleep

Adrienne Silcock: Of Gardens and Witches

Bob Beagrie: Leásprung

Brian Johnstone: Dry Stone Work

Inua Elams: The Actual…

 

first published by us in We/She

Elizabeth Stott: The Undoing

 

First published by us in What Meets the Eye

Raymond Antrobus: The Perserverance

 

First published by us in Where We Find Ourselves

Alexander Williams: Secular Verses

L. Kiew: More than Weeds

Selina Nwulu: A Little Resurrection

Sundra Lawrence: Warriors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Conversation with A.J Akoto: The Creature Poems

In the final instalment of our video interviews with poet A.J Akoto, A.J tells us more about the animal symbolism which appears in Unmothered, her powerful debut collection – out now! 

In Conversation with A.J Akoto: Poems about the Body

Have you got a copy of Unmothered? Some of the poems in the collection consider  the body, and particularly a woman’s relationship to her physicality. Poet A.J Akoto spoke to us about why she wanted to explore the shrinking that women so often go through:

Delicacy

You do not have to be a delicacy.
You do not have to be tasty.
You do not have to submit
your body into feminine frailty.
You do not have to ruin your digestion
in an attempt to be digestible.

Your mind can be full
of ice-white rage;
you do not have to be kind.
You do not have to yield
to the pressure to forgive.
Forgiveness does not make you good
and goodness does not require it.

You do not have to exhibit grace,
not in anything.
You do not have to make yourself
a morsel,
not for anyone.

Buy Unmothered direct from Arachne Press

or come to the next event: Thursday 20th July 7.30 at Afrori Books in Brighton. Tickets via Afrori