Tag Archives: poetry

It’s Christmas…

17 Dec

Well, okay, not quite, but I probably won’t be online then!

As happens every year, Atlantean Publishing has two Christmas releases out – Xmas Bards 7 and Christmas Chillers V.

Xmas Bards 7 – The Happy Snowman

The seventh annual Xmas Bard is a collection of six haiku, a tanka and five other poems (including the titular one) by DJ Tyrer.

Like all our broadsides (The Bards, Xmas Bards, Xothic Sathlattae and Yellow Leaves) it is available for 10p + 50p postage (or a second class stamp) in the UK. The postage covers upto five broadsides at 10p each. If you order five or fewer copies alongside a booklet or magazine, there is no postage charge.

Overseas the cost is 20c + $2 postage for one copy, $3 postage for two or three, $4 for four to seven copies and $5 postage for eight to eleven copies (email atlanteanpublishing@hotmail.com if you want to order more). If you order a single copy alongside a booklet or magazine, there is no postage charge.

Christmas Chillers V

The fifth annual volume of Christmas Chillers contains three spooky festive tales by DS Davidson, DJ Tyrer and Matthew Wilson. As ever it has an evocative cover by Christopher Catt James

  • Whatever Happened to Santa Claus? sees a quest to restore the Christmas magic go terribly wrong.
  • Murders on Christmas Eve gives us just that as a store Santa finally flips.
  • Christmas Morning sees a visit by Santa to a would-be occultist, who discovers the jolly fat man isn’t a man at all.

All volumes of Christmas Chillers can be ordered for £3 (UK) or £6 (overseas) each and the 3-for-2 booklet offer applies.

How to pay

Purchases can be made by stirling cheque (payable to DJ Tyrer) or cash to the editorial address, or via PayPal.

Channel That Festive Spirit

We release a volume of Christmas Chillers every year and welcome submissions of dark or horrific Christmas-themed tales. We don’t mind a little humour, but the overall tone should be dark. Email your submission to us no later than September 2018 and you’ll hear during October if it’s been accepted for inclusion.


Hallowed Be Thy Gun

7 Dec

I couldn’t ignore the call to arms

when my neighbours grabbed their muskets

and rushed to the village green

Hallowed Cover

Hallowed Be Thy Gun is the new poetry booklet from Gary Beck and recounts the history of the USA through its wars and military adventures.

It is available for £3 (UK) / £6 (overseas) from the editorial address. You can also pay via https://www.paypal.me/DJTyrer (please also email with details of your order). The 3-for-2 booklet offer applies to all booklets.

Lunaris Review Reviewed

7 Nov

Lunaris Review issue 9 is available to free read online or to download in pdf format.

I must open with a caveat – I have a poem in this issue, although I hope that might be seen as an additional enticement to take a look at this issue! Also, I won’t be going into much detail with this review, as you should just click over and take a look.

Lunaris Review is a great ezine filled with artwork, poetry and fiction. I really enjoyed the poetry, my favourite pieces being Musings by Fatima Shahzad and the brilliant A Cycle of Futility by Uduak Uwah. None of the fiction quite hit the high notes of the poetry, there are some interesting pieces in here. But, it is the artwork by Omoniyi Gabriel Gilbert that blows everything else away. These are truly excellent pieces of art – especially Arewa and The Glorious Child – and worth taking at the issue for alone.

I really cannot encourage you enough to take a look at this issue. Highly recommended.

It’s Hallowe’en…

31 Oct

Yes, it’s that time of the year again and that means another horror poetry booklet…

Cast A Curse

This year’s booklet is named for Christopher Catt James’ title poem and accompanying cover art, Helza (Cast a Curse). Other poems include Dark Encounter by Neal Wilgus, October Frost by Aeronwy Dafies, November Thirst by Angela Boswell, and Witch Cult by Lee Clark Zumpe. Other contributors include DS Davidson, Christopher Hivner, Arthur C. Ford, Sr., Gary W. Davis and Matthew Wilson.

Although it is too late for you to read it tonight if you don’t already have it, you can still order it and enjoy it on the long winter evenings, along with our previous years’ booklets.

And, yes, we will be seeking contributions to another volume in 2018…

Captured by Poetry

26 Nov

By Julie Vanner
ISBN 9781500233815
Available to order from Amazon

Essex poet Julie Vanner has not only overcome adversity to produce a poetry collection that has garnered plentiful praise, but has also disproven the assumption that a self-published book must be of inferior quality by producing one that is excellent both of content and of form (the latter being helped by the presence of the lovely illustrations by Renee Murray).

The collection opens with the titular Captured, about a pirate, which flows evocatively (“The sails of a ship billow softly, / to the mariners’ song on the wave; / by a westerly cove, near a lost treasure trove, / on a ship only sailed by the brave”) before moving on to touch on all sorts of topics. Amongst those she writes about are the horsemeat scandal (Mane Course in which she wonders “what’s next for casserole? / Sausages made not of swine, / But battered star-nosed mole?”), technology (The Machines Are Rising in which “All my machines have gone bizarre, / My PC’s pouring smoke; / I can’t drive for my brake failed car / and my dishwasher just broke.”), Facebook (in the aptly-named Facebook describing how “This Facebook lark’s addictive – I’m finding it quite fun, / My life is now restrictive and the housework’s not been done”) and nature (in poems such as Dragonfly in which we see “A summer pond stained soft rose-gold”).

I especially liked Dragonflies and Lullabies in which she asks “Do dreams drift like dragonflies, / as newborn lids close tight, / nestling down with lullabies / as you bid day goodnight?”, painting a wonderful image of a parent watching their sleeping child.

Julie Vanner writes wonderful rhyming poetry which manages to make their structure appear effortless. Captured ranks as one of the most enjoyable poetry collections I’ve read this year. Highly recommended.

Poetry Reviews – A Knock On The Door and An Only Girl

31 Jul

A Knock On The Door

By Christos Kallis

Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd, 2014, 37pp


Available in paperback and on the Kindle from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com

The debut poetry collection from Christos Kallis is a collection of twelve pieces infused with irony and a sense of the absurd. It opens with Columbus voyaging through a poem in search of some sort of meaning, or at least its ending in the seemingly silly yet inspired A Lonely Dot In A Sestina. The collection abounds with stunning imagery such as “A wall that you built so majestically high to prohibit angels ‘intruding’” in An Apple (a deceptively bland title for an evocative poem), “Inside a stage of desolation” in A Letter to Aeschylus, and “The light of the half-sliced moon fell upon us” in A Double Jesus On The Rocks. Even the one-line His Wolf Whistle has a surprisingly power.

For a debut collection, it is exceptionally good and well worth reading. Recommended.


An Only Girl

By Melissa Usher

Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd, 2014, 30pp


Available in paperback and on the Kindle from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com


The first poem in this collection by Melissa Usher, Me and Inspiration, utilises a simple but effective rhyme structure (“You may not believe it / But it is honest and true / That I get all my inspiration / Through things that I do”) and many of the others likewise use simple rhymes to good effect, producing enjoyable poems. In Holiday, ” A week away for a holiday starts with a flight / A first holiday abroad can give a child a fright / To pick a destination with the hottest sun / To spend the day on the beach and have the greatest of fun”, whilst in Complicated Sleeping, we are told “In the early hours of the day / The sun shines through the window pane / It shines in your eyes and wakes you / It’s enough to drive you insane” and in the title poem, An Only Girl, Melissa tells us “I am an only girl sat alone / I am searching for my house, my home / I have looked high and low for that tiny glow / To let me know what I call my home”.

An Only Girl is a fun and entertaining poetry collection. Recommended

Merry-Go-Round review

31 Jul

Merry-Go-Round and Other Words

By Bryn Fortey

The Alchemy Press, 2014, 352pp

Available in paperback and on the Kindle from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com


This is a collection of poetry and fiction from one of my favourite small press writers, a mixture of darkness and light. Bryn Fortey had horror stories published in the old Fontana anthologies and has had numerous poems and short stories published by Atlantean Publishing and other small presses, as well as making appearances in some of the fine anthologies published by The Alchemy Press. Merry-Go-Round opens with a lengthy and absorbing introduction by editor Johnny Mains, which is both the perfect introduction to anyone unfamiliar with the man and his work, as well as still being of interest to those readers who are familiar.

Bryn Fortey is a writer who knows how to write to perfect effect. The opening story of the collection, Shrewhampton North-East, for example, has perfect pace, whilst making use of repetition to simultaneously replicate the boredom of a stifling train journey and build a subtle air of menace in a wonderfully offbeat story.

Perhaps my favourite story in the collection is the wonderful Ithica or Bust retells The Odyssey in space (I especially like the passing reference to a Cassandra-box!). with Odysseus attempting to his home planet of Ithica.

Amongst the poems, Boy In A Box is one of the best, articulating poignant loss at the death of his son (“I know you can’t hear / I know it’s not the you I knew / I know you are dead”). Marching Into Glory puts into words the beauty and sadness of New Orleans funeral jazz.

A lighter example of Bryn’s poetry, as well as the 2009 first place winner of the Data Dump Award, is the fun A Taxi Driver On Mars (“Not much call for taxis on Mars / But there has to be a couple / Ever on standby / Ready for the occasionally needed journey”). This and the 2011 joint-second Data Dump Award winning poem Safari, about the titular reservation world, were first published in Atlantean magazines.

The poem A Solitary Dream has marvelous imagery (“Some dreams draw mansions in the sun / And rivers on the moon / Short dreams have only just begun / And others end too soon”).

Having opened the volume, a continuation of Shrewhampton North-East brings it to an end, followed by an Afterword in which Bryn outlines much of the inspiration for his writing, another fascinating piece.

Although I have touched upon just two of the stories and a handful of the poems, there are many more, covering q variety of styles and topics. If you have encountered some of Bryn Fortey’s writing before, I am sure you will be as keen as I was to read this collection, and if you are new to his work, then there’s no better place to start. Even if not all the content is to your taste, there is so much and such variety that you will find plenty to entertain you. The closest I can get to a criticism is that a few poems would have been better if given their own page, rather than split across pages – and, then, only because they’re so good! This is an excellent collection that shouldn’t be missed if you enjoy fiction or poetry. Highly recommended.