Thursday, 4 August 2011


Today's latest sole-author exclusive poetry anthology from BeWrite Books is Peninsula by Peter Loney.

For the poetically inclined and the geographically interested, a very slightly redacted version of the definition of a 'peninsula' is this: an area almost completely surrounded by water except for an isthmus connecting it with the mainland.

Those cold dictionary words sum up Loney's work perfectly: A work that bravely sticks out from the landmass and can weather the tantrums of an indifferent sea.

But Peninsula is not so much poetry of place, more place as poetic lens. The place is north west England's rugged Cumbrian southern promotory.

Born in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, Loney spent a working life teaching in Bosnia, lived in the US, worked for the BBC World Service, and washed up near home in Cumbria's Lake District small-town of Ulverston.

His wide-angle lens takes in many of his journey's experiences - the only poet he knew in Bosnia is now on trial in The Hague for war crimes. Loney reconciles those experiences with a lifetime's reading.

Peninsula 9

In the Co-op earlier the tills broke down.
While staff tutted and fiddled I heard
Currency tumble by the hour, dishevelled
Girls at our Koševo checkouts break down,
Yoy! Yoy! Helpless to keep up
With the unhinging spiral. Quitting the shops
For the dewy tomb-choked churchyard
On the outskirts, the bench where I sit moored
In stagnant smaragdine light, snaps flooded back
From that pot-holed road-trip before we got out
And roads closed. Our visit to the Patriarchate
In Peć, Vesna uneasy as we looked
At the venerable mulberry-tree in the grounds,
Berries splattered red on the flagstones.

is ... ambitious, well-crafted, learned and wonderfully bleak.
                                                                             Andy Croft. Poetry columnist for the Morning Star, head of Smokestack Books, and ‘The unofficial poet laureate of the North.’ Northern Echo.

Available now in paperback and all ebook formats from all online bookstores or direct from BeWrite Books BOOKSTORE.

Poet: Peter Loney. Editor: Sam Smith. Cover design, internal text design and technological preparation for print and ebook editions: Tony Szmuk. Publisher: BeWrite Books.


  1. You wouldn't believe the work that went into geting Peninsula to print. To begin with Peter didn't even have a laptop, had to start the editing process by logging on in his local library. Then his daughter, Nina, got him a laptop and Peter's techie eductation continued apace from there.
    Although we are both presently in Cumbria the closest I've come to meeting Peter is talking on the phone. Quite lucky my being here though as when Tony - in Canada - found that the photos Peter had supplied of Ulverston weren't suitable for the cover of Peninsula I could pop down to the beach here at Maryport and snap away, sending the results off to Tony. All last minute stuff.
    This is the third collection we have put out this year, all three of an exceptionally high standard. Unflinching works, all well worth reading.

  2. Indeed, Sam, you and your poets can be justly proud of what has so far been released this year (and in previous years). All wonderful works by masters of the art, mentored and monitored by one of the best hands-on poetry editors the world has to offer. Congratulations all round. Neil, Tony et al