Skip to main content

A Pint for the Ghost

photograph by Katie Utting


A fair few poetry readers who drop by these parts might already know of Helen Mort, a Sheffield-born, Cambridge-based poet who won a Gregory Award in 2007. Her first pamphlet of poems, the shape of every box, was published the same year, and I'd recommend getting hold of a copy if you can - it's a good read full of distinctive, musical, lyric poems that are accessible, candid and sometimes marked by deft, even dark, humour.

But Mort also has a new pamphlet in the pipeline, and one which is rather unusually accompanied by a "one-woman poetry show": A Pint for the Ghost. This, as the show's curious blog states, "is set in a deserted pub after hours where strange characters come to introduce themselves. From the phantom miner at Hanging Flatt to the spirit in the hospital x-ray machine, the ghosts of Derbyshire and South Yorkshire saunter in for a drink with me. Join us at the bar when the show is finished later in 2009."

It promises to be an unmissable event, then, including music, poems and stories, and will be touring around the country from late 2009 through 2010, so worth looking out for if it's going to be at a venue near you (and by the sounds of things, it won't all be in the sorts of venues you might expect...).

In the meantime, do check out the A Pint for the Ghost blog, which features sample poems from the pamphlet and show, and posts on everything from the derelict pubs of modern London to Mort's favourite drinking haunts from across the country. Mine's a pint at The Devonshire Cat.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Poetry in Motion

POETRY IN MOTION
Why one Reds supporter is committing his love for Liverpool FC to verse


Liverpool FC and poetry have a lot of previous – from John Toshack’s Gosh It’s Tosh collection in the late 70s, to the verse of Dave Kirby and Peter Etherington in the fanzine Red All Over the Land, to the lines written by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, a University of Liverpool graduate, in the aftermath of 2012’s Hillsborough findings. Now there’s Ben Wilkinson, Reds fan and book critic for The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement, who’s compiling a series of poems commemorating the club’s legends. “Football is part of the fabric of life, and anything that’s important to people finds its way into poetry,” he says. “Wilfred Owen’s poem 'Disabled' describes a soldier who loses the use of his legs, meaning he can never play football again. Philip Larkin’s 'MCMXIV' compares boys queuing to join the army to fans outside Villa Park. These poems have stood the test of time because t…

About the Author

Welcome to the website of the English poet and critic, Ben Wilkinson.
Ben was born in Staffordshire and now lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. He received his first degree from the University of Sheffield, and holds an MA and PhD from Sheffield Hallam University. He has won numerous awards for his poetry, including the Poetry Business Competition and a 2014 Northern Writers' Award
His debut full collection of poems, Way More Than Luck, appeared from Seren Books in February 2018.
He is a keen distance runner, lifelong Liverpool Football Club fan, and among other things he works as poetry critic for The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement. You can find many of his reviews on this site.
To contact Ben about readings, workshops, or for any other enquiries, you can drop him a line at benwilko(at sign)gmail.com. Unfortunately, I am not able to consider unsolicited requests from authors for book reviews.

You can follow Ben on Twitter - @BenWilko85 - and on Facebook.

You can find B…

Way More Than Luck (Seren Books, 2018)

From the thumping heartbeat of the distance runner to the roar of football terraces across the decades, Ben Wilkinson’s debut confronts the struggles and passions that come to shape a life. Beginning with an interrogation of experiences of clinical depression and the redemptive power of art and running, the collection centres on a series of vivid character portraits, giving life to some of football's legends. By turns frank, comic, sinister and meditative – ‘the trouble with you, son, is that all your brains are in your head’ – these poems uncover the beautiful game’s magic and absurdity, hopes and disappointments, as striking metaphors for our everyday dramas. Elsewhere there are tender love poems, political satire and strange dream worlds, in an urgently lyrical book of poems that take many forms and modes of address: pantoum, sonnet, sestina; epistle, confession, dramatic monologue. All are united by a desire to speak with searching clarity about matters of the heart. Way More …