POETRY enthusiasts found plenty to whet their appetites at the launch of “Flavoured as Much as Coloured: 13 Poems About Food”, the latest anthology from independent Lancashire publisher Clitheroe Books Press.
The anthology, edited by Jo Harding and Theresa Robson, features original work celebrating food by writers from throughout the UK. It was launched at a reading at the Atrium Café, Clitheroe Castle, when contributors read from their work.
The anthology features work by Rachel Davies, who has an MA Poetry with distinction from Manchester Metropolitan University, where she studied under leading poets of the day, including Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and Simon Armitage. Also among the contributors is former journalist Maureen Fenton, of Clitheroe, whose poem of the same name gives the anthology its title.
Its front cover features an original wood engraving, Mr and Mrs Jack Sprat, by British artist Jonathan Gibbs, who studied at the Central School of Art and Design and the Slade School of Fine Art, and exhibits regularly in the UK, recently in a solo show entitled Tree at my Window at the Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh.
Jo Harding said: “When J.R.R. Tolkien said ‘if more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world’, perhaps he had Ribble Valley in mind.
“The landscape around Stonyhurst College reputedly provided inspiration for The Shire in his Lord of the Rings and it was to the local hostelries he almost certainly turned for sustenance and inspiration.
“Contributors to this anthology have similarly found plenty in local food, as well as food from across the continents and throughout the ages, to inspire them.”
Theresa Robson added: “From the humble snail in Philip Burton’s Rhapsody in Brown to the ‘cream cracker surprise’ of Rachel Davies’ On First Tasting Crumbly Lancashire, poetry enthusiasts who attended the reading found plenty to whet their appetites.
“The anthology has been very well received and Clitheroe is quickly establishing itself as a regional centre of excellence for poetry.”
Clitheroe Books Press has published two previous anthologies: “Slip Through the Silence: Facing Adversity with Verse” (2008) and “Here is Where the Candy Sticks: Poems About Shopping in Clitheroe” (2010).
Its next anthology, “The House at Black Moss: 13 Poems Commemorating the Lancashire Witches”, will be published in October.
Jo Harding runs second-hand bookshop Clitheroe Books which hosts readings, book launches and book signings. He has been writing and teaching poetry for 30 years.
Former East Lancashire journalist Theresa Robson has a BA Creative Writing from the University of Bolton and has co-ordinated several public poetry projects, including the award-winning “Shop”, which saw poetry displayed in 50 Clitheroe town centre shops.
“Flavoured as Much as Coloured: 13 Poems About Food” is available priced £4 from Clitheroe Books in Moor Lane, Clitheroe (01200 444242) or online at Amazon.