Poetry

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National Poetry Day – did you miss it?

28 September is designated National Poetry Day – at least in the UK. At TSL, we don’t see one day as a special day – all days are special, so below are the our authors who also write poetry. TSL doesn’t specalise in poetry but we do have some poetry either as part of a collection or to support a charity.

Playwright and author Barbara Towell has a book of poetry Patchworks.
Kat Francois and Robbie Cheadle also publish poetry, albeit not through TSL.

To purchase a book, click on the image below:

first published 5 October 2017, updated 2024

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I wrote a letter…

Letter writing has somewhat gone out of fashion today having been replaced by emails. I don’t know about you, but I still get a bit of a thrill when a letter arrives, not one from a bank or some other formal organisation, and especially if there’s an indication that it’s handwritten or done on what I call an old ‘tick tick typewriter’. Believe it or not, TSL sometimes gets such letters as a few of our authors have avoided all things technology-oriented which arrived after the old ‘tick tick’ machine. We’ve also had to get manuscripts re-typed so they can used in the electronic age – and can you imagine trying to explain how marketing now works through social media to people who have no idea of what the internet looks like, let alone anything like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest? This is digressing, back to letters.

I’m not a great fan but was taken with the frank honesty of Vanessa’s letter to her brother when I was looking up some links for Great Barn Poetry which had been run by Hillingdon Libraries in 2017. Vanessa seemed to capture the essence of sibling relationships and inspired this post.
I’m wondering though if I shouldn’t change my statement about not being a great poetry fan to rather say, ‘I’m not a great reader of poetry’ because hearing poetry read or recited brings it alive in a way my reading of it fails. So, here’s a Youtube performance of A Letter to You by Vanessa Kisuule.
Then in 2018, I discovered Kat Francois who summed up a day’s conference talks on the First World War in Africa in a poem at the end of the day – wow. (Kat has subseqently published with TSL the play about her relative Lazarus who served in Africa during the First World War – it includes poetry and mention of letters).

I’ve never read any of Maya Angelou’s work but know that many people regard her writing as significant and I’ve been taken with the odd quote attributed to her, so it seems appropriate to include her third book of 28 essays written to the daughter she never had, Letter To My Daughter (2009), in this post.

Twenty years earlier, in 1988, Kurt Vonnegut felt the need to write a letter to the people living in 2088. Nearly thirty years from when he wrote the letter, we seem to have stagnated or perhaps even regressed. Will those in 2088 be thinking the same or will a difference have been made?

TSL books which feature letters (or more like emails) include:
Anna Ryland – A Second Chance
Sue Hampton – Woken
Leslie Tate – Love’s Register

And here’s a selection of poetry by TSL authors in case your appetite for poetry was whet:

first published 14 June 2017, updated 2024

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Melville Lovatt appreciation

Melville Lovatt

It is thanks to Melville Lovatt that TSL started the TSL Drama imprint. At the time he was with the now-closed Harrow Writers’ Circle and at one of our input sessions, liked the look and quality of our printed books (thanks lulu.com). In addition, the script company he was with, New Theatre Company, had decided to close after the death of one of the partners. The other major influencer was that TSL’s ethos seemed to mirror that of New Theatre Company. It’s good to know there are (and have been) others out there with similar views.

As a result, TSL has published Melville’s catalogue of scripts which include monologues, one act and full length plays as well as more recently poetry. A number of his pieces have won prizes as you’ll see on his TSL bio page and some of the book covers. One of the things I found, especially with Melville’s monologues, are that his character voices come to life in ways not all writers manage. It’s rare (at least in my experience) that one hears a distinct and different voice whilst reading through his work. Melville is a keen observer of situations which comes across in his scripts and poetry – he captures an essence of what I see as English life in much of his work, and on occasion has played around with different takes on the same event as seen in two of his scripts: The Lamp and Small Mercies.

Moving into the world of drama and theatre has been a journey for TSL especially as it’s not the major focus of the company nor its directors – who can only claim to have regularly attended alternative (and protest) theatre back in the day in South Africa with the odd audience excursion into theatres in the UK. Theatre is a tough world to break into – it’s mainly down to the script writer developing relationships with potential directors and theatre group creative decision makers and this requires tenacity. It also requires the script writer to know when best to have their script published as not all theatres like to work with material which is ‘already out there’. The network is also important and thanks to Melville, TSL has links with Player Playwrights which meet in Kilburn, London, and more recently through extended networks has made links with London Playwrights (watch this space…)

Due to Melville’s tenancity and involvement in the world of theatre, a few of his plays have been performed, most notably by East Lane Theatre Club, London. See his bio for other performance venues.

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Peter Lilly

Peter Lilly is a British poet who grew up in Gloucestershire. After stuyding Theology in London he worked for a homeless charity in Watford for five years. Peter now lives in the South of France with his wife Silje, and son Gabriel, where he concentraes on writing, community development and teaching English.

Peter talks about the collection and reads a poem on youtube.