Shadowtrain books
Shadowtrain books
Index to Poets
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FAITH, a collection of poems by Martin Stannard...

Cover illustration by Charlotte O'Donnell

Faith can be read as a collection of interrelated poems (they were all written by the same person) or as a kind of accidental narrative: it is, after all, a collection of poems written at various times and at various levels in the multi-storey car park of understanding. With fairy tale charm and lyricism, with satire and a rather tasty sense of the absurd, Faith mocks itself yet at the same time refuses to give up the search for the possibility of renewal in a life fast running out of possibilities. Stannard works from a tradition that goes back through the New York poets to the spirit of early twentieth-century French poets such as Max Jacob and Pierre Reverdy.  This is a poetry which is not afraid of sadness or loss, and which in its ultimate seriousness refers back to the Romantics. But it also has the capacity to make us laugh out loud along a journey we are the richer for having made.

'Like his great precursor Kenneth Koch, Martin Stannard has a restless heart and a teeming brain, itchy with the suspicion that something true and beautiful just left the house…'

             - Mark Halliday  

‘Stannard’s casual, he’s conversational, he’s clever, and he’s a little complicated as well. He sees. He feels. He keeps it real. As far as I’m concerned, that last is the only absolutely crucial value. But keeping it real is like keeping it casual. Try it. It isn’t easy. It takes a lot of hard work, most of which takes place away from the poem.’

               - John Bloomberg-Rissman, Litter

Martin Stannard
’s previous collections of poetry include Poems on Various Subjects (Shoestring Press, 2004), Difficulties & Exultations (Smith/Doorstop, 2001)  and Writing Down The Days: New & Selected Poems (Stride, 2001). After ten highly amusing years working as a telephone operator, in 2005 he went to China to teach English to university students. In 2007 he returned to the UK to be the Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at Nottingham Trent University. Then, in 2008, he again returned to China, which is a long way away.

Out-of-print. ISBN: 978-0-905127-14-9 

Click here to see a review of Faith on Litter.

Winter Hands by Annie Clarkson. 


Winter Hands crosses boundaries between poetry and prose, inner and outer landscapes, intimacy and being alone. In a series of portraits, this collection explores the vulnerabilities and distress of people who seem to be outside the worlds they survive in. Their relationships are fractured and ambivalent, their voices complex. Annie Clarkson’s rich, evocative images delve into the multi-layered emotions of her characters. As readers, we are invited to identify with these individuals and the situations they create and find themselves in. At the same time, we can delight in Clarkson’s lyrical and energetic use of language.

‘Annie Clarkson’s versets – shapes where poetry and prose meet, declare a truce and mingle – generate so much heat and tenderness in equal turns; they read like reports from a twilit, overlooked world, writ in vinegar on chip paper that will stay news.’

–Paul Farley

Clarkson composes her poetry from tenderness, sexuality and courage, exploring taboo places in the human psyche. That she does so and does so fearlessly is a testament to her compassion and understanding of the everyday fears and uncertainties we experience as humans.’

–Geraldine Green

Annie Clarkson is a poet and fiction writer living in Manchester. Winter Hands is her first collection.

Published October, 2007.

ISBN: 978-0-905127-13-2

Ex Catalogue
by Rupert M Loydell


Somewhere between abstract and naturalistic, the prose poems in Ex Catalogue hint at a world we can never quite grasp. Disarming yet knowing, these interlinked miniatures imply a guiding hand that has resolve if not guile. The language used is carefully balanced and finely wrought. There is poise and limpidity throughout; a direct and informal tone at work. It is a compelling mixture, rich with atmosphere and resonance, alive with possibility and expectation.

In the second half of the book, Small Paintings offers fragments of experience and expectation. There is a sense of some 'perfect way' being just out of reach and a feeling of both sadness and delight in the seeking of it. Perhaps paradise lies in the search.

'What is also striking about Loydell's poems is that they incorporate a wide range of influences and references drawn from music, art, and literature, and do so without holding back the movement of the writing. The reader doesn't have to struggle to decipher the meaning in the poems and that fact, mixed with the good humour often
on show, makes them engaging…there's always a feeling that the poet's early days of wonder and excitement have been preserved.'

       - Ambit

'Striking comments on our disturbed early twenty-first century solipsism, and sometimes a scary echoing emptiness'

-    Poetry Review

£6.95 (incl. p&p)   
ISBN 0905127129

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