Except We Teach by Alan Gillott, Thinking of You Always, Lewis Hill, People in a Landscape, Colin Speakman, Rita Jerram's Tales from a Prairie Journal and A shadow in My Life, Mary Sheepshanks' new editions

ram's MemoirsFighting Cock Press is delighted to announce the publication of Alan Gillott’s second poetry collection, Except We Teach, ISBN 978-0-906744-44-4, Price £8.00. Alan is an important influence on Yorkshire poetry, encouraging crossover between music, poetry, performance, and media arts, and a fine poet himself. He writes with a musical ear for sound and rhythm, and an acute observation for natural detail, as well as for wider cultural references. His first collection, Beyond the Window is almost sold out and received critical acclaim. His new book includes many poems he has read at venues throughout the north.  “This collection of poems tells the story of a life lived with acute observations of people and place, in a tone both highly personal and yet universal... overall there is something for everyone.” (Helen Cadbury, novelist and poet)  


Thinking of You Always: the Letters of Cpl.  Hill, 1941-45,  Fighting Cock Press and Stairwell Books.
ISBN 978-1-939269-36-2, £10.00
This memoir, edited by Pauline Kirk, gives readers a remarkable insight into the lives of servicemen and women during the second world war. Lewis Hill describes the rigours of day to day life on and off base, and offers an alternative view to the derring-do typical of wartime memoires. 'Lew' was mustered in 1941. From the beginning he wrote home to his wife, describing his life as an enlisted serviceman. This incredible record follows him through his training, service with a balloon squadron in the UK, life on a troopship to the Middle East, his service in Kenya and Egypt, and leave periods spent touring Palestine, Syria, the Lebanon and Egypt. It has taken Pauline Kirk over twenty years to gather and transcribe all his letters but the result is a memorable and important new book.
Thinking of You Always featured in an exhibition as part of York Libraries Archive Week, and York Literature Festival HUB 2017. Pauline has given several talks about her work editing the letters and more are planned.

Colin Speakman's second collection, People in a Landscape was published in late 2016 and is selling well, following excellent reviews. (ISBN 978-0906744-4-20, £4.50).
Colin is well known for his books on environmental issues and for his walkers' guides. His thought-provoking and sensitive poetry reflects his interest in the Yorkshire landscape.  As Mary Sheepshanks comments "Colin Speakman paints vivid pictures with words so that in these varied, always interesting, occasionally surprising but accessible poems we see through his perceptive eyes." This is a collection to treasure, and at only £4.50, marvellous value.  Launch events have been held in Leeds, Ilkley and York.  Colin also took part in the Ilkley Fringe Festival.

Tales from a Priaire Journal, by Rita Jerram was a joint publication by Fighting Cock Press and Stairwell Books, edited by Pauline Kirk. (ISBN 978-1-939269-26-3 £10.00) Edith Jerram, Rita's grandmother, left her rural Derbyshire village to join her childhood sweetheart in Canada. She kept extensive journals, graphically describing her life with all its hardships, joys and three marriages! Rita has transformed these journal entries into a fascinating account of frontier life in Canada during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. It will be of interest to historians and lovers of a good story alike.  Tales from a Priaire Journal was Fighting Cock's first venture into long prose, followed by Thinking of You Always and A Shadow in My Life.

Another memoir by Rita Jerram, A Shadow in My Life, was published in late 2017 (ISBN 978-1-959269-54-6, £10.00). It recalls Rita's time in a sanatorium after contracting tuberculosis at the age of fifteen. Another fascinating read, A Shadow in My life relates both Rita's own experiences and the stories of the other women who shared her ward. At times hilarious, at others achingly sad, it is another important historical document, giving an insight into medical practice in the 1950's. Given the gradual return of TB, it is also highly relevant now.

Some readers' comments on Shadow in My Life  and Thinking of You Always:

Thank you very much for A Shadow in My Life. I loved it, found it fascinating, hilariously funny as well as being tragic and it spoke strongly of the 'wounded healer'. Absolutely brilliant. M B (Newark)

 Thinking of You Always:

It’s the sort of account that we don’t see often enough, giving a very real sense of what the war meant to ordinary people in England, who slogged through those years, doing their duty even if not firing a shot in anger, and with remarkably little complaint. One does wonder – and hope- that those years away had not made the reunion with his beloved Doris more difficult than he might have imagined. JS (Australia)

Your book is an important piece of social history and when I’ve finished it I’ll pass it to my friend. Her father served with the Royal Signals in Burma and I’m sure there will be many similar experiences.

 

New editions of Mary Sheepshanks' collections, Dancing Blues to Skylarks ( ISBN 978-0-906744-40-6, £7.50) and Fishing for Spring (ISBN 978-0-906744-41-3, £8.50) are now available.  All of Mary's five poetry collections have been very popular.

All these books can be ordered from bookshops, or are available from Fighting Cock Press (please add £1.00 per copy towards postage and packing). Click on the files below to see the covers.






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