Monday, 12 March 2012

Latest News

Not Only The Dark has raised £2500 so far for Shelterbox - this brings the total raised by WordAid to over £8000! Many thanks to everyone who has supported us and made this possible. We are starting to think about our 2012 charity anthology, so please contact us at with any suggestions.

June sees the launch of Touch Wood, an anthology that contains some 60 poems written by young people aged between eight and eleven years old as part of the BTCV Kent Heritage Trees project. Here you will find tales of Rootmen and Devas, woodcutters and tree sprites, Phaeton and the Heliades. The poems have been selected by Kent poet Vicky Wilson and are accompanied by illustrations by the children. Their inventiveness and imagination, craft and detailed observations demonstrate the power of trees as a source of inspiration. All profits from the sale of each book go to support BTCV.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

WordAid in the news

Thank you to the BBC for a great article about WordAid on their local news website.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

'Not Only The Dark' launch event

The launch event at the University of Kent last Tuesday was an a amazing success. We had more than 20 readers from as far afield as Edinburgh and Halifax.Ruth Portway also came along to tell us more about the charity, the work they do is really inspiring.

We raised a total of £1632 from sales and the collection on the night, all of which will go to Shelterbox as printing costs were already covered from pre-sales. And so far the total raised for Shelterbox is £1900.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

'Not Only The Dark' now available!

Visit our publications page to buy your copy of our amazing new anthology and help to raise funds for international disaster charity Shelterbox.

As well as introducing some exciting new poets, this anthology includes poems by Patience Agbabi, Kate Clanchy, David Harsent, Michael Laskey, Alice Oswald, Pascale Petit, Mario Petrucci, Penelope Shuttle, John Siddique, Catherine Smith and many more.

Deep by Lynne Rees

Who was I that summer
I met you? Loose with desire
I moved like cream before it’s churned to butter

and men I hardly knew
stopped me in supermarket aisles, B & Q,
to talk about nothing, standing closer than they needed to;

when a day without talking
to you splintered my mind – snapping
at people I loved, hiding upstairs with a phone, crying

at night; that night
you left and I sat in the dark, the polite
bones of your words sharpening with the sneak of light,

afraid of the days
opening like empty rooms, a maze
of your absence: a puzzle the years haven’t erased.

Lynne Rees

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Another poem from 'Not Only The Dark'

The Year of the Tree

I carried a tree

through the Underground.

It was hard. At first,

people scarcely noticed me

and the oak I was lugging

along the platforms –

heavier than a suitcase

and difficult to balance.

We threaded through corridors,

changing lines: up and down stairs,

escalators, and for a moment

I imagined everyone on the planet

taking turns

to carry a tree as daily rite.

A few people asked

Why a tree?

I said it was for my own

edification –

a tree always

has something to teach.


Sharp gusts

whirred through the corridors

rustling the branches

as I hurried on

past the sweepers

picking up rubbish, scraps of paper.

Be sure to take the tree

with you, they said.

Don’t worry, I’m taking it

to my garden,

the start of a forest.

When people stared,

Relax, I said,

it‘s a tree, not a gun.

©Katherine Gallagher(2010)

(From Carnival Edge: New & Selected Poems, Arc Publications, 2010

Sunday, 30 October 2011

The poem that inspired the anthology's title...

Not Only Dark

Some black holes have a ring of x-rays and visible light surrounding them.

Nothing but dark, I said

as I drew our curtains on the darkness

of the birch tree and the robin singing

a snatch of late song,

and yet light all round.

And you understanding. The paradox

of light and dark, a black hole

and a ring of light,

in the space between teacups at ease

on the table and pyracantha

scratching the window beyond

as the wind blew.

Now on a small hill, that place

of wind and silence, the silence

of futures… trees

cut off distances.

Stones, gravestones are master there.

But arriving home I take up that book

of Chinese art, your inscription A trillion

kisses forever.

I turn the pages, find the vase with peaches

showing flowers and fruit together,

as in that paradise where peach blossom

lasted for ever.

Irrelevant paradise? But I read

again your inscription: Perhaps this

is a kind of heaven, the warmth of feeling

and memory,

light circling a possessed absence.

Daphne Gloag