Cyclone Book Launch in London

Join Robert Peake and Richie McCaffery at the Poetry Café in London to launch their new books. With special guests Abegail Morley and Josephine Corcoran.

Throughout 2018 Nine Arches Press is celebrating 10 years of publishing. Join us for our birthday summer soirée as we celebrate the launch of two exciting new collections!

British-American poet Robert Peake returns with his much-anticipated second collection, Cyclone: poems about weathering storms  —  personal, political, psychological  —  in our present-day climate of chaos. From his trans-Atlantic perspective Robert writes of global turmoil and belonging, of bereavement and the long aftermath, and of everyday kindnesses.

Exploring place and displacement, boundaries and borders, Richie McCaffery’s latest work, Passport, grew out of his experience of living in Ghent. As an ‘outsider’ in the city, his poems explore the meaning of running from and coming back home, and how we find our place in life, love and language.

The evening will also feature special guest readings from Josephine Corcoran, with her debut collection What Are You After?, plus Forward Prize-shortlisted poet Abegail Morley, reading from the acclaimed The Skin Diary.

This is a free event  —  all welcome!

Optional RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/520012331767725/


On “Reading Dostoevsky in the John Lewis Café, Welwyn Garden City”

Making an example of oneself isn’t always easy. Making an example of one’s poetry even less so.

Nevertheless, I took a stab at explaining some of the process behind writing the poem “Reading Dostoevsky in the John Lewis Café, Welwyn Garden City” in a new post on the Nine Arches Press blog. The poem appears toward the end of my new collection, Cyclone.

You can read the poem, and notes — on sincerity, irony, and class — as part of their “in conversation series”.


Cyclone Now Available

Cyclone by Robert Peake



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“Cyclone takes the strengths of Robert Peake’s previous work  —  candour, intensity, a hard-won wit — and enters the storm, in search of an answer to the question raised by his heartbreaking ‘Why I Should Be Over It By Now’. Built around four remarkable sequences, this new collection takes him into the most difficult of territories — grief and parental loss — to recover the possibility, however fugitive, of healing. The ‘Cyclone’ here is both personal and political. In such turbulent and shrill times, this is his most powerful work to date.”
-Michael Symmons Roberts, author of Drysalter, winner of the Forward Prize

Robert Peake’s second full-length collection of poems urges us to find shelter as a storm is gathering and the forces of destruction threaten to rip through anything in their path. These are matters of life or death, and Cyclone urges us to consider what the ill wind may bring, and how we will survive it.

“Homesickness, belonging, and travelling without arriving are just some of the terrain covered in Peakes Cyclone, but it’s the vitality and emotional courage in the language of these poems that one is most struck by — language stepping in and out of the shadows and yearning ‘in the silt-choked afterlife of someone’s grief.’ A beautiful book that deserves to be lingered over and read widely.”
-Mona Arshi, author of Small Hands, winner of the Forward Prize for best first collection

Peake’s poetry is acutely tuned, bringing eloquence and urgency to matters of profound devastation. With shattering delicacy, he writes of personal loss, of grief and the long aftermath; “whenever the wind sprays into my face, I taste salt of your absence”. These poems also hazard an eye at the global weather and find a world in turmoil, wild with unreliable news and terrible forecasts.

“Relentless and gorgeous, Cyclone is where poems of awe and of mourning the infinite
‘cognates of grief’ converge, bless and roar. In its searching for ‘What Will Survive Us,’
Robert Peake’s second collection is as tender as it is overwhelming, as intimate as it is
expansive. He asks ‘What becomes of longing / when the fire goes out?’ ‘Has there
ever been such a thing as progress?’ ‘How much do you need?’ and answers with
aftermaths, the ‘wild dance…between the gathering clouds and ionised land,’ a braving
of history and memory and home. I am deeply thankful for this book — its guts, its grace.”
-R.A. Villanueva, author of Reliquaria, winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize


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Cyclone Now Available to Pre-Order

Cyclone by Robert Peake

“Cyclone takes the strengths of Robert Peake’s previous work  —  candour, intensity, a hard-won wit — and enters the storm, in search of an answer to the question raised by his heartbreaking ‘Why I Should Be Over It By Now’. Built around four remarkable sequences, this new collection takes him into the most difficult of territories — grief and parental loss — to recover the possibility, however fugitive, of healing. The ‘Cyclone’ here is both personal and political. In such turbulent and shrill times, this is his most powerful work to date.”
-Michael Symmons Roberts, author of Drysalter, winner of the Forward Prize

“Homesickness, belonging, and travelling without arriving are just some of the terrain covered in Peakes Cyclone, but it’s the vitality and emotional courage in the language of these poems that one is most struck by — language stepping in and out of the shadows and yearning ‘in the silt-choked afterlife of someone’s grief.’ A beautiful book that deserves to be lingered over and read widely.”
-Mona Arshi, author of Small Hands, winner of the Forward Prize for best first collection

£9.99. Expected July 24th. Ships worldwide.



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How to be a Poet

I received my contributor’s copy of what I suspect will be a very important book — for me, surely — and perhaps for others. How to be a Poet strikes me as not only “a twenty-first century guide to writing well”, but also a guide to living well as a writer.

I also quite like the alternative title proposed in the introduction: “A Poem-Writer’s Guide to the Galaxy.” After all, we contain multitudes.

It features the wisdom of two of my favourite poetry people: Jo Bell and Jane Commane, interspersed with excellent guest contributions by Mona Arshi, Jonathan Davidson, Clive Birnie, and many other well-known names in UK poetry. I thought I’d spend a moment or two thumbing through it on the couch when it arrived. I couldn’t put it down.

My own essay represents a manifesto of sorts — again, not about how to write, but how to be as a writer in this mad, mad world. It is called “Making Peace with Poetry”.

If you’re writing poems, or have secretly wanted to, know someone who writes, or are just curious to lift the curtain on the writing life — I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

The book is available from Nine Arches Press, with options for international shipping.