Thursday, 22 May 2014

Exclusive extract from the introduction to 'The Emma Press Anthology of Fatherhood'

The Emma Press Anthology of Fatherhood
We're publishing a pair of orange books next week: The Emma Press Anthology of Fatherhood and Captain Love and the Five Joaquins! Captain Love is a fantastic yarn from the talented John Clegg (Eric Gregory Award, 2013) and the latest in our Emma Press Picks series, and The Emma Press Anthology of Fatherhood is a collection of poems about different aspects of fatherhood, following on from our book about motherhood. I'll be posting more about both of them in the coming weeks, but for now I thought I'd give you a taster of the Fatherhood book through an extract from my introduction:
'For a book full of confessions and confrontations, The Emma Press Anthology of Fatherhood contains remarkably little direct communication. Poets commune with lost fathers in addresses destined never to reach their subject, and explain themselves to children who are too young to understand. Poems such as Oliver Comins’ ‘Brown Leather Gloves’ and Sara Hirsch’s ‘Tonight Matthew’ find resolution and peace beyond the grave, while Di Slaney’s ‘On the forestry commission track’ and Rich Thompson’s ‘And he the maul’ analyse old memories for clues and redemption. In their many ways – and often through some sense of distance – all the poets convey great depth of feeling, and offer a fascinating insight into the state of fatherhood in the twenty-first century.

'When Rachel Piercey, my co-editor, and I were planning the call for submissions to this book, we expected some responses to focus on the pressures of modern fatherhood. The role of the father has expanded rapidly over the last few decades and I thought this would be reflected in poems about the pressure of living up to society’s expectations of what a father should now be. Instead, poets seemed more preoccupied with their own fathers and the impact their approach to parenting had on the poets’ lives. Jerrold Yam’s ‘Ornament’ and John Saunders’ ‘My father is the breeze that opens the shed door’ explore the impassive twentieth-century father who appears throughout the book, reflecting the enduring legacy of the traditional father figure. [...]'

You can read more about The Emma Press Anthology of Fatherhood on The Emma Press website. The launch party is taking place in Vauxhall, London, on Thursday 29th May - full details here.

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