Here are some choice poetry reading and music ideas for those Winter nights.

The first is ON THE ROYAL ROAD by James Bell from Shearsman Publications

James Bell the poet who wrote “On the Royal Road” died earlier this year.  He left behind him a body of work that many would be proud to put their name to. His final publication from Shearsman is the very beautiful volume of ekphrastic poetry based on the etchings of Hiroshige.  The book places the poems alongside some of the reproduced etchings. James Bell was for many years a member of the PK Poetry List and these poems first saw the light of day as occasional posts. They were always admired, and it was hoped that they could be brought together in a single volume, so everyone who knew the poems were pleased to see the publication of this book.  Here is what several other people had to say.

On The Royal Road brings together poetry and art to create something very special. James Bell’s fine poems enriched my enjoyment and understanding of Hiroshige’s Tokaido Road illustrations. I would highly recommend this book. Jan Harris

We, on the Poetry Kit list, had the pleasure of watching this collection grow, although the poems appeared out of sequence and we looked forward to seeing them in the order of Hiroshige’s 53 Stations. Shearsman have done a wonderful job in presenting the poems alongside the images. It’s a beautiful book that James would have been so pleased with.  Lesley Burt

See James Bell – On the Royal Road (  £14.95 from Shearsman Publishing

The Enfield Poets have a distinguished history starting out life as the Salisbury House Poets in 2000 and eventually moved to the Dugdale Centre becoming the Enfield Poets and poets in residence at the theatre, where they held a number of notable events.  With the onset of the Covid pandemic they moved online and into popular monthly Zoom events.  But not wanting to sit still the Enfield Poets have now produced an anthology of poetry. 

It is beautifully produced and cunningly entitled Enfield Poets First Anthology.  It is well designed and has a strong card cover which gives it a feeling of substance,  and this complements the poems.  And what poems, there are some outstanding poets included and this is a collection that repays rereading.  The anthology has poems from over 40 poets with a diversity of subjects and styles.

For details contact Anthony Fisher The anthology costs £6

Two music choices

The first is Dean Friedman’s new offering called AMERICAN LULLABY.  Dean has produced some excellent songs over a long career.  He tours each year, Covid permitting, and has a big and supportive fan base that many would be proud of.  He is an outstanding performer, and this album is one of his best ever. In the songs here he looks at what has been happening in the USA and around the world in recent years. This is a timely review by a great songwriter.  So, this is my first choice and I recommend it highly.  See  Dean Friedman’s Official Music Web Site

My second choice would be the album from Bob Dylan “Rough and Rowdy Ways”.  Although this came out in 2020, it is the resumption of Dylan’s Never Ending Tour after a Covid break that brings this to the forefront again.  This is arguably one of Dylan’s best albums and he is performing tracks from this album on his tour, and doing so to great acclaim. 

Albums | The Official Bob Dylan Site

Magazines to subscribe to in 2022

ACUMEN  –  Now under a new editor and still going strong after being founded by Patricia Oxley in 1985.  This is one of the leading poetry journals and well respected by everyone in the poetry community.  It is worth saying that Patricia and Acumen were very worth winners of the Ted Slade Award for services to poetry in 20015.  Subscribe
Subscriptions :: Acumen (

Magazines from Indigo Dreams Publishing.  There are three great magazines from this publisher, and I could not decide which I should recommend, so better for you to have a look at their website and their three magazines to see which you might prefer, of course you might realise like I do that they are all equally good value for money and there is some great reading in every issue.  The two editors are also past winners of the Ted Slade Award for services to poetry. See

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