Editor - Jim Bennett


Introduction by Jim Bennett

Hello.  Welcome to CITN 34. This edition marks the start of a new series of Caught in the Net this time basing each issue on a print publisher that is committed to publishing poetry.  This month the subject is Cinnamon Press which is situated in North Wales.  If you are a publisher and feel that you should be represented in this series or

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Jan Fortune-Wood

Cinnamon Press’ commissioning editor is Jan Fortune-Wood. Originally from Redcar, Teesside, Jan read Theology at did a PhD in feminist Christology. She also has and an MA in Creative Writing and has written books on alternative parenting and home education as well as being a novelist and poet. Her first novel, A Good Life, and first collection, Particles of Life, are published by Bluechrome and she has a novel forthcoming in 2007 and is working on a second poetry collection, Knot-work.




Recorded History
The Sound of Rain on a Window
Polar Incursions
Music for Doppelgangers
Glyn Ceiriog Winter
Slow-mo. Slow-mo.
Sun Shaft on Tal-y-fan
from past issues of COFFEE HOUSE POETRY
Rainy First Days
An everyday story of mortgages
Vigil, Drumnadrochit
You Might Want to Picture This

4 - Afterword

You can purchase these books on-line through Amazon at Poetry Kit's Bookshop -




 Caught in the Net – Cinnamon Press
 Cinnamon Press is a relatively young, but fast growing press in North Wales with an expanding poetry list from writers in Wales, across the UK and internationally.  In our first year we’ve had a sell-out launch at Hay Festival for the anthology The Lie of the Land – 65 Welsh poets including writers like Owen Sheers & Pascale Petit, coming together in a book to support the Meningitis Trust. We’ve published around ten titles this year, but will expand to publish more than twenty-five titles next year. We’re about to launch a series of New Welsh voices and, in the next year we will publish more new Welsh voices as well as collections from poets in every part of the UK and collections from Ireland, South Africa, New York and Macao, China.  
We only publish books that we love and three of our recent publications are good examples.


   Impossible Objects - Bill Greenwell

Short-listed for the Forward Prize for best first collection, this brilliant debut invites us to see the world from a new perspective. The former New Statesman poet in residence “does things with language you didn’t know were possible…” says Selima Hill. Carol Rumens write,. “A verbal magician working with the precision and economy of a master cartographer… The writing is witty and tender, delicate and tough. It consistently charms us out of the every-day… “
Bill Greenwell was born in 1952, in Sunderland. After studying at Oxford, he moved to Exeter to gain a teaching qualification.  He taught at Exeter College, becoming Head of English and Head of Performing Arts, Languages and Computing. He teaches creative writing at the University of Exeter, the Open University and University College, Falmouth


Recorded History
Face it. The borders are lined, are inked
with visible precision. This was the farmer’s
leg of land, that hump the fold of stocking.
Sheep grazing on the map. Some shading
where they buried the cholera. That scratch
is where the sea sluiced the steeples.
I heard the scrawl of your throat, the way
it haggled the banns, how it sucked psalms
through a blackened snaggle of teeth.
Sat with the candle. The smoke withering
the air, shaping it. Outspread like damaged hands,
these scapes, these tatters. Isthmus,
peninsula, the straits across your forehead
as dangerous as a death. Tithes were paid
here, prompt as a dull sulk. Sign, scritch.
The trees here have been stripped of leaf,
and the barley brewed. Moss obscures the last
vestige of your illegible children.
The coast is unclear. Your crimped image
is stiff behind thick glass, under the balderdash
in the loft. I know you. And I know you not.


The Sound of Rain on a Window
It’s a sudden banter,
the arrival of several riddles at once,
nineteen people standing
in the road below, aiming
handfuls of pitted pebbles to see
if you’re in.
They guess you’re sleeping,
missed the bus, wrote
the rendezvous on the wrong calendar.
You wake
just as the sunlight hurries
back through the glass, asking
apologies, and painting
streaks where the rain
rattled your nerve. You stand
in the street, blinking,
throwing lonely stones
at your own window,
wondering whether you’re in.
There’s a light on somewhere. There’s a light
on somewhere else. There’s a light
breeze blowing. Coincidence. That both
cabins should be occupied by a barbershop
quartet called Close Shave.
On the strop of nine, a man called Man
walks over the grave
of a chandler called Wick. Coincidence.
That they were both at school
in Bury, in 1976. It was a hot summer.
The sun beats its tantrum on the lid
of a corrugated cow-shed. It is filled
with sheep. Coincidence. Last week, I ate
a chump chop and some sirloin steak.
Mixed grill. No sausages.
An old banger turns up at a garage,
and explodes with laughter. The smoke
clears. Coincidence. The mechanic
is wearing a bonnet, and I’m wearing
a hood. Which one is American?
Two planes fire 500 shells
at a Middle East seaside. The road’s
red. Coincidence. They’re not
writing poems in the sky,
and neither am I.
© Bill Greenwell

   Sound of Mountain - Bruce Ackerley
This début poetry collection from Bruce Ackerley, winner of the first Cinnamon Press poetry collection award, is a delight from start to finish. The poems are finely crafted, uncluttered and full of resonances that leave the reader with more to discover on re-reading. The themes are those that recur again and again: love, life, nature, relationships, loss… but the ways of framing the themes are always refreshing, full of surprises, depth: words replete with their own music.
Bruce was born in 1967, grew up on a Cheshire dairy farm and studied in Nottingham where he now works in social housing.
Polar Incursions
Mid-March: mute and tortoise-slow
the dark has whitened our roofs.
Fetch me a drink now – the wound
is almost healed.  All night I have
regrouped a childhood, while in
the woods: small-hour alchemy,
frost transmuted soil into stone.
Will this prove your last visit?
Already, a lacklustre spring hustles
at winter’s door; dawn leaks the
day’s smudge – a grubby thaw.
Life, falling short of promise?
Music for Doppelgangers
Yes, yes – my eyes have seen him.
In the light of attic windows,
polish of a kitchen spoon.
In a mirror’s mouth, I stand, for madness.
Larch woods lead to empty shores,
a shuttered house; a door, half open on
destiny, a man who waits in my hall.
Each dawn he slips from a branch.
I walk in him – this bone desert, cold
and blanched, like the Gobi.  His skin,
dreams of reinvention. Corpulence;
of bold flesh returning bright and bloated,
fat rolling over the teeth.
And, of course, there are those nights
when I taste him – clawing up from a well
of sleep. Even strides beat a path from
the Flow Country; on Loyal’s slope he swills
the peat from his breath, gathers his face in
black streams, turns, heads up rage for my
lowland streets.
What became of me?
Glyn Ceiriog Winter
Sunless, moonless for weeks, beneath
bald pates the hills brood and brood,
no view to speak of.  Silence, save
for the lambs’ runt speech: a coarse,
one-note language. Plant life below
the bridge: the brook’s green braid
conjures a maiden. Day taking leave.
Something must break – if not spring,
then snow’s frail blessing.
© Bruce Ackerley

New Welsh Voices:
Our series of new Welsh voices is launched with three fantastic debut collections - & the concept of zero from Cardiff performance poet, christopher brooke; spilling histories from the John Tripp prize-winner clare e. potter and Pieces, from John Tanner – a book that ranges from South Wales to America and back to North Wales, taking in the world as it travels.
Zoë Skoulding says of John Tanner’s work, “John Tanner has a sharp eye and a very dry sense of humour. A mixture of curiosity, detachment and formal inventiveness drives 'Pieces' forward into the transient surfaces of an American road movie, while a grainier take on north Wales unspools in the rear view mirror. This is a restless, intelligent collection, full of insights into how movement transforms place and identity.”
John Tanner is a former media executive, now freelance writer.  He recently graduated from Bangor University, where he is now beginning a full time PhD in English Literature. He has had poems published in small press magazines and anthologies. He lives in Deganwy.
   Pieces –  John Tanner
From the prose-poetry sequence – The Eastern Valley:
iv. Jesus and a lesson in love
THERE was a word, “love”, that seemed to be the most
important word in the world. But very strange. It wasn’t like “house” or “milk” or “coal”. It wasn’t even like “bad” or “good”. I’d learned that it should be used to describe how I felt about my parents. Later I learned that it was also the word for what I felt about Jesus. That puzzled me. If anyone had hammered nails into my parents, I would have cried and screamed. But that had already happened to Jesus and, really, it didn’t bother me much at all. So I needed to test the word “love” some more. I used it to say how I felt about a girl, Valerie, who lived three doors away; likewise, how I felt about my cat, Sandy. I asked myself: “How much would you care if somebody hammered nails into those?” I answered that I would care a lot. So now I had some sort of meaning for “love”. Jesus had played his part in that.
Under the sedation
of the afternoon freeways
Sunset nights this city
that dreamed itself
into being that rose
in a pale pastel blur
from crusted rivers
and dust scrub....
Be cool. No hasty moves.
The palms are posing and
they do they not wish to be disturbed.
Slow-mo. Slow-mo.
Listen to the rustle of the foliage
beyond the pool
your host is approaching
floating through
exotic blooms
embalming hand
offering itself the lips peeled
to a succulent smile the eyes
calmly closed.
Sun Shaft on Tal-y-fan
Spotlight sneaking
through cloud, touching up
some rough-trade
pasture, featuring
character actor
dry-stone walls, giving
cameo roles
to pot-bellied mountain ponies,
ragged-arse mountain sheep.
Once a sign
of God – along
with lightning’s animated
Nike flash, the rainbow’s
promise. Now it’s nothing
more than itself, wavering,
growing pale, wondering
what it was ever meant
to illuminate.
© John Tanner

  Coffee House Poetry
For the last three years Cinnamon Press has run the poetry journal, Coffee House Poetry. The magazine has grown in size and steadily increased production values. In 2007 there will be more exiting changes as Cinnamon takes over another leading poetry journal. Look out for details on the website.
Selected poems from past issues of Coffee House Poetry:
 comes creaking in
 season of clouds
 brain too damp to fire
how much depth to the rain?
the town climbs through it
like a sea in stages
the sky in its speech
is shy
but unending
how much height?
there are no eyes up
no cupped hands to catch
between skies
out of doors
heaven lets down its rope
dark of office
    I hear this adjusting
like an old building
lost in thought
   of how to preserve
its nonchalance
   knowing the ivy
holds up the world
which sticks to me
too much this day
Kit Kelen, Macao, China, from issue 10
Rainy First Days
Believe me, this time of year
Almost always
It is sunny here: full of swallows
I had said
On the third day of frogs
On the doorstep.
And before she, just forgetting
Her new vows
For a moment,
Murdered me, in the kitchen
We splashed out
Over green walls, with sheep
In the corners.
Now later, with our wool-socks
Laid out cold
In the wood-smoke
I pray by the window
Scour forecasts
For high pressure
Long days, by the river.
© Mike Smith, Brussels, from issue 9
An everyday story of mortgages
I come across the fields,
with map, compass and torch,
warm in my balaclava and gloves.
I climb the last stile
and cross the lane
then onto the track
to the potter's house.
The lights are out,
there's no moon.
She lives alone.
It's extremely easy
and you've paid me well.
I work the lock,
a slight click then silence.
I'm in.
Her bedroom's round the back,
near her studio.
I hear her light snore.
I don't actually enjoy this bit,
though I suppose people think I do
but it's lucrative.
The pillow is down.
She's old.
I barely sweat.
She looks peaceful.
A few months later,
you buy the house.
Of course, the price came down.
Others put off
by the circumstances.
You move in, as planned.
Your pottery thrives.
It's a beautiful house.
I come across the fields.
© Katrina Naomi, London, from issue 8
Vigil, Drumnadrochit
It was almost time. Night wavered over the green
like chimney smoke as the village's inhabitants
drifted from snickets and gates in the preceding
minutes; not in droves, like sheep, but in ones,
alone as prophets, leaving the established paths,
congregating by a bench more fit for picnics
where a woman in woollens handed out candles
with a muffled smile to the Free Church pastor;
the postmaster; students home for their breaks;
two plumpish young mums who jiggled their prams
and fussed; a Japanese tourist, newly off the bus
from Inverness who ambled over, curious.
The vigil commenced with a struck match. A cruel
thorny frost crowned its head. Fingers flared red,
passing the flame between cold, cupped hands.
I was in the East during Vietnam; I saw the soldiers'
faces. It's not about Saddam. What do people
in Japan think about the possibility of war?
When the cold got to us, we marched to the obelisk
in the shadow of the looming distillery; counted
on the list nine McDonald men among the lives
laid down, iced-over; stamped our feet, chanting
our opposition, the glen echoing our attempt
to circulate blood like the sound of distant artillery.
© Sue Vickerman, Montrose, from issue 7
You Might Want to Picture This
OK, you’re down by the sea
where it starts to thin
and fray around the edges;
past the ghost train, the rides,
that will only take you at a certain size,
losing your footing on the shingle,
and a stone in the turn-up of your trousers, and
the tide, for all you know,
could be in any direction at all.
© Carolyn Outlon, Kent, from issue 6


Cinnamon Press has an open submissions policy with full guidelines on the website. Cinnamon also runs two competitions each year to find new writers in four genres, including poets ready to publish a first collection – cash prize plus a publishing contract. In 2007 we hope to launch a poetry book club in conjunction with the poetry magazine subscription – a great way to buy brilliant new poetry collections at highly discounted prices. You can find out more at www.cinnamonpress.com or email: jan@cinnamonpress.com or post enquiries to Jan Fortune-Wood, Meirion House, Glan yr afon, Tanygrisiau, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, LL41 3SU.


4.  Afterword

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