Mick Jenkinson Launch: ‘When the Waters Rise’.

Don’t miss the launch of Mick Jenkinson’s debut collection.

This Thursday, at The Leopard, 2, West Street, Doncaster, DN1 3AA, 7.30 pm. 

‘Jenkinson’s deft and musical use of form and rhyme … gives these poems a timeless quality.’ Stephanie Bowgett

‘… accessible, engaging and precise … an excellent collection’. Ian Parks

Carole Bromley reviews ‘Heart Murmur’ by Emma Storr

In this outstanding debut pamphlet, Emma Storr, medic and poet, gives us a masterclass in how to write about medicine.
Equally at home writing about the personal or the professional, she shows us the experience of the patient as well as the doctor. I loved ‘Delivery’ with its calm account of the experience of an emergency section from the mother’s point of view. In this twin delivery

‘Midnight slipped between their births,
the witching hour split in two.’

Elsewhere, we see the GP’s human side when a patient ‘took off half her face’ and placed it on the desk. She admits to ‘my own repulsion/ veiled with fascination’.
‘Six-week Check’ is one of two poems placed in the Hippocrates Prize and deservedly so. We feel we are examining the infant with the poet who notes ‘your baked cub-like scent’ and seems moved anew by this new life in her hands, though ending on a humorous note ‘We won’t need to meet again.’
Humour, too, in the beautifully controlled anger behind the poem ‘Clinical Trials’ in which she forensically examines a relationship in technical language which breaks down at the end of each stanza with the words ‘you bastard’. The poem ends

‘You did not have ethics approval.
Your control group was out of control.
Your random sampling was not so bloody random.
You bastard’

The revenge is sweet and this one goes down particularly well at readings!
I loved the title poem, ‘Heart Murmur’ for its intelligent and effective mix of the clinical and the emotional in delicately controlled couplets.

‘My heart doesn’t have to think.
It works on impulse: squeeze, relax.
It speeds up when I climb hills,
slow dances during sleep
until it’s hijacked, slewed by lust,
the chemicals of longing’

There is emotion in the job, too. Doctors make mistakes and there is real sadness and empathy in ‘Missed’

‘I prescribed you medicine.
I didn’t think when you told me.
The scan shocked us both.
I am a bad doctor. I failed you.’

There is a generosity about the sharing of such experiences as well as those poems in which the poet turns her observant eye onto herself, as in ‘Your Skin’ which is a beautiful and honest look at a woman’s life through the changes which take place in her skin;
‘History is seared
in its layers
the half-moon burn
the white tracks of
your babies’ escape
that burst appendix’

Honesty, too, in rueful reflections on the limitations of what a GP can do for her patients
‘Every ten minutes
a patient leaves
gripping a script
for plasters,
pills, placebos –
I didn’t want to sign.’
There is a wide variety of form in this collection too and a sureness of touch which promises great things when Emma Storr brings out a full collection. I can’t wait to read it. In the meantime I really recommend sampling her work in this excellent pamphlet. Read it. You will be in safe hands.

Carole Bromley lives in York. Winner of 2019 Hamish Canham Award, she has a new collection due out from Valley Press in 2020 and a pamphlet, Sodium 136, will be published by Calder Valley Poetry in November. http://www.carolebromleypoetry.co.uk Twitter @CaroleBromley1
Order your copy of Heart Murmur by Emma Storr (Calder Valley Poetry) here: https://caldervalleypoetry.com/authors/emma-storr/

Todmorden Book Festival

Todmorden Book Festival, 8 November, 11am. Readings by Tom Cleary, Charlotte Wetton and Peter Riley, all published by Calder Valley Poetry. A lovely session with the three poets at their most eloquent in front of an appreciative and full audience at Todmorden Library. Thanks to June and Roberta for the invitation.

Photo shows, from the left, an anxious looking publisher, Bob Horne, and three smiling poets, Tom Cleary, Charlotte Wetton and Peter Riley.

Calder Valley Poetry – York Reading – Foggin, Nash, Storr

York Library Marriott Room, Thursday 17 October, 6.15 – 7.45pm. Free entry.

Calder Valley Poetry presents three recently published poets reading from their pamphlets.

John Foggin’s Dark Watchers: ‘Each poem in this                                                                       collection is gift-wrapped in a rare richness of                                                                                     language … John Foggin is a poet at the top of his                                                                                  game and this is a collection that will stay with you                                                                                    long after the final note has been played.’ (Tom Weir)

The poems in Steve Nash’s Myth Gatherers are ‘desire
paths, inviting us to find our own way through the
rich, surreal, tender landscape he invokes, a world
where silences are coloured in pencil, valleys brim
with ‘intoxicating uncertainty’ and darkness is a
benediction.’ (Helen Mort)
Emma Storr’s Heart Murmur: ‘In poems which explore
our fragile bodies and selves with forensic kindness,
Emma shares her medical and life experience with
warmth and humour.’ (James Nash)

Ian Parks Poetry Launch

Launch of Body, Remember (Cavafy Translations) by Ian Parks.

Doncaster Brewery and Tap (7 Young Street, Doncaster, DN1 3EL).

Thursday 26th September, 7.30pm.


‘The best versions of these poems I’ve ever read.’                                                                                       Louis de Bernieres

‘This, you feel, is exactly what these poems would sound like if you read them in English.’     Times Literary Supplement

‘Cavafy’s undoubted lyric gift finds full expression in these exquisite versions.’                          Katrina Papazoglakis

Emma Storr Launch

Only three days to go until this


is launched at Seven Artspace, 31(a) Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, LS7 3PD. That’s Wednesday 22nd May, at 7.30pm. Heart Murmur, poems by Emma Storr.

Guest readers Carole Bromley and John Foggin.

Launch: ‘Heart Murmur’ by Emma Storr

Venue: Seven Artspace, 31(a) Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, LS7 3PD
Telephone: 0113 26 26 777
Date: 22nd May
Time: 7.30pm
Cost: Free event


Emma Storr will read poems from her newly-published pamphlet Heart Murmur, published by Calder Valley Poetry, a collection of 27 poems with a medical theme, based on Emma’s experience as a doctor, patient and human being. They are varied in form and subject, humour and gravity.

Also reading a selection of poems are well-known poets, John Foggin and Carole Bromley.


“Emma Storr draws on her scientific knowledge and medical experience in deft and lyrical ways to create different voices and styles. In her calm objectivity, in her honesty and accuracy of perception, she teaches us all that we should listen better. ” John Foggin.

“Heart Murmur is written from a place of humanity and wisdom. In poems which explore our fragile bodies and selves with forensic kindness, Emma Storr shares her medical and life experience with warmth and humour in extraordinary pieces that stay in one’s mind long after reading. A stunning poetic debut.” James Nash.


John Foggin lives in West Yorkshire. He is resident blogger for Write Out Loud. He was a winner of the 2016 Poetry Business International Pamphlet Competition . His work has appeared in numerous journals, and anthologies including The Forward Book of Poetry [2015, 2018]. His latest pamphlet was Advice to a traveller (Indigo Dreams 2018), and a new one, Dark Watchers, will be published in May 2019 by Calder Valley Poetry.


Carole Bromley lives in York where she is the stanza rep and runs poetry surgeries. Winner of many prizes, including the Bridport, she has three collections with Smith/Doorstop, most recently a children’s collection, Blast Off! Carole is currently working on a pamphlet about her recent experience of brain surgery and also on a second children’s book. Her website is www.carolebromleypoetry.co.uk