Ian Parks, by John Foggin

Ian Parks didn’t win the Michael Marks Pamphlet Award a week ago, but to be one of the shortlisted five from the original 160 is testimony to the quality of If Possible (Cavafy Translations). There was a moment when we thought the prize was ours. Sasha Dugdale, the chief judge, said they had compared Ian’s translations favourably with others, which presumably included Auden. Her praise for the poems was warm and generous.

John Foggin, in this week’s edition of The Great Fogginzo’s Cobweb, writes about the Ian Parks of that great collection, Citizens, published by Smokestack Books. Follow this link:

The best of 2018: February. Ian Parks and Matthew Stewart

Last year’s Michael Marks winner Charlotte Wetton (I Refuse to Turn into a Hatstand – Calder Valley Poetry; copies still available on the Bookshop page) was at the Awards Dinner at The British Library, reporting on her writing residency in Greece, which is part of the prize, and reading a poem, The Cave-Precipice of Andritsa, which came out of that residency.

The photograph below shows Ian, Charlotte, Mick Jenkinson and Steve Ely sharing a post-award drink in O’Neill’s on Euston Road, opposite the library. Ian, Charlotte and Steve are all published by Calder Valley Poetry; Mick is on the list for 2019. (Steve was there because the illustrations which accompany his 2018 collection Zi-Zi Taah Taah Taah, about the willow tit, won the illustrator’s prize for Ruth from Sheffield. (Can’t remember her surname, and she is credited only as PR in the pamphlet, which is available from Wild West Press.)


Ian Parks’s If Possible (Cavafy Translations), published by Calder Valley Poetry, has been shortlisted for the 2018 Michael Marks Pamphlet Award. The prize (won last year by Charlotte Wetton’s I Refuse to Turn into a Hatstand, also published by CVP) is £5,000 plus a writing residency in Greece next summer.


The winner will be announced at an Awards Dinner at The British Library on Tuesday, 11th December. Further details, including the other shortlisted poets, can be found on https://wordsworth.org.uk/michael-marks-awards-shortlist/

Mark Hinchliffe Launch

The launch of Mark Hinchliffe’s new collection, Miss Gale’s Garden, will take place at The Albert Hotel, Victoria Lane, Huddersfield, HD1 2QF, at 7.30 p,m, on Thursday 25th October.

‘Your poems are very moving and pure, your point blank economy of words and your sense of phrasing is everywhere.’                        Ted Hughes

Guest readers Stephanie Bowgett and Alison Lock.

Ian Parks Launch

Due to illness, the launch of Ian Parks’s pamphlet If Possible (Cavafy Translations), scheduled for Thursday 27th September at The Albert Hotel, Huddersfield, has been postponed, hopefully for a few weeks only.

Further information will be posted when an alternative date has been arranged.

Kirklees Launch of ‘If Possible (Cavafy Translations)’ by Ian Parks

Thursday, 27th September, 7.30 p.m., at The Albert Hotel, Victoria Lane, Huddersfield HD1 2QF.

Kirklees Launch of:             by    

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

Louis de Bernieres

‘Parks captures the measured, graceful voice and quiet humour on which so much of Cavafy’s poetry depends in a way that makes us feel we are reading it properly for the first time. This, you feel, is exactly what these poems would sound like if they had been written in English.’ 

Times Literary Supplement

Several guest readers on the night. Mexborough minibus of discerning men and women of letters expected. See you there.