We are thrilled to announce that Hercules Editions will be publishing Hammersmith (buy it here), a new chapbook by the award-winning poet Sean O’Brien, in May 2016. We’ve been fans of Sean’s work for years, so this is a particularly exciting project for us. Hammersmith is focused around the first two cantos of a longer poem exploring the West London region, where his parents met just after the war. Sean’s poem is a meditation on place, memory and nostalgia, informed by the voices of John Snagge, Richard Widmark and the Irish immigrants who filled the pubs along the riverside. He is already known as a poet of urban landscapes, having chronicled his hometown of Hull and his adopted city of Newcastle. He is also a poet of water, those ‘blue contested spaces’, and of rivers in particular, from the real Humber to the mythical Styx.
The poem will be accompanied by photographs taken by Sean during his perambulations around the area, and an essay on his thoughts about the project. There will also be an introductory essay by the architectural critic Owen Hatherley, whose new book, The Ministry of Nostalgia, has just been published.
There is an Indiegogo campaign for the project, which will enable our sponsors to see their names in the book, and to receive special offers, including an extra poem not included in the book, and an exclusive limited-edition print, both signed by the author. You can view the campaign here:
There will be two events to celebrate the publication of the book. The first will be a reading at the Newcastle Poetry Festival (with Linda France and Colette Bryce) on Thursday 5th May (www.newcastlepoetryfestival.co.uk), the second will be a London launch at the Auriol Kensington Rowing Club, on the river at Lower Mall just next to Hammersmith Bridge, on Monday 16th May. Watch this space for more information on both.
And here’s a link to another poem from Sean’s recent Picador collection, which was a Guardian Poem of the Week: