Before the Second World War, there were around seventy cinemas operating in Leeds. Now, though some remain open, most of these ‘forgotten temples’ have been repurposed or demolished.
Since 2014, Leeds-based poets James Nash and Matthew Hedley Stoppard have been visiting the sites of legendary picture-houses, and documenting their current status with two inimitable, unmistakable poetic voices – whilst also considering the remarkable shared (yet personal) experience that is cinema-going.
So sit down on a spring-loaded chair, grab some popcorn, and enjoy one of the most original, evocative poetry collections since the invention of technicolour...
Praise for the authors:
“James Nash illuminates, wonderfully, the small details and the large issues of life, love and language. [He writes] magical and memorable poems: poignant yet rich with humour, and underpinned, above all, by a great humanity.”
— Sarah Waters
“Matthew Hedley Stoppard uses inventive language and striking imagery ... [he has written] one of the most arresting poetry collections of the year.”
— The Guardian
James Nash was born in London in 1949, and has been a resident of Leeds since 1971. He is a well-known provider of creative writing workshops in schools, universities and the community, and is regularly called on as a host of literary events.
James’ poetry has appeared in many books and anthologies. Highlights from early collections can be found in A Bit of an Ice Breaker: Selected and Uncollected Poems, published by Valley Press as an ebook in 2012.
October 2012 saw the release of Some Things Matter: 63 Sonnets. After spending most of the previous three years writing in the sonnet form, James had generated a hundred and sixty pieces (more than Shakespeare!) – the final publication collected the sixty-three best efforts, to celebrate the poet's sixty-third year of existence. A second edition of the book, in 2014, added a handful of new sonnets, first heard on BBC Radio 3.
James' most recent publication is Cinema Stories, a collaboration with fellow Leeds-based poet Matthew Hedley Stoppard. Launched at the Leeds International Film Festival in November 2015, this collection celebrates the cinematic heritage of Leeds, and the experience of cinema-going in general.
Matthew Hedley Stoppard was born in Derbyshire in 1985. After a brief career as a journalist, he now works as a librarian, and lives in Leeds with his wife and two sons.
Recordings of Matthew’s poetry include Insect Eucharist and Other Poems (2012) and the spoken-word album Runt County (2014), both available from Adult Teeth Recordings. On the page, his poetry has appeared in Magma, Iota, Cake, The Morning Star, A Complicated Way of Being Ignored (Grist, 2012) and Holding Your Hand Through Hard Times (Osset Originals, 2014).
Matthew's debut collection of poetry, A Family Behind Glass, was published by Valley Press in May 2013, and was included in the Guardian's Readers' Books of the Year. His next publication was Cinema Stories, a collaboration with fellow Leeds-based poet James Nash. Launched at the Leeds International Film Festival in November 2015, this collection celebrates the cinematic heritage of Leeds, and the experience of cinema-going in general.
Date Published: 2015-11-10
Catalogue Number: VP0076
Number of Pages: 56
Cover design by Jamie McGarry
based on a photograph by Kevin Hickson
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