Wivenhoe Bookshop Magazine & Newsletter | Monday 25 March 2019

Wivenbooks Press

Wivenbooks Press

‘Wivenbooks’ is the  publishing imprint set up by the Wivenhoe Bookshop, a creative independent. Here is a list of our current titles:


Creel 3 – an Anthology

Creel 3 is the third anthology of short stories, nature writing and poems by postgraduate students from the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre studies at the University of Essex.

The Centre for Creative Writing has a strong tradition of teaching that emphasizes innovation and experimentation. They are passionate about encouraging our students to write and create in fresh and exciting directions – discovering their unique voices and producing original works that will inspire and invigorate the field of literature.

Creel 3 is introduced by Dr Adrian May,  and the pieces selected by Matthew de Abaitua, Dr James Canton and Dr Holly Pester. The editors are Danielle Bell, Lelia Ferro, Molly Shrimpton and Marieke Sjerps.

Creel 3 will be launched at the Wivenhoe Bookshop at 5pm on Saturday 9th Sept 2017

To order the book for £7.00 call us on 01206 824050 or send an email.


Discovering England by Adrian May

In the songs and poems of his new book and CD, Adrian May takes a wry, left-wing look at the vexed questions of English identity, ranging from the comic to the poignant, where ‘Nobody hates the English as much as they hate themselves’.

Adrian has published three collections of poems and lyrics with Wivenbooks, ‘Comedy of Masculinity’,  ‘An Essex Attitude’ and ‘Ballads of Bohemian Essex’  – which are in stock at the Wivenhoe Bookshop – please see details below.

Adrian’s background is as a songwriter, lyricist and performer on the English folk music circuit, and he has made several albums, both solo and with bands. Songs of his have been recorded by such artists as June Tabor and Adele Anderson of Fascinating Aida. In addition he has published poems, fiction and many articles on music and Creative Writing, which he currently teaches at the University of Essex.

Discovering England will be launched at the Royal British legion, Wivenhoe Quay on Friday 24th March 2017

To order the book and CD for £12.00 call us on 01206 824050 or send an email.

Creel 2 – an Anthology

creel2jkt‘Creel 2’ is a unique collection of short stories and poems by postgraduate students from the University of Essex showcasing the varied approaches currently being undertaken by Essex students from all over the globe.

The Centre for Creative Writing offers a unique approach to the practice of writing, with an emphasis on experimentation. This strong tradition of innovation has been built over many years by writers from Ted Berrigan and Michèle Roberts to Ben Okri and Marina Warner, helping to define literature as we know it today.

The works are selected by Adrian May, Chris McCully and Philip Terry, and edited by Elaine Ewart, Penny Simpson and Marieke Sjerps. The introduction is by Matthew De Abaitua.

The book is published by Wivenbooks, the Wivenhoe Bookshop’s imprint, and has been beautifully designed by John Wallett. We are indebted to artist James Dodds for permission to use his linocut ‘Fish in a Basket’ as the cover image.

The book was launched at the Wivenhoe ArtSea festival in August 2016.

To order the book for £7.00 call us on 01206 824050 or send an email.

Days begin…

‘A wonderful project with some stunning poems from some of our brightest talents…’

Carol Ann Duffy

To order the book for £10.00 call us on 01206 824050 or send an email.

Days begin….

Wivenbooks latest publication ‘Days begin….’,  is a superb collection of contemporary poetry in support of the Colchester Cancer Centre Campaign, published in collaboration with poetrywivenhoe.

Peter Kennedy of poetrywivenhoe speaks about it here:

‘Here is an arresting collection of poems about all manner of things, from suffragettes to fishmongers, from desert winds to Picasso women, from the Bakerloo Line to Runcorn Bridge. Here are poems subtle and poems direct, poems about love and about loss, written by some of our finest poets, all of whom have been guests at poetrywivenhoe.’

About the Book

The genesis of  ‘Days begin….’ came about through extraordinary generosity on the part of many.

Peter Kennedy initiated the project and has worked tremendously hard too drive it forwards.  The publication was funded by kind donations via  ‘Just Giving’, and the poems were contributed, without fee, by forty-two  poets . John Wallett has contributed his expertise to beautifully design the book and cover, and Wivenhoe artist Barbara Peirson kindly gave permission for her artwork to be used on the book cover.

The Wivenhoe Bookshop have published the book through our ‘Wivenbooks ‘ imprint,  we are waiving our customary trade terms, enabling all proceeds from the sale of the book to contribute to the campaign.

Some of the poems are new, some are previously published, and the list of contributors represents about half of those who have headlined at poetrywivenhoe.

The book also features an introduction by Sir John Ashworth, Chairman of the Cancer Centre Campaign and cancer survivor.

‘Days begin….’ is priced at £10, and all proceeds go to the Colchester Cancer Centre Campaign.

To order the book for £10.00 call us on 01206 824050 or send an email.

The book was launched at the Royal British Legion on Wivenhoe Quay in July 2015.


How They Met Themselves

‘How They Met Themselves’ is Philippa Hawley’s second novel.

The world is smaller than you think. When Max encounters two young women at opposite ends of California, it’s all just a part of his travelling experience.

But nothing can prepare him for what he discovers when he returns to England. Some call it fate – others call it coincidence.

But whatever it is that drives our lives, Max is about to find out that our futures are all connected … and it isn’t all good.

Publisher’s Sysnopsis

About the Author

Philippa Hawley lives inWivenhoe, where she worked as the local GP for over 27 years. She and her husband Clinton Hale have two grown-up children.

Now retired,  Philippa spends her time reading, walking, travelling and writing.  She is an active member of two local writing groups, and finds inspiration for her books in her travels and medical experience.  In April 2013 Philippa published ‘There’s No Sea in Salford’, her first novel with Wivenbooks.  ‘How They Met Themselves’ is her second novel.

Book and cover design are by Catherine Dodds.

To order the book, priced at £7.99 call us on 01206 824050 or send an email.

Imaginations: 50 Years of Essex Sociology

Imaginations: Fifty years of Essex Sociology is a major new book about the department by Prof Ken Plummer.

The Sociology Department at the University of Essex was one of the founding departments and is a leading international sociology department.

Through fifty contributions from past and present, the students and lecturers in the department tell the story of its history, its ideas and its community.

It provides an unusual insight into the workings of a British university department as well as the shape of modern British sociology.

Editor of the book Emeritus Professor of Sociology Ken Plummer held many roles in the department between 1975 and 2006 when he retired. His work is widely published, and you can find out more on his website.

Illustrated throughout and packed with stories and information, the book is a history, a memoir, and a keepsake.

Praise for the Book

‘You will treasure this book, not only if you worked or studied at Essex, but also if you care deeply about sociology and its future. For those who experienced Essex, it will touch on special memories.’ Paul Thompson  

‘An invaluable record of an extraordinary intellectual and educational institution, chronicling the years of its genesis and fruition. The volume teems with memories, anecdotes and reflections on this history from a proud assembly of those at the heart of its achievements.’Rob Stones

To buy your copy of the book, priced at £25.00, call 01206 824050 or send us an email.

Comedy of Masculinity

by Adrian May

Wivenbooks are delighted to announce the forthcoming publication of Adrian May’s ‘Comedy of Masculinity’, which was previewed in an uproarious performance at ‘Bookshop Unplugged’ last summer.

‘Comedy of Masculinity’ takes a wry look at men and masculinity in songs and poems, from ‘all men are bastards’ to ‘sometimes it’s hard to be a bloke’ to the plea to ‘tenderise not genderise’ and beyond.

About the Author

Adrian has published two collections of poems and lyrics with Wivenbooks, An Essex Attitude’ and ‘Ballads of Bohemian Essex’  – which are in stock at the Wivenhoe Bookshop – please see details below.

Adrian’s background is as a songwriter, lyricist and performer on the English folk music circuit, and he has made several albums, both solo and with bands. Songs of his have been recorded by such artists as June Tabor and Adele Anderson of Fascinating Aida. In addition he has published poems, fiction and many articles on music and Creative Writing, which he currently teaches at the University of Essex.

The book cover is designed by artist Hilary Lazell.

To order the book, price £12, call us on 01206 824050 or order by email

The Well-tempered Lute: Poems from Poland’s Golden Age

 Selected, translated and introduced by Anita Jones Debska.

The ‘father of Polish poetry’, Jan Kochanowski (1530-84), dreamed that even ‘the English, dwellers of a different world’ should know of him, but he and the galaxy of poets who followed him are still little known to English-speaking readers.

This anthology of verse translations introduces 17 highly individual poets from the golden age of Polish humanistic culture in the 16th and 17thcenturies.  Their poems are close in spirit to those written by the English Elizabethan and metaphysical poets and as varied.

This selection includes witty ‘trifles’ to entertain, anguished sonnets on the strivings of the soul, poems of love both passionate and ironical, and calm meditations on the mutability of all things.

The book includes brief introductions to the various poets and is lavishly illustrated with prints from the period and original artwork by Rita Mari Schaeper, who also designed the cover.

‘The Well-tempered Lute’ follows on from the success of Anita’s previous book ‘Migrant Birds’, her translation of the poetry of Adam Mickiewicz, Poland’s best known poet, which was also published by Wivenbooks. Full details below.

To order the book, price £8, call us on 01206 824050 or order by email

Migrant Birds: poems by Adam Mickiewicz

Translated by Anita Debska

Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855), national bard in the 19th century struggle for Polish independence, is still Poland’s best-known poet. His early poetry initiated Polish romanticism, and his own biography reads like a story of the archetypal romantic.

His lyric poems give passionate, wry or humorous expression to his own turbulent emotional life, and it is from such poems on universal and timeless themes that this selection is mainly drawn.Deported to Tsarist Russia, he later traversed Europe, was a leading figure in the Polish émigré community in Paris, and wrote of his nation’s aspirations in narrative and dramatic verse.

Anita Jones Debska has translated this collection of his poems. She has previously written a book about Adam Mickiewicz, and has translated a wide range of Polish verse.(Publisher’s Synopsis)

 About the Translator

In 1958, aged 22, Anita Jones Debska went to teach at a Polish university, knowing  little of Poland, and nothing of its language, and thus beginning a life-long love affair with the country and its culture.

She has previously written a book about Adam Mickiewicz, and has translated a wide range of Polish verse, and she currently lives in Wivenhoe.

The cover artwork and illustrations for  ‘Migrant Birds’ are by Rita Mari Schaeper.

To order your copy, price £8, give us a call on 01206 824050, or order by email.

Creel – An Anthology of Creative Writing

This new anthology brings together work from students on the MA Creative Writing course at the University of Essex, and others who have studied on courses run by Essex’s Centre for Creative Writing.

The work has been selected by Marina Warner, Adrian May, Glyn Maxwell, and Phil Terry, and the book is published by Wivenbooks, the Wivenhoe Bookshop’s imprint.

The book has been beautifully designed by Catherine Dodds, and the cover image is from a linocut by artist James Dodds, ‘Fish in a Basket’ from the Jardine Press book ‘Peter Grimes’

To reserve your copy of the book, call us on 01206 824050.

Housing and Hope

edited by Liz Taylor-Jones

Housing and Hope’ is the story of a far-sighted group of people who came together in the 1960s to do something about the situation of homeless families in Colchester.

Many of them were Quakers but others held various beliefs, or none, just being united by their concern for people who had fallen on hard times and were facing homelessness.

Liz Taylor-Jones, who has been involved with the organisation for over thirty years, has edited thiscompilation of the memories of many of the Committee members and staff of the Association, tracing the development through each decade and containing many anecdotes of the way things were.

To reserve your copy of the book, call us on 02106 824050, or order by email.

poetrywivenhoe Anthology 2011

The ‘Wivenhoe Poetry Prize’, was established by the Wivenhoe Bookshop and poetrywivenhoe in 2008, and this new ‘Wivenbooks’  title is an anthology of work from the 2011 competition.

This year’s prize attracted over three hundred entrants from home and abroad, and the work, of the usual high standard,  was judged by poet and writer Andre Mangeot.

The book,  a selection of outstanding entries and the winning poems is described by Andre:

“It was an honour, and a real delight to discover some wonderful poems and poets…. enjoyably varied in style, tone, and subject. And the three prize-winning poems were, I felt, exceptional. They each had an energy and magic, and a sense of surprise – allied to a superb use of form that seemed to reinvigorate them and make them fresh, exciting, and contemporary.’

The cover of the book, beautifully designed by Catherine Dodds, features artist Helen Lee’s amazing skyline ‘Wivenhoe’.

To order your copy,price £10, call us on 01206 824050, or send us an email

Ballads of Bohemian Essex

by Adrian May

Wivenbooks are proud to publish Adrian May’s second collection of poetry!

Ballads of Bohemian Essex is an incredible collection of songs, recitations (story-poem-songs) and Adrian’s poem-essay-paper reclaiming the first English poet, Caedmon, as a wise, inspired father of native song.

The collection tells of his ‘spent youth’ in Braintree, and of his life as a third generation bohemian singer, poet, and musician. Both of his grandfathers sang comic songs, his mother played the piano and the ukulele. His poet and journalist father John moved to an old rambling rented farmhouse in Essex, down a long unmade road before the second world war, where he was born.

Once again, the book’s cover is designed by artist Hilary Lazell.

To order your copy, price £9, Tel. 01206 824050; or order by email

 KJV: Old Text ~ New Poetry

An important collection of new poetry to mark the 400th anniversary of the 1611 translation of the King James Bible.

Contributors include: Fleur Adcock, Michael Bartholomew-Biggs, Roger Caldwell, David Charleston, Kevin Crossley-Holland, Keith Currie, Ian Duhig, Antony Dunn, Mike Harwood, Tobias Hill, Angela Livingstone, Hilary Llewellyn-Williams, Katrina Naomi, Mario Petrucci, Clare Pollard, Katrina Porteous, Anne Ryland, Penelope Shuttle, Pauline Stainer, Philip Terry, Robert Vas Dias, Christine Webb, James Knox Whittet

edited by Joan Norlev Taylor, Adrian May and Pam Job

Wivenbooks, 2011 ~ ISBN 9780955731389 ~ £7.99

To order your copy Tel. 01206 824050; or order by email


poetrywivenhoe Anthology 2008

In 2008 the bookshop and poetrywivenhoe launched the very first Wivenhoe Poetry Prize, a competition open to local writers. This book isa selection of the most outstanding entries from the inaugural 2008 prize, along with poems by poetrywivenhoe members. Joan Taylor, one of the founders of poetrywivenhoe described  the collection thus: ‘This book is not just a compilation from competition entries… But is also envisaged as a contribution to the nation’s new poetry from the people of a vibrant community and its surroundings.’

Poet Dean Parkin describes some of the highlights of the book: ‘Startling first lines like, ‘Lying ear to armpit…’, the crackle and love of language evident in ‘limp damp flowers, the ink-bled grief’ or the dazzling image of a trumpet that ‘sprays its brassy notes, flaying the air,/ rocking the ears of the deaf,/rinsing their hair with gold’.’

The cover of the book, beautifully designed by Catherine Dodds, is graced by the sensual curves of partner James’ ‘Orange Lifeboat’.

To order, price £10, call us on 01206 824050 or order by email

This Little Ziggy

by Martin Newell

This Little Ziggy is the author’s own darkly funny account of his obsession with rock music,drugs and the defiance of authority. Martin Newell had a strict upbringing in an army family

in the north of England and the Far East, and rebelled by leaving school at 15 to hang around with rock-bands and wasters. Beaten badly by thugs who objected to his appearance, his life began to spin out of control as he drifted between dead-end jobs and wild teenage parties.

After drug-fuelled experiments with his own sanity, a near-fatal overdose and several arrests, aged 19 he relocated to Essex and became a singer in a Colchester glam-rock band. It saved his life. The story is told with self-deprecating

, foul-mouthed humour, shocking honesty and some regret.

‘Strip clubs, drugs and girls. These picaresque adventures have something of the quality of a 20th century Tom Jones.’ London Evening Standard

‘Smutty, sarky, self-accusing and sardonic. Newell’s delivery is spot-on, his comic instinct entirely accurate.

The Big Issue

‘The best book I have ever read. And I have a library card’ John Cooper Clarke

‘Pulls the pin on the glam grenade of the 70s. Stand back – the laughter will hurt.’ Andy Partridge XTC

‘Unputdownable, funny, occasionally touching, and I suspect, entirely true.’ Making Music

To order call us on 01206 824050 or order by email

Horses Seen Through Trees

by Martin Newell

Martin Newell’s Horses Seen Through Trees is the second part of his homage to Essex. Like the earlier book, A Prospect of Wivenhoe, it is part travelogue, part history and  it is also a love letter to an area in which this award-winning columnist and poet has lived and worked for four decades.

Newell’s journey takes him from Wivenhoe into Colchester – past and present – and back out again accross the countryside of the Tendring peninsula to its jigsaw coastline. Funny, wistful and often quirky, Horses seen through Trees is a unique look at an unsung part of England.

“He is our local Laurie Lee, an Essex Bill Bryson and I am happy to say there are those who still think he is mad, bad and dangerous to know.” Andrew Phillips

“Martin Newell ’sings’ what East Anglia and its  visitors would never see, modest lanes and ordinary characters.” Ronald Blythe

“You couldn’t stop him writing if you sawed his hands off.”  Germaine Greer

To order, price £7.95, call us on 01206 824050 or order by email

An Essex Attitude

by Adrian May

Down-to-earth, poignant, funny, defiantly in the world of everyday; playful and witty, but not unserious – Adrian May’s poems are full of Essex attitude. He was ‘born, bred, buttered and jammed-on-the-A12’ in Essex and has written songs for the likes of June Tabor, as well as publishing poems and essays, and performing regularly in folk clubs and poetry gigs, often presenting a mix of verse and songs. This is his first collection of poems, which is a generous mixture, reflecting all the above interests and energies.

 ’This is good kit. The poems here are thoughtful, funny, and often possessed of a manly tendresse.’

Martin Newell

 ’A world of recognition, protest, and affection resonates from the collection’s title: Essex as birthplace, as home, as territory of the mind.  ‘Home’ is a word that punctuates the book as it observes and summons marvellous familiars of everyday existence, like rain, like ‘the thereness of there/the hereness of here’. Adrian May’s home is a vast country where ‘the memorable’ speech of poetry is spoken.’

Marina Warner

The cover design and illustrations for the book are by artist Hilary Lazell.

To order, price £8, call us on 01206 825050 or order by email

 A Prospect of Wivenhoe

by Martin Newell

This quirky book about the author’s bohemian riverside hometown, takes us on a journey through not just Wivenhoe and north Essex, and by default, England itself.

Chapters about deceased local residents: the actress Joan Hickson (TV’s Miss Marple) and Wivenhoe’s much-missed eccentric old GP, William Dean, sit comfortably alongside ones about the 1984 Miners Strike and the town’s strange annual May Fair, known as ‘Wivstock.’

Part biography, part-travelogue A Prospect of Wivenhoe comes across as Akenfield  if it had been written by Julie Burchill or P.J.O’Rourke. ‘Prospect’ is an affectionately painted homage to the town where it’s author has lived for years. Newell has created a unique page-turner of a book which is by turns evocative, poetic and sometimes very funny.

To order, price £6.95, call us on 01206 824050 or order by email