Join us for the launch of Hymns Ancient & Modern, New & Selected Poems by J. Brookes at Tiny Rebel, Cardiff on 19 September at 7pm with support from an illustrious line up of writers: Peter Finch, Mab Jones, Ifor Thomas, Eric Ngalle Charles, Gemma June Howell, Rhys Owain Williams, Susie Wild, David Foster Morgan, Amanda Lambourne Jones, Topher Mills & Mark Blayney. Hosted by Nick Fisk, former editor of Square magazine. £3 on the door.
‘IT’S A SKILFUL WRITER INDEED WHO CAN COMBINE ELEMENTS BOTH HEARTBREAKING AND HILARIOUS: BROOKES IS THAT WRITER.’ – ROBERT MINHINNICK (2018 WALES BOOK OF THE YEAR WINNER)
‘J.BROOKES IS UNAFRAID TO SAY PROFOUND THINGS, BUT IN AN UNEXPECTED CONTEXT AND WITH A WRY HUMOUR.’ – SHENAGH PUGH
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New & Selected Poems, brings together the best of Brookes from four books and booklets, published from the early 90s: 43 Poems, The Dresden Cantata, Book, and More Last Poems and some new additions.
Brookes handles with confidence and purpose poems both as neat and revealing as a mathematical equation, and poems that trip down the page on their rhymes. His subjects are as various as the world, often funny, in all the senses of the word, always unsentimental, each carefully observed and valued, whether a noisy cafe, model boats on a lake, or a neighbour dying in a hospital bed.
J. Brookes was born in London in 1951. He has travelled widely and worked in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He took a degree from the University of Ulster in 1981. He was the editor of The Yellow Crane poetry magazine between in 1995 and 2005. He lives in Cardiff.
About Square magazine:
Square magazine evolved from the writers` group, The Square Writers' Circle which met on Adamsdown Square in Cardiff and was run by Chris Brooke. The group sought to have an outlet for their work, and so the magazine was formed.
An additional reason for the formation of the magazine was that another Cardiff poetry magazine, The Yellow Crane, edited by none other than J Brookes, had quite recently stopped production, and so Square magazine editor, Nick Fisk saw a potential role for a new publication.
With support from the Welsh Arts Council, the magazine quite quickly garnered a small reputation among Cardiff poets and beyond. Submissions came in from as far afield as Europe and even the USA.
There were some regular contributors such as J Brookes himself, as well as poets such as David Foster Morgan and Rhys Owain Williams, now published by Seren and Parthian respectively.
Quite often, Square magazine would have themed issues, and one of these themed issues focused on women writers and was guest edited by acclaimed writer Gemma June Howell who will also be at this launch event. Other regular contributors include Susie Wild and Amanda Lambourne Jones will complete the bill.
Square magazine ceased being published, after 10 issues, back in 2011, but its success could be measured by the number of featured writers, including those mentioned who went on to become fully published poets. And indeed, in addition to producing the magazine, Nick Fisk did also make an attempt to set up a book publishing company. Under the guise of Square Publishing, he published a few of his own books of poetry, as well as two by J. Brookes. These books, along with back issues of the magazine will be on sale at discounted prices at the Hymns Ancient and Modern launch.