Red Kites and Haiku

Poetry of war and pandemic 

by Geoff Smith

Poet and author Geoff Smith shares a number of poems provoked by the invasion of Ukraine beginning in 2022 and work produced during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Geoff is a retired Anglican Priest who is now a writer. He was poet in residence at Carlisle Cathedral. He has also published a poetry anthology The Poem Must be Spoken, a novel Holy Disorder and his new novel The Gorton Gospel will be published in 2024 by Foreshore Publishing.

You can find more content at Geoff’s blog:

Published by Caldew Press in 2024.

RRP £8.00 (plus postage and packing).


77 Days In My Head

A Mental Health Journey

by Citizen F

Citizen F's 2020 Covid-19 lockdown journal '77 Days In My Head' is a diary and social commentary with poems, photos, paranoia, nightmares and conspiracy.

Discover how the experience affected this Cumbrian man and his family living in West Cumbria during very unusual times...

Published by Caldew Press in 2024.

RRP £14.00 (plus postage and packing).


Back and Forth

Poems by Tony Hendry

'Back and Forth' is not only a fine collection of beautiful poems, but this volume also presents many other works by Tony Hendry collated together for the first time in celebration of a talented writer, much missed by all who knew him. 

The collection contains 90 poems over 150 pages, with illustrations by Hunt Emerson, returning to collaborate after the success of Tony's 2019 collection 'Fresh Air'.

Tony Hendry’s magical words continue to live on.

Published by Caldew Press in 2024.

RRP £10.00 (plus postage and packing).


Beyond Borders

A Brampton Poets Anthology

A collection of 100 poems produced by Brampton Poets inspired by the local landscape and the local people who live on or near Hadrian's Wall. Many pieces were inspired by the Wall.Three.Words project that marked the 1,900th anniversary of Hadrian's Wall in 2022. These poems look at the concept of borders and beyond...

The collection includes over 50 pictures which accompany work by 19 poets across 160 pages.

Cover artwork is by Kat van Hookens, artist, poet and Brampton Poets group member. 

Published by Caldew Press in 2023.

RRP £7.00 (plus postage and packing).


Peace for Ukraine, Now!

By Dr Richard Cook

Dr Richard Cook shares poems written since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, including a number of pieces provoked by the conflict.

Richard shares 54 poems in his often quirky style which cover a variety of subjects from musings on everyday life, pondering collective nouns, and trying to answer mysteries of the universe.

Proceeds from sales will go to charities supporting Ukraine.

Published by Caldew Press in 2023.

RRP £8.00 (plus postage and packing).


Living is easy with eyes closed

art and environmental crisis

By Fliss Watts

An essay on art, economics and environmental crisis, originally developed in a series of art exhibitions in Cumbria.

Fliss Watts examines the biggest crisis facing the world today and, using her artwork, explores how art can and perhaps should engage with the issue. She questions the separation of the human from nature, discusses the idea of unending economic growth, and asks if we can imagine alternatives to the environmental crisis into which we appear to have sleepwalked.

Published by Caldew Press in 2022.

Price £6.50 (plus postage and packing).


Dance for those who'd rather not / What's it like for you?

By Crysse Morrison & Hazel Stewart

Crysse Morrison and Hazel Stewart share their musings as Live and Lippy.

Crysse is the older one who brags about being a crone and writes snippy stuff mostly meant to be witty while Hazel is the dreamy lyricist. 

They share a passion for exploring the limit of words to connect with experience and a love of liquorice. Actually no, not liquorice, liquor. And Lorca, of course.

Hazel is happy to take ‘dreamy lyricist’ but she’d like to be more of an ageing psychedelic Tinkerbell, with Iggy Pop as her inner critic. But whatever else, she’s a practitioner of word magic and a fan of Celtic mysticism.

Together they are definitely alive, and certainly lippy.


This publication combines two collections in one, Dance for those who'd rather not / What's it like for you?, and features artwork by Mel Day.

Published by Caldew Press in 2022.

Price £7.50 (plus postage and packing).


Into The Wild

By Nick Robinson

This poetry collection is inspired by the glory of nature from many forays into wild locations. Nick Robinson has captured many bewildering concepts focusing largely on the Lake District 

and surrounding area, including: the idea of the sublime, fauna in nature and human perception of the wild.

Through a series of gently crafted poems, and illustrations,

Nick shares his personal affection for the landscape of

Northern England in a collection also dedicated to a wonderful and much missed mother.

Published by Caldew Press in 2022.

Price £5.00 (plus postage and packing).


SpeakEasy Magazine Freiraum: Phase 2

A collection of stories, ideas and dreams in poetry, prose, songs, art, photos, film and life – following on from the Goethe-Insitut's Freiraum project in 2018 in which SpeakEasy explored the themes of Isolation, Over-coming Isolation, and Freedom. Phase 2 revisits these themes and also examines Art and Creativity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of the pieces in this book were incorporated into the SpeakEasy meets Freiraum film which premiered on YouTube on 31st October 2020.

Published by Caldew Press in 2022.

Price £10.00 (plus postage and packing).


A Scarcity of Biscuit

By John Hegley

John Hegley weaves a colourful collection of musings, drawings and dialogues around the poems, letters and loved ones of John Keats. If you are a lover of Keats’ poetry, or are newer to the poet and want to explore his work, this collection allows the reader to share in the author's enthusiasm and passion for one of Britain's best loved literary figures.

John Hegley was born in Islington, North London, in 1953 and currently lives in the neighbouring borough of Hackney. He was educated at schools in Luton and Bristol before studying Sociology/European Literature and the History of Ideas at the University of Bradford. His livelihood has mainly been made by creating and performing content for workshops, festivals and theatre and radio. This has consisted of songs, poems, drawings, and other activities, including French baroque dance. 

He was the Keats House poet in residence in 2012.

Published by Caldew Press in 2021.

Price £8.00 (plus postage and packing).


GRID: An outside inside journey through Cumbria

By Mark Griffiths

GRID is a collection of site-specific poems, songs, prose and images concerning Cumbria and the Lake District. It is the artist’s meditations on his life-long relationship with this part of North-West England, and it offers a thoughtful companion for all who feel a strong sense of place and fraternity with the landscape. 

Mark Griffiths is an artist, writer and musician living and working in the Eden Valley, Cumbria. He has performed his work extensively, sometimes under the pseudonym of Fernando Smith, and his work has appeared in collections, journals and pamphlets across the UK. His first collection of poetry Welcome to the Golden Life was published in 2010.

For over 35 years he has worked with children and families experiencing difficulty and trauma, often by making use of the arts and the outdoors. 

Published by Caldew Press in 2021.

Price £8.00 (plus postage and packing).


Lockdown Town 

By Philip Hewitson

A collection of funny and angry poems written during, and as a response to, the COVID-19 pandemic. Various topics come under scrutiny including; the handling of the crisis by the UK Government; the slightly strange and often surreal experience of living in lockdowns; other news and events during these unusual times; and the hopes that a vaccine might lead us tentatively towards a return to ‘normal’.

Phil is a writer, poet, illustrator and filmmaker, born and raised in Carlisle. He makes films for Tolivar Productions, organises Film Fling festivals, hosts SpeakEasy spoken-word open mic night and publishes books through Caldew Press.

Published by Caldew Press in 2021.

Price £5.00 (plus postage and packing).


Write Up Our Street!

By Carlisle Writers' Group

An anthology from Carlisle Writers' Group, showcasing poetry, fiction and memoir writing. The group continues to successfully encourage new writing in Carlisle.

Write Up Our Street! takes you on a journey, from their street to fairyland, through your imagination, under water and across the sea, over the fields and far away, to the confines of a garden. Travel with them via poetry, short story and memoir.

"Each poem, each story stands up on its own... Enjoy."

       - M. W. Craven


Carlisle in Haiku Form: First Impressions

By David Simmons

Poet, David Simmons, shares his affection for the Great Border City, and the surrounding area, in 'Carlisle in Haiku Form'. Seventeen illustrations accompany over a hundred handcrafted haiku which make up the collection providing a unique take on the city and its history. From Roman cricketers and Cracker Packers to Olympic hopefuls and Lady Gaga, there's a bespoke Carlisle haiku connection!

Published by Caldew Press in 2021.

Price £8.00 (plus postage and packing).


Visible Music

By Martyn Halsall

From diagnosis, through treatment to remission, poet Martyn Halsall shares reflections on life with cancer. In dialogue with religious faith, and reactions to medical care, these are set against the backdrop of Cumbria, and the Scottish islands.

Published by Caldew Press in 2020.

SpeakEasy 4 Cover




Issue No 4

The latest anthology from Carlisle SpeakEasy. featuring Cumbrian poets, writers, artists, film makers and designers.

First Published in 2020

An anthology of words and images collated from many of the regular contributors to the SpeakEasy open mic nights.

"SpeakEasy continues to attract all ages and stages of writers, performers, observers, and we hope we reflect the richness of their experience in this cut."

This issue was edited by Jean Hill and James Scott Riddick and the pieces are woven together through a narrative arc and reflect on the time SpeakEasy had been hosted by Becca Roberts at Foxes Cafe Lounge in Carlisle.

This edition also feature QR codes and online links to films of the first and last SpeakEasys held at the cafe.

R.R.P £10.00



Poetry Symposium - May 2019

Caldew Press Interview

Posted on April 25, 2019 by darkhorsepicture

As you will already know from these pages, Annie Foster’s pamphlet Solway Songs will be published by Caldew Press and launched at the Poetry Symposium on May 18th. Below is an interview with Susan and Phil, the editors at Caldew Press – as it is very much our local small press, you will want to know more about them and what they do. You can come along and meet them at the Poetry Symposium, too.

What made you take up the reins of Caldew Press?

Susan: The reins were left sadly flapping. The ‘Freiraum’ event needed a publication to accompany it and I took on the task. The impetus to continue the publication of the Speakeasy anthology which had been started was the next task and as I had experience of the process I assisted with that. I like collating the work of the talented people I’m lucky to know and am keen to continue Nick’s work in providing a platform for emerging writers alongside more established writers.

Annie Foster reads from 'Solway Songs'

Phil: Nick Pemberton and I were working on the ‘Freiraum’ project in collaboration with Goethe Institut, AWAZ Cumbria and many others in the arts scene in Carlisle and the surrounding area. Nick had agreed to put on a special SpeakEasy event to showcase the work produced around the themes of ‘Isolation’, ‘Overcoming Isolation’, ‘Freedom’ and ‘European Identity’. Nick sadly passed away in September 2018 before the project was finished and as I had been documenting the progress of the project, and discussing things with him, I found myself inheriting the delivery of the SpeakEasy event. This included a publication of work produced by local writers, musicians and artists...