Next Tuesday 18th September at The Leftbank, Cheltenham Road, Bristol we will be launching our blistering new anthology Rhyming Thunder – The Alternative Book Of Young Poets. Edited by James Bunting and Jack Dean it features 21 diverse young poets, four of whom will be reading at the launch: Vanessa Kisuule, Zaru Jonson, Emma Ward and Harry Baker. James and Jack will be there as well to explain why they picked up the challenge to edit such as book.

In case you are asking yourselves why this book is Alternative, it is because the performance poetry scene is a world quite distinct from the regular, mainstream poetry world or lit mags and formal collections and poems that are long at anything over 30 lines. None of the poets in this book have received Eric Gregory awards. There are no Foyles Young Poets here. No one with an Oxbridge Degree. The vast majority of the poets in this book are here in print for the first time.

When I wrote on the back of the book that these poets were re-inventing poetry on their own terms I meant it. They do not write conforming to tight guidelines laid down by the litmags to (quite legitimately) ensure they get the type of poems they are looking for, they write to perform. Be clear though, I am not anti litmags and the mainstream poetry world, I subscribe to plenty of those mags and am a regular customer of most poetry presses, but this is a book that is about showcasing the other poetry world, the world of stage, of festival, of slam. We are not trying to start yet another poetry fight. We are aiming to open this world up to new audiences and to help 21 exceptional young poets gain greater recognition.

The full list of poets included in the book is:

Vanessa Kisuule, Harry Baker, Robert Auton, Simon Mole, Adam Kammerling, Jodi Ann Bickley, Rembrandt Clarke, Amy McAllister, Lionheart, Raymond Antrobus, Sh’Maya, Tshaka Campbell, Emma Ward, Paul Cree, Talia Randall, Amy Acre, Bridget Minamore, Zaru Jonson, Jessie Durrant, Alex Gwyther, Deanna Rodger

A second launch will follow in London on 26th. Links to both events on Facebook are: