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Alan Morrison

Author of several critically praised poetry collections including A Tapestry of Absent Sitters (2009), Keir Hardie Street (2010), Captive Dragons / The Shadow Thorns (2011), Blaze a Vanishing/ The Tall Skies (2013), Shadows Waltz Haltingly (2015), Tan Raptures (2017), Shabbigentile (2019) (published by www.culturematters.org.uk), and verse-play Picaresque (2008). Personal website: http://www.alanmorrison.co.uk Morrison's poetry has been awarded grants from Arts Council England, the Royal Literary Fund and the Society of Authors. He edited the two anti-austerity anthologies, Emergency Verse - Poetry in Defence of the Welfare State (2011) and The Robin Hood Book - Verse Versus Austerity (2012). He is editor of The Recusant and Militant Thistles (www.militantthistles.moonfruit.com). A book-length poem, Anxious Corporals, is due out with Smokestack Books (www.smokestack-books.co.uk ) October 2020.

Posts by Alan Morrison

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Woodbines and Wooden Sides

Peter Street is writer and poet whose memoir 'Hidden Depths' relates the story of being a gravedigger before the days of mechanical diggers. Alan Morrison reviews the book, published by PreeTa Press, The People's Publisher Hidden Depths – the second instalment of Peter Street's autobiography – focuses on his time working ...

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Shabbigentile makes the case against anti-Claimantism

Alan Morrison goes into depth talking about the background to his latest poetry collection 'Shabbigentile' published by Culture Matters If 'Tan Raptures' (2017) was an A-side then 'Shabbigentile' is its experimental B-side: both collections explore the repercussions of austerity, the relentless benefits cuts, and the mass campaign of welfare-stigmatisation (which I ...

Detailed watercolour painting in which a figure with a tear in his eye holds up a middle finger to a man in a white suit pictured in a mirror.

Phoebe Sparrow Wagner: Learning to See in Three Dimensions – O-Rings and Cathode Rays

Published by Green Writers Press in partnership with Sundog Poetry Center in Vermont, Phoebe Sparrow Wagner's (formerly known as Pamela Spiro Wagner) illustrated collection 'Learning to See in Three Dimensions' is an instantly arresting poetry collection, not least for its many striking full colour pictures by the multi-talented author. Review ...

Brenda Williams Selected Poems front cover

A Mythology of Savage Gods: The Spirit of Protest in the Poetry of Brenda Williams

Brenda Williams was a poet and political activist from Leeds, who died in 2015. Her posthumous collection ‘Selected Poems’ was published the following year by Sixties Press. Fellow poet Alan Morrison gives an in-depth review. Reading the posthumous Selected Poems of Brenda Williams has provided respite amidst the brouhaha whipped up ...

Image of a brown envelope with several images symbolic of Victorian work ethic

Alan Morrison’s ‘Tan Raptures’: writing from the ‘WRAG’

Alan Morrison’s next poetry collection on the theme of the welfare and disability cuts and the stigmatisation of the unemployed, Tan Raptures, is published by Smokestack Books this April. The poet tells DAO about his motivation to produce the collection and shares some excerpts from the work. After seven years of ...

cover image of Shadows Waltz Haltingly shows four black silhouettes of figures in dance poses. The background is a mottled yellow/ blue colour

Alan Morrison: ‘Shadows Waltz Haltingly’ and the Shadow of Huntington’s

For Alan Morrison the task of tackling poetically his mother’s fifteen year-plus fight with Huntington’s Disease, and its ultimate claiming of her, was an emotionally and psychologically thorny one. But so deeply had he been affected by witnessing the many harrowing stages of his mother’s illness that he inevitably attempted ...

Clive Essame

I have lived with an impairment since birth. I have worked with people who are disadvantaged for one reason or another for many years and have been a professional writer and workshop leader since the early 1990s. I worked with South African actor and writer Ellis Pearson to create my ...

photo of two the author jonathan andrews pictured from below with a red cup

Jonathan Andrews

Jonathan Andrews’ poetry recounts a lived experience of autism – a perspective, which is too often ignored in favour of second-person narratives of what an autistic person seems to be thinking or feeling. His short, evocative poems convey a powerful expression of disabling experience. "I love poetry in-and-of-itself, for its lyrical ...

‘All The Lonely People’: an anthology by Plum Tree Books

Niamh Clune, founder of Plum Tree Books, sent out a call across Facebook announcing that she wanted to do an anthology on All The Lonely People... poems, art, prose focussing on the subject of loneliness. The response she got was overwhelming. DAO has been given permission to publish a selection of ...

the front cover of Julie Mcnamara's poetry collection Chaos Calls shows the name and title of the book against a violet background with an abstract painting in whites, blacks, reds and blues resembling snow on an icy pond in winter. Julie says: "The painting was one of a series I'd painted during my wilderness years - kept by the Maudsley hospital for five years as 'Therapeutic notes' until legislation came into being forbidding the retention of body parts without the clearance of the patient or next of kin. I threatened to sue them, saying those paintings contained my blood, sweat and tears."

Julie McNamara: ‘Chaos Calls’

Julie McNamara has been a tour de force within the field of Disability Arts for more than twenty years. Her current work, Let Me Stay, is a love letter to her Mother, who lives with Alzheimer's. The work has Shirley's voice at the core and was created alongside Shirley McNamara, 'Queen ...

front cover of sean burn's poetry collection includes an image of a vague shadow of a figure falling across a path

Sean Burn: ‘is that a bruise or a tattoo?’

Sean Burn's third and latest full volume of poetry is that a bruise or a tattoo? has just been published by Shearsman Press.  The poetry ranges from subjects like the great punk collage artist Linder, the little-known Cumbrian sculptor / painter Lorna Graves and a moving tribute to the incredible Tuvan singer ...

Photo of writer Lynne Blackwood performing against a black background, her hand raised forward in front of a blue projection of photographs.

A selection of short stories by Lynne E Blackwood

Lynne Blackwood started writing in April 2012 after illness terminated her professional activity. She worked as a consultant on projects with schools, hospitals and refugee women in the Republic of Georgia after the fall of the Soviet Union. After moving to the UK she worked as a community project development ...

The cartoon shows a choir, consisting of people of diverse ethnicity and gender, and with various impairments, being conducted by an Asian male. A sign at the front of the choir reads ' Making Waves Community Choir'. They are singing the chorus from the ATOS protest song: "ATOS said they really care, when statistics is all they want for their boss. ATOS said they’re truly fair, when all that concerns them is profit and loss."

‘Alas Atos’ from Making Waves Community Choir

Making Waves is a left/ green community choir, based in Cullercoats, which has a policy of freely sharing their produce. Oliver Swingler from the choir sent the following song to DAO. He says that if anyone else wants to record and publish (it would be nice to acknowledge Oliver and ...