Out Now! Drawing Outside of the Lines: Poems 2007-2017

Celebrate with me 10 years of independent publishing, with this personally selected collection of poetry, taken from my seven published books. In addition to these previously published works appearing together in the same book for the first time, there is a generous selection of previously uncollected works on offer, along with seven specially written poetry profiles, giving you a insight into the inspirations behind some of the poems contained within the pages.

Drawing Outside of The Lines is available now in two formats, hardback and paperback. To order, follow the link to your preferred format below and add your selection to your cart to check out.

Thank you for your continued support over the years, it means the world to me! I really hope you enjoy the book. 
Please keep supporting independent artists! 

Phil

Hardback £11.00 +p&p http://www.lulu.com/content/hardcover-book/drawing-outside-of-the-lines-poems-2007—2017/19914118

Paperback £5.00 +p&p http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/drawing-outside-of-the-lines-poems-2007—2017/21017770

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Drawing Outside of the Lines: Poems 2007-2017 delay

I am sorry to announce that my selected poems, Drawing Outside of the Lines: Poems 2007-2017 release will be delayed. 

The book was due to be released on 1st July 2017, but due to a hold up at the printers with my final proof copies, I have no choice but to delay the release of the book until a later date. 

I don’t like having to alter the plans for a book release after I have announced it, but sometimes circumstances are out of my control, and I must, for the integrity of the book, take the extra time needed to ready it for release. 

I will update you on the new release date in the next week or so. 

Thank you for your patience. 

Phil 

Poetry Profiles #2 Stock Exchange

Stock Exchange (from Conditioned by the System) 2009

After realising my dream of publishing my first book of poetry in 2007, I turned my attention to writing a new batch of poems that I imagined would make up the follow-up collection. My first book, Still Growing was made up of poems I had written between 1998 and 2007, so I was starting this group of poems from scratch. I wrote a number of new pieces over the following year and performed one of them, Memories from a Train, as part of a reading I did in Swansea, Wales in June 2008.

The subject matter of the poems I had been writing about were so varied and vast, I remember when it came to trying to put together a selection for a book I found it very difficult to find any coherent flow. Usually when selecting poems for a collection, I look for a mood or subject matter that has a narrative thread that weaves them all together. Even with poems of varied subjects it is possible to connect the ends of their threads together to form a book that works as a whole. However, I was relatively inexperienced at such tasks at that time, and soon grew frustrated with the whole endeavour. Little did I know, but one single global event was about to change the direction of my second book of poetry beyond all recognition.

The media labelled “credit crunch” captured the world’s attention with stock markets crashing, banks being bailed out by tax payer’s money, and politicians falling over themselves to score points over each other, while all the while claiming expenses back for moats and second homes and heaven only knows what else. I like many, had grown frustrated with the state of the world and the politicians that were leading it. It has always appalled me how the ones with less end up feeding the ones with the most, and when things go wrong and the markets crash, as they did in 2008, it is those with least that were blamed. With this disgust for a world in disarray, and without any premeditation I did what I have always done, I wrote about it.

For two whole intense months I wrote, sometimes going long periods of time just fixated on an idea. The poems poured from me like water and there was always something new happening to keep the current refreshed. The event had awoken some kind of rabid activist in me and I wrote exclusively about the state of our world; wars organised via reality TV votes, bird-flu, fear, money-grabbing political vampires, the banks, the greedy, the needy, and everything in-between, both in deadly serious tones and lighter hearted rhymes.

Conditioned by the System was published in November 2009, and althoughit was a departure in tone from my first book, it received favourable feedback from those who read it.

For my second poetry profiles selection I have chosen the poem, Stock Exchange from that book. It is a lighter-hearted look at the world of the stock market in these times of financial instability. It focuses in on a fictitious pair of stock brokers who meet regularly for lunch. I imagine the pair to be married, although not to each  other. As you will read, the female stock broker is the brains of the operation and knows exactly what she wants.

– Phillip Mellor

Stock Exchange

The FTSE’s down 15%!
Oh shit I think as I stare
across the tangerine
tinted table cloth while
her footsie runs up and down
my leg. From its positioning
now I would say it is up 90%
on last weeks estimate
and will continue to rise after lunch!
There’s no credit crunch here,
no recession, no fuel price rise,
in fact my heating is on full!

I stare into her eyes and I know
instantly what she expects from
my Dow Jones when the markets close.

Copyright Phillip Mellor 2009, 2017

Taken from Drawing Outside of the Lines: Poems 2007 – 2017 available 1st July 2017

Women_in_Waldorf-Astoria

Women operating stock market board and a ticker tape machine at the Waldorf in 1918, during World War I.

Poetry Profiles #1 Whitby

IMG_0386

Whitby (from Still Growing) 2007 

The town of Whitby, located on the north east coast of England, is probably best associated with the literary character Dracula. Thanks to Bram Stoker, the town has become a Mecca for Goths and those who love their fiction with a bit more bite. My association with Whitby is a little less to do with Transylvanian Vampires, and more to do with a bible I found in my parent’s attic some years ago.

I found it in a long-forgotten brown cardboard box full of dust and other collected trinkets. I was drawn to it immediately, not because I have any religious leanings, but because it is a book. Books fascinate and intrigue me, as you might imagine, and I love spending hours in bookstores looking through their vast shelves of wonders. I can’t pinpoint exactly why, but bookstores relax me. Their smell, the quiet slowness of the whole endeavour of choosing a book to buy is unlike any other shopping experience, which, when it comes to past-times, I mainly loath. Whatever the reason, or combined reasons for loving books and bookstores, here I was crouched in my parent’s attic with an brown faux-leather bound bible, fascinated.

I transferred the small handheld torch I was carrying into my mouth, and shone the light down at the book. I wiped the years-old dust away with my hand and opened the bible. Thumbing through its old discoloured pages I came to a handwritten inscription, that read: To Sandra, Give to the world the best you have, and the best will come back to you. Love Dad. Whitby, 1956. 

I realised it must be my mum’s bible, I didn’t know my mum had a bible, she certainly wasn’t religious. I imagined that back in ’56 kids were either forced to study the bible in school or were, like myself when I was younger, subject to the right of passage known as Sunday School. Whatever the reason for needing the bible, I found out from mum it was bought for her by her father in Whitby, hence the inscription. I loved the sentiment of those few short words so much I put them in the front of my first book of poems Still Growing.

What an amazing thing, I thought, my grandfather, the one I had sadly never met as he died before I was born, was a poet!? That’s where I get it from, I thought, as my eyes read over and over his handwritten note to mum. For years I thought he was the reason I had the urge to write poetry. That somehow poetic DNA had been passed down directly from him. Some years later I would find out the line was taken from a poem called, Life’s Mirror by Madeline S Bridges. Still, he obviously read some poetry to know of that line, and that, in my own head is enough to keep the idea that some genetic love of poetry was passed down. I had always been told by mum that we would have got on well, my grandfather and I, so any insight into his psyche was always welcome.

It was my fascination with my never met grandfather that lead me to Whitby. I knew of Whitby, of course, England is not a big place, but to my knowledge I had never been. I was wrong on that front too, my parent’s took me there when I was very young, so mum said, but we had never visited since. I needed to change that. I was so fascinated with going there since discovering the bible. Some deep part of me knew I had to go.

Me and my best friend Chris visited Whitby in early April 2007 and, as I suspected, I fell in love with it straight away; its marvellously crooked cobbled streets, its ancient houses and buildings, the church of St Mary – which has one of the most hauntingly stunning graveyards I have ever seen, and of course, the Abbey, towering over the town like some eroding monolith. The whole place captivated me. It came as no surprise to me that it had inspired several writers aside from Bram Stoker, although he by far has left the greatest mark on the town.

My own small contribution to the literary story of Whitby was conceived shortly after returning from this trip. Not many places I have been have inspired me enough to put pen to paper in tribute, but Whitby, for me is no ordinary place. Before I left Whitby on that visit in 2007, I took a panoramic picture of the whole town as I was stood at the top of the one-hundred and ninety-nine steps. I wanted to capture the place in hope that I could transport some of that magic back home with me. It worked, because it was while I was looking at this photograph that the first lines of the poem came. I recreated the panorama during a recent visit to Whitby with my wife. I was so excited to show Heather round and see her experience for the first time, this place I loved so much. I have to say, I lived vicariously through her and was able to recapture some of the wonder of my own first visit.

Whether it be the legend of Dracula, the historic Abbey, St Mary’s Church and it’s magical graveyard with salt eroded tombstones, the smokey kippers eaten straight from a newspaper or merely being by the sea, I hope if you haven’t been to Whitby, you will have the opportunity to go and experience it for yourselves. There really is something magical in the air there. Thank goodness I found that bible and for my grandfather’s inscription in that bible to my mum. I must  remember to credit Madeline S Bridges for writing it in any reprints of Still Growing, as well as my grandfather for rewriting it for a grandson he would never know to read. As for me and Whitby, I have been back several times since that visit in 2007, and I never tire of it. It remains to this day one of my favourite places on earth.

 

Whitby

Here on the hill by the Abbey
an almost silence caresses your ears.
The whispered crash of the sea
on the sand below; the soft
sighs of salty air.
A distant memory may touch
your thoughts but the breeze
will blow it away. Wash it out of mind
and make you think like new again.
And as you lift your face to the sun you can
almost feel the sea spray on your skin,
and your troubles ebbing away.

Oh how I love this quaint little town.
It’s winding hilly streets so narrowly filled with feet.
The smell of smoking kippers in the air,
the gulls that swoop and soar.
The Jet as black as Dracula’s heart,
the seaweed on the shore.
The 199 steps to count as you climb,
a heaven to ascend, a dream to find
the sweeping panoramic view of the town,
as standing alone you look down
to see the boats on the Esk,
coming and going,
leaving white tails behind them
in a foaming bottleneck.

Copyright Phillip Mellor 2007, 2017

Taken from Drawing Outside of The Lines: Poems 2007 – 2017 
Available to purchase 1st July 2017

Poetry Profiles: Introduction 

To celebrate the soon to be published, Drawing Outside of the Lines: Poems 2007-2017 on 1st July 2017, I wanted to share with you all a few stories of some of the poems in the collection. 

The first story, or poetry profile is for the poem, Whitby from my debut collection, Still Growing. It will be published tomorrow here. The idea is to share some background for some of the poems and collections I have written over the last 10 years. 
I hope they can provide some insight into my process of writing, some information that you will find interesting and provide you with a gateway into the my world of words. 

Phil 

Drawing Outside of the Lines: Poems 2007 – 2017 to be released on 1st July 2017

It is a great pleasure to announce that Drawing Outside the Lines: Poems 2007 – 2017 will be released on 1st July 2017. The book contains a personally hand picked selection of my poems taken from the 7 books I have published throughout my ten years of independent publishing. Some poems are taken from books that are no longer in print, and as a bonus, there is a generous selection of unpublished poems for your perusal. 
The gorgeous cover art is once again provided by my beautiful and talented wife, Heather Mellor. 
I am very proud to have reached this milestone in my writing career, but I could not have made it without the generous support of every single person who bought a book or came to see a reading along the way. I thank you for your continued support and encouragement. My hope for all of you who have read my books and poems that this book can be a broad overview of my writing so far, and for anyone who is less familiar with my writings, it can be a nice introduction. I will have more updates in the coming weeks. Thank you for stopping by, and have a great Friday! Phil x