It's my favourite time of year when Candlestick press release their festive titles in time for Christmas
By Bus to Christmas: poems by Tony Curtis.
In a year when nothing is as it should be, much-loved traditions such as those associated with Christmas seem more important than ever. Every year Candlestick Press publishes two mini-anthologies on a festive theme. This year’s titles are as beautiful as ever, but focus even more keenly on the idea of poetry as a precious gift to be shared with loved ones.
In a new departure for Candlestick, By Bus to Christmas is a single-author anthology by the Irish poet Tony Curtis. The poems are written with families (and particularly children) in mind; the title poem is a modern nursery rhyme about a journey to Christmas on a bus with snowballs for wheels and stars for windows. The poems sparkle with dreams, memories and surprises, creating a magical world.
In this year of uncertainty it's even more important that we hold on to all those precious moments which bring us joy. I read through the poems of By Bus to Christmas with a huge smile on my face. The poet, Tony Curtis, has conjured the perfect Christmas spirit in this mini anthology which fairly sparkles with all the hopes and dreams that this festive season brings, not just of Christmas present, but also the memories of a Christmas long past.
Some brought a smile to my face, like the eponymous By Bus To Christmas
"Last year I went by hippopotamus
It was slow and grey
and kept losing its way
So this year I am going by bus to Christmas"
Whilst others brought a lump to my throat from the beautiful The Angel's Promise;
" A year in the making,
it began with fireworks
and is ending in candlelight "
And my very favourite is The Hushed House which reminds me of my own house on Christmas morning now that my children are grown and gone to lives of their own making;
" I descend the stairs
light the tree.
and move quietly
through empty rooms "
By Bus to Christmas makes a perfect alternative to a Christmas card and offers a special glimpse into all the magic of Christmas and in this year of darkness we need that magical feeling more than ever.
Christmas Presents: Ten Poems to Give and Receive
As has become traditional for Candlestick, Christmas Presents: Ten Poems to Give and Receive is a selection of new poems specially commissioned from leading contemporary poets. This year’s poets range from John McCullough to Pey Oh and from Andre Bagoo to Suzannah V Evans. There are poems about a baby shower for the new-born Christ-child, an ailing family cat who recovers just in time to run rings around the Christmas tree and memories of Christmas in the Caribbean.
I eagerly anticipate the latest Christmas poetry collection from Candlestick popping through my letterbox. It reminds me, in November, that the festive season is really on its way and this current collection in Christmas Presents is every bit as good as I knew it would be. Ten clever poets have brought that special Christmas feeling right into my life again and I've thoroughly enjoyed reading each of the poems.
There is something for everyone in this collection from the clever How to Grow your own Mistletoe by Helen Ivory and the warning that "Mistletoe needs patience " - a trait which is, I think, something we've all gained more of this year!
To the poignant poem, For you, in the Winter Dark by Kelly Swain, which is so beautifully written that it brought a tear to my eye " I wish I could give you this gift of space..."
And the very special This Year by Ben Wilkinson, which starts the collection and conjures this year like no other;
" a reminder that what's done is done,
and of dark-bright moments still to come..."
Entertaining, poignant and a perfect alternative to a festive greeting card, Christmas Presents: Ten Poems to Give and Receive is a wonderful collection of verse which is perfect for the festive season.
Both titles have an irresistible cover created by a contemporary UK artist. Sarah Young’s bewitching winter tree is a red and gold delight while Celia Hart’s jolly Christmas bus captures the heart-warming spirit of the anthology. And then there’s Frida Kahlo on the back cover..
Candlestick Press is an independent publisher based in Nottingham, UK. We’ve been publishing poetry pamphlets since 2008 not only for people who already love poetry, but also for those who will love it but perhaps don’t know that yet. Our ‘instead of a card’ pamphlets make an ideal alternative to a mainstream greetings card and are a small gift in their own right. They have matching envelopes and bookmarks left blank for your message, and are excellent companions on journeys or for a bedtime read. By supporting us, you help an independent press and our supported charities at the same time as treating yourselves, your friends and family to some wonderful poems.