Further Than It Looks

Further Than It Looks

Awesome, immense, at once inviting and threatening, mountains have inspired painters and poets, challenged the adventurous and offered a hard-won living to local peoples. Here are poems that celebrate their splendour and explore our relationship with them.


ISBN: 978-0-9933756-9-9

Edited by Joy Howard
Available now from Gardners or direct from Grey Hen Press

Retail price £5 + £1 p&p Booksellers discount available.

Jean Atkin
Anne Boileau
Carole Bromley
Caroline Carver
Alison Chisholm
Chris Considine
Kerry Darbishire
Kate Davis
Rosemary Doman
Ann Drysdale
Jane Duran
Katherine Gallagher
Caroline Gilfillan
Geraldine Green
Gabriel Griffin
Joy Howard
Nora Hughes
Stevie Krayer
Rosemary McLeish
Char March
Alwyn Marriage
Jane Monach
Frances Nagle
Jennie Osborne
M R Peacocke
Katrina Porteous
Maggie Rabatski
Elisabeth Rowe
Jennifer Russell
Penelope Shuttle
Hilary Tatterrshall
Susan Taylor
Frances White
Merryn Williams
Lynne Wycherley

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Vaster Than Empires


Love them, sometimes loathe them, vegetables are such a part of our daily lives it can be hard to take a fresh look. Within the covers of this book you will find a market stall of beauty and desirability which will change the way you look at your 5-a-day.

‘A feast of an anthology! Funny, educative, sexy and thought-provoking, a group celebration of the humble vegetable quickly turns to pure deliciousness. From aubergine to artichoke, salsify to turnip — there’s something here for every poetry palate.’ Helena Nelson


ISBN: 978-0-9933756-5-1

Edited by Joy Howard Illustrations: Frances Pilston
Available now from Gardners or direct from Grey Hen Press

Retail price £8 + £1.25 p&p Booksellers discount available.

Ann Alexander
R V Bailey
Elizabeth Birchall
Alison Brackenbury
Helen Burke
Caroline Carver
Alison Chisholm
A C Clarke
Rose Cook
Pamela Coren
Liz Crosby
Kerry Darbishire
Kelly Davis
Rosemary Doman
Ann Drysdale
Sylvia Fairley
Mary Dingee Fillmore
Wendy French
Katherine Gallagher
Frances Green
Gabriel Griffin
Joy Howard
Angela Kirby
Jane Kite
Wendy Klein
Stevie Krayer
Gill Learner
Mandy Macdonald
Gill McEvoy
Char March
Joan Michelson
Ilse Pedler
Melanie Penycate
Jo Peters
Kathy Pimlott
J A Priestman
Myra Schneider
Ruth Smith
Martha Street
Fiona Ritchie Walker
Josie Walsh
Christine Webb
Pat Winslow
Margaret Wood

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Songs for the Unsung


Unremarked, overlooked, alienated, disadvantaged, marginalised, often despised. But the unsung represented here have lived life with the odds stacked against them – with greater or lesser success, but with courage and humanity.

‘They are everywhere. They curl on streets in quiet blankets, wait at borders, work in cabbage fields, staff hospitals by night. They can be unheard, unseen. But when you read the generous and eloquent poems in this anthology, they are no longer the unsung.’ Alison Brackenbury


‘This beautiful compilation illuminates lives of the unseen and unheard, unheeded and, at times, hated. Here is a migrant child making sense of insults, here someone kind meeting a stranger and listening. We are blessed witnesses, guided gently out of grey apathy, towards understanding. And those words. They sound like intonations, not to the careless gods above, but to the humanity within each of us.’ Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

ISBN: 978-0-9933756-4-4

Edited by Joy Howard
Available now from Grey Hen @ £10 + £1.25 p&p

50p from the sale of each book will go to Age International


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Extraordinary Forms

Extraordinary Forms

Some wonders of the natural world
An illustrated anthology of contemporary poems celebrating the individuality of extant species: the odd, the everyday and the endangered.


‘Delightfully quirky, with apt and delicate illustrations. The poems are beautifully arranged, subject and form vibrating off each other. And behind so many an urgency – the pull of migration, the threat of loss.’ Pauline Stainer

Edited by Joy Howard

Illustrated by Sue Hardy-Dawson
Available now from Grey Hen @ £8 + £1.20 p&p.

50p from the sale of each book will go to the Rainforest Foundation


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Grey Hen Chapbooks


Outlook Variable
Poems to help us take whatever
the weather throws at us – hail,
sleet and snow, wind and storm,
fog and frost, occasional sunshine.
And plenty of rain.
Shades of Meaning
Poems that celebrate all the
colours of the rainbow, and
explore some of the many
different aspects of each.
Poems to take you through the
year, from the frosts of January
to the dark of December, but with
much to cheer about on the way.
ISBN 978-0-9926983-6-2 ISBN 978-0-9926983-5-5 ISBN 978-0-9926983-7-9
‘Packed with work by an amazing 63 poets…the poems are, as ever with Grey Hen Press feisty and fearless, questioning, and approaching their topics from all sides’. Anne Stewart (ARTEMIS poetry)Available now from Grey Hen @ £4 + £0.70 p&p (Europe £2.45 Other overseas £3.15)
Buy all three titles from Grey Hen @ £12 + £1.20 p&p (Europe £3.70 £4.75)

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runningbeforethewindRunning Before the Wind

Poems about the Sea


Edited by Joy Howard

This anthology of contemporary poems covers every aspect of our sometimes conflicting relationship with unbiddable two-thirds of our planet.

‘A wind-shaken, salt-laden, heartload of poems by women, and not a dead fish among them. I have lived within sight of the sea all my life, and this is the most enjoyable anthology I have read on this subject’. Gillian Clarke


‘Take my advice – run away to sea with this crew of seventy-three women poets who explore all aspects of the ocean from the mundane to the mighty These poets have eyes as sharp as kittiwakes for all the sea’s inhabitants as well as being alert to its moods, mystery and magnificence. Go where they take you. Taste the salt in their words.’ Diana Hendry

Available now from Grey Hen @ £12 + £1.25 p&p. (Europe £5.15 Other overseas £7.50)

50p from the sale of each book will go to the RNLI


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the price of goldThe Price of Gold

Poems about the Honey Bee


Edited by Joy Howard

Illustrated by Cathy Benson

A collection of poems celebrating honey bees. The current crisis of health in bee populations make this an important time to recognise their importance to us.


’Who more approriate than women poets of today, with their quiet eye for detail, order, industry, living spaces, to explore that parallel world of skeps and keepers, queens and workers, lore, science, craft and myth all the way from Ljubljana to Aberdeen, down the centuries from the middle ages to our own, in a rich honeycomb of bee-poems.’ Anne-Marie Fyfe

’If you’re wanting to buy a present fr a friend, try this. The collection is successfully carried by the enthusiasm and fine observation of the writers, and by Cathy Bensin’s delicate drawings. A satisfying anthology to browse in.’ Meg Peacocke

ISBN 978-0-9552952-7-0

Available now from Grey Hen @ £8 + £1.00 p&p (Europe £3.50 Other overseas £4.50)
50p from the sale of each book will go to research sponsored by the British Beekeepers Association


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a source of strange delightA Source Of Strange Delight

Poems about the Brontes

A chapbook of twelve poems featuring poets for whom a connection with the Brontë family, the Parsonage and Haworth has special meaning. With twelve original illustrations.

ISBN 978-0-9552952-8-7

Available now from Grey Hen @ £4 + 50p p&p (Europe £1.20 Other overseas £2.00)




In this new anthology, a follow-up to Grey Hen’s popular A Twist Of Malice, older women poets take a shrewish look at the trials and tribulations of modern life.

get me out of here!Get Me Out of Here!

Poems for trying circumstances

Edited by Joy Howard

’ Journey from hell? Unwanted company? Wish you weren’t here? Home horrors and workplace blues? Stuck for words…?


Life as we have to live it, and how poetry can help.

’A collection of poems by turns tough, tender, bittersweet, eagle-eyed and laugh-out-loud funny: a chorus of confident women’s voices from the contemporary world.’ Tiffany Atkinson

’This anthology is an A-Z of women poets whose formidable eye and instict for pithy observation make this anthology one to treasure. Required reading for all ages but especially for the young-and-grumpy-in-heart. ’This world’, say these poets,’is not a better place. Deal with it’ they say. Then they show us how. Read it!’ Penelope Shuttle

£8.00 + p&p UK: £1.25 + 50p each additional book. Europe: £2.50 + £1 each additional book

(Booksellers discounts available on request)


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An anthology of contemporary poetry, with original artwork, celebrating our love of birds and the enrichment that encounters with them bring to our lives.

no space but their ownNo Space But Their Own

New poems about birds

Edited by Joy Howard

Illustrated by Emma Stansfield


Foreword by Andrew Motion

’ Here are beautiful word pictures of birds, giving new and different insights. Without birds, our lives would be enormously diminished and this anthology will hopefully encourage people to appreciate them more and support their conservation. Lovely illustration’ Dafila Scott

’A chorus of new poems on well-known birds – wry, witty, representational but above all, celebratory, reminding us of the fierce, almost unnameable delights offered by these winged creatures. This wide-ranging selection highlights their beauty, vulnerability and constant need for habitat protection….a book to read and savour’ Katherine Gallagher

£8.00 + p&p £1. Europe £3.50 Other overseas £4.50

50p from the sale of each book will be donated to the RSPB


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This anthology explores all aspects of ageing, from losing parents to confronting the inevitability of ourown deaths. Here are poets facing up to life, with a recognition of its transience,absurdities, triumphs and disasters, in the spirit of taking it on the chin.

cracking onCracking On

Poems about ageing by older women

Edited by Joy Howard

Foreword by Michele Hanson

’Electric, formidable, challenging, witty, sombre, enduring, heart-felt, tender, reflective, valedictory poems. This is an anthology to see you through the bad times, to celebrate the good times. Be these poets stricken with grief or still dizzy with love after all these years, they remain sharp-eyed, sharp-witted, gutsy and dauntless in their many different approaches.’ Penelope Shuttle

’Brave, thoughtful, humorous…the poems in this book explore with honesty and clear-sightedness the gains and losses – and the surprises – inherent in the process of ageing.’ Carole Satyamurti

’This fine anthology has given women permission to say exactly what they feel about every aspect of the whole business of ageing. These poets aren’t fools: they know what they’re talking about, and they tell it straight. They have the courage to face the hard things; they have the grace and skill to write without self-pity and yet with the true voice of feeling. It is seriously good poetry: fresh, and well-crafted. It’s the fruit of accumulated wisdom and of long life-experience – brave writing, full of love and subversive wit and lyricism. You can trust such poems.’ R V Bailey

Available now from Grey Hen @ £10.00 + p&p £1.25 (Europe £5.15 Other overseas £7.50)


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Ten years in the life of a lesbian-come-lately. Excitement, bewilderment, heartache, frustration, love both true and false, but above all a feeling of coming home…

exit moonshineExit Moonshine

Coming out and carrying on

Poems by Joy Howard



ISBN 978-0-9552952-0-l

’It was a frightening and fabulous time, coming out in the feminist 1980s; falling in love, writing poetry… you had to have been there. However, if you’ve only read about it or done it in your Women’s Studies class, then this wonderful collection is the next best thing. All the pleasure – well, almost! – and none of the pain.’ Berta Freistadt

’In poetry which is wry and witty a whole brave life journey is explored. Beginning with that mythical lesbian milestone ’Coming Out’, the progress of love is treated to a beady-eyed scrutiny – although after the necessary scalpel comes an unsentimental but lyrical acceptance of ’a dear concordance/and a priceless peace’. Whatever your niche in the spectrum of the human condition, these poems will make you reflect and smile.’ Kate Foley

Available now from Grey Hen@ £6.50 + p&p £1.00 Europe £ Other overseas £4.50


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A collection of work by 36 contemporary poets exploring the darker side of the female imagination. Here are poems that disturb and disconcert but also gleam with humour and delight in subversion.

You will find plenty of familiar names, but also less well-known poets whose work deserves to be read more widely. There is something good on every page – be prepared to hide behind the sofa and keep the light on at night but also to be made to think, and to laugh out loud. There will be something in this book that will hit the spot for everyone who enjoys the power of poetry.

A Twist of Malice

Uncomfortable poems by older women

Edited by Joy Howard

ISBN 978-0-9552952-2-5

’Nothing mimsy about these poems by older women. Fierce, funny, disturbing and fairly vicious. Lovely.’ Michele Hanson, The Guardian

’..extremely enjoyable and thought-proving…the essence of the achievement is in raising some really serious and interesting issues while being entertaining. Beautifully produced too.’

’Poems which stretch the mind…poetic edge and edginess.’

’A handsome anthology…ought to be on some celebrity’s list of their Books of the Year…Put it on your Christmas list.’

Dilys Wood, Second lLght Network & ARTEMISpoetry

’A Twist of Malice is a tonic, a real pick-me-up, in all senses. I laughed, cried, giggled, chortled. A book for all seasons, for all reasons. Dip in and out or read in huge gulps. So many poems I wish I had written myself.’ Lyn Moir

’Artifice and wit deliver moments so sharp they catch your breath: “Time Out” and “Down to the Wood” reach bone marrow.’ Hilary Elfick

’To be able to truly revel in mischief, malice and misery with no guilt attached is a rare and wonderful thing. A Twist of Malice recognizes this fully, meets it head on and, while it shouts from rooftops, can laugh. And cry, and sometimes whisper. These poets lay rightful claim to their intellects, aesthetics and senses of humour; in short, to the art in their lives.’Jacqueline Gabbitas

Available now from Grey Hen @ £8.00 + £1.25 p&p (Europe £2.50 Other overseas £3.50)


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A pamphlet from West Yorkshire poets Joy Howard, Hilary J Murray and Gina Shaw. The poets are all members of Second Light, a national network of older women poets. They have been meeting together since May 2006 to share everything to do with writing and performing poetry. The pamphlet was conceived as a compilation of some of the poems that feature in their readings.

second biteSecond Bite ISBN 978-0-9552952-1-8

Off-beat but serious and moving “Funny, feisty”

“Catches hold of a new way of voicing feelings”

“In tune with the wry wit of contemporary poetry and with feminism”

Dilys Wood, ARTEMISpoetry

Available now from Grey Hen @ £3.00 + 50p p&p ( Europe £1.20 Other overseas £2.00)



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