our role model GREAT WORKS Telling the Beads cover

 Telling the Beads: A Spiritual Year Book for Our Times1837 engraving of a Danish warrior

Telling the Beads: A Spiritual Year Book for Our Times. This is Great Works' Editions second publication of this millennium. Telling the Beads was inspired by Brecht's Die Hauspostille. This was his beautiful and savage appropriation and transformation in the 1920s of a German tradition (both Catholic and Lutheran) of a book of homilies for home readings and devotions. I've tied in my text more than Brecht did to the notion of an annual cycle, by using Bede's account of the Anglo-Saxon calendar. His statements about Old English paganism are sometimes queried, as they don't fit very well with all the familiar Woden and Thor Warrior!!! stuff. I'm with Bill Griffiths, that all that crap was just upper-class ideology to keep structures of power strong and stable. What people actually followed in their daily lives would have been different (and probably impossible for us to access at all). You will be able to explore my very incorrect and anomalous version of the Early Middle Ages (when we were first a post-colonial failed state) at your leisure. There are early C19 historical reconstructions, hymns to "Anglo-Saxon" goddesses, nature notes, Pictish epigraphy & much more such fun! + not just Picts but pictures, even pictures of Pictish pictures! Further on Telling the Beads here. A couple of pieces now on Great Works here. And the whole of the Holy Month of September on e·ratio.

UK: £6 + £1.40 postage; for international sales: Peter Philpott: Books in Print or Lulu


I'll remind readers of this site I have transferred some of the more useful modernpoetry.org.uk pages to it. modernpoetry.org.uk is no longer being updated; I am still, by this point haphazardly updating The Lists ("How could I have missed out X?" "Gosh Y looks interesting!" etc). Do communicate over omissions and errors. And the domain name modernpoetry.org.uk is still available for anyone who wants it for good purpose. Drop a line as email (peter@greatworks.org.uk or any other email of mine), via Facebook/Messenger, or any other means that might work.

The new texts on Sequences and Serial Poems are on hold at present; but should be on the site during the early summer. If you have poetic material for this, please get in touch.

I have altered the texts featured on the site to indicate the addition of some more of Amos Weisz's translations of Celan, as in April 2020 I read all these texts from Lichtzwang at A Reading in Memory of Paul Celan organised by Rob Stanton, under The Lockdown via Zoom, and available in full on the Chax Press YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvqnRU-b3x4&t=93s.

I am at present involved in attempts to maintain Writers Forum Workshop — New Series in existence under Lockdown conditions. We have virtual online workshops running monthly, and more activity is being planned. Please check on the group's website or Facebook page for more details. Contact me on peter@greatworks.org.uk if you want more information on this, or any aspect of Great Works/modernpoetry.org.uk.

also Wound Scar Memories

Wound Scar Memories front cover

I revived Great Works Editions to publish a curious text of mine: Wound Scar Memories. Written August 31, 2015–June 20, 2016, it consists of three sequences of 17 sonnetty type things, starting off from matching the glorious Atkins and Hughes versions of Petrarch to the ur-scene of sonnetty action, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, one hot summer day and ending up irretrievably lost in interminable prose about the contemporary political implications of the Dark Ages. Can you resist? Three poems and a couple of prose paragraphs online just here! A lot more about Wound Scar Memories available just there. Book available, in theory, I hope from all good booksellers, or from the blessed lulu.com, but I'd rather you bought it from me via PayPal at £6 + £1.40 postage.


The best place to encounter news of changes to Great Works is, regrettably, on my Facebook.

June 10, 2020 — Peter Philpott    top

greatworks.org.uk Archive

Material shared with modernpoetry.org.uk

The project of Great Works is that of publishing innovative poetry in modernist/postmodernist modes. This is is a site for innovative writing: modernist, postmodernist, archaic. It proclaims the need to let a thousand flowers bloom, and rejects any single definition of what writing is. It welcomes alternative poetries and other writing. It proudly offers no retrieval of coherence at a higher interpretative level.