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Wrecking Ball Press publish the debut novel from Roger Hyams – The Lightman Systemon June 27, 2022.
Roger Hyams was an actor for twelve years, appearing with the RSC, the English Touring Theatre and the Oxford Stage Company, Birmingham Repertory and the Traverse. He started working at the BBC as a script-reader, then a script editor, and after a couple of years as Head of Drama Development at Talkback Productions, began to work freelance. Along with his script consultancy he is a screenwriter, a filmmaker and a Visiting Lecturer at the London Film School and Central Saint Martins. He has written the book and lyrics for two musicals, co-directed two baroque operas and coached opera singers on performance. The Lightman System is his first novel, and he’s writing another.
We caught up with Roger to find out more about the novel and his writing.
Describe The Lightman System in a sentence?
A brother and sister struggle to come to terms with the fallout of her psychotic breakdown.
What prompted you to write The Lightman System?
It has roots in my own family’s experience. It’s fair to say that there was a need for catharsis, but that had to come from inquiry. There are mysteries that are unlikely ever to be solved, but the attempt is the point.
Who is the book for?
It will speak directly to those who have had similar experiences, either as the sufferer of mental storms or those close to them. But I think the last couple of years has laid bare the fact that this is not an exclusive group. So there’s something here for everyone who has had difficulties with their mental health, everyone who’s known someone who has, and anyone who’s interested in the way minds try to deal with the unmanageable.
What experience do you want your readers to have?
It’s a cliché to say I want them to laugh and cry, but it’s true. This is a tough story, but a human one: there’s no intention to create misery, just to portray it. I also want them to come away from the book feeling that their understanding of mental states, from the extreme to the apparently-normal, has expanded.
What is the importance of place to you as a writer?
Very important. A lot of my writing comes out of places; their special atmospheres, their existence outside human presence, especially those that are built entirely by humans. I’ve made several short films that explore this in one way or another. In The Lightman System, there’s particular attention to the magic and disturbance of places; from the texture of the Lake District to the temperature and light inside a psychiatric unit.
Music, and a cello, are constants in the book – what’s the importance of this?
For a musician like my character Ellie, her instrument is a way of both showing her skill and expressing her inner life. When psychological and neurological damage make it increasingly hard for her to handle the instrument, those vital outlets are choked. So the cello, which also has a humanoid shape and an exquisite sound, becomes a repeated motif in the book. Apart from gathering dust, the instrument stays pretty much the same throughout decades; yet the characters, over the same span, change in quite extreme ways. Music is a life-force for Colin, too; it speaks to him rather than through him, but it reflects and provides an outlet for his emotional life. It’s notoriously difficult to write about music, so I’ve had to confront that in successive drafts.
How would you describe yourself?
I write scripts and prose (and sometimes lyrics) and make films; I’m also a freelance script editor, and a visiting lecturer at the London Film School and Central St Martin’s. I used to be an actor, I’ve worked as a director in Baroque Opera, I’ve written the book and lyrics for two musicals and a short story for BBC Radio.
As a novelist I’m writing about things that delight and disturb me. I try to do that in the simplest way I can, as closely as possible to my characters’ experience. I feel the need to draw the reader into that experience, however limited, because that’s the way we live; limited by our selves as they are from moment to moment.
What was your route into writing?
Long and winding. When I was a kid I liked messing around with words, then wrote poems when I was at primary school, then love poems, then song lyrics – school bands etc. – and then I was an actor, so I had to be very sensitive to words. Typography, too, has always fascinated me. Later, while I was working as a script editor at the BBC, I began to write scripts. Nothing got picked up, but it led me towards screenwriting and filmmaking. And I began concurrently to find things in my own experience that suggested prose. I wrote a first novel, which has gone back into the figurative bottom drawer for now, and then embarked on The Lightman System.
Could you tell us more about your other work as a screenwriter and script editor?
Film is very important to me, so it’s thrilling and daunting to be writing it. The obvious distinction between that and what I’m trying to do in prose is that you can’t explore directly, except in voice-over, the internal movements of someone’s mind. And since I’m really interested in that, I have to find other – visual, aural, textural, dynamic – ways to express it. So I’m a bit obsessed with point-of-view; how it changes what the film looks like, how it suggests where the camera should be, and a lot more. I can go on about this, frankly, and I often do when I’m working with other writers. But my work with them is also a way of exploring. We have a conversation about their film that expands to theme and closes in on a single moment; we’re as likely to be talking about the writer’s own experience as we are with the rhythm of a dialogue exchange or a cut from scene to scene. With luck, this sometimes-sinuous path leads to greater clarity for the writer.
Was there a significant person in your life that encouraged you to write?
Several. My mum did, and I had a couple of very good English teachers at secondary school who were really alert to the fact that I was excited by language. Then, years later, I was working at the BBC and having a conversation with an agent who was also a writer; a fairly unusual combination. He told me quite bluntly that I should get on with it and write, and I’m very grateful to him. The producers Brian Eastman and Alex Thiele have put a touching amount of trust in me. Latterly, among all the many encouragements that I’ve received from friends, the one that pops out is from a writer called Albyn Leah Hall. I might not have written The Lightman System without her nudging.
Could you tell us something about your creative process?
I try to write enough that I don’t leave my desk annoyed at myself. That doesn’t necessarily mean a number of pages (though it’s always gratifying); it can just mean that I’ve done something I know will be useful. That could be some background exploration, such as notes on a character, or research, or it could be a walk – to let my thoughts reverse out of a cul-de-sac and wander more freely. Actually a lot of the little, significant realisations arrive when I’m cycling.
Who are your favourite writers? And which writers are you influenced by?
This is one of the most welcome and most difficult questions anyone could ask. The list, obviously, is much too long.
The writers I keep coming back to, the ones I believe get closest to the world as I understand it, are Chekhov, W.G. Sebald and George Eliot. George Saunders is, to me, a new but big discovery. I also admire Anne Tyler enormously, and during lockdown I discovered Sherwood Anderson. Geoff Dyer makes me laugh aloud. I want to go on. Actually I will go on for a second, because there are playwrights: Chekhov again, Shakespeare – as an actor I’ve been lucky enough to live with several of his plays for a lot of performances, and I kept hearing new things. And screenwriters, who tend to get lost behind the director’s name – so a quiet shout for Kôgo Noda, who worked with the great Ozu.
And lyricists! John Prine, Bob Dylan, Gillian Welch, Aimee Mann, Andrew Phillips, Cole Porter and Randy Newman.
As far as influence goes, with the understanding that influence isn’t necessarily discernible either in style or talent, I guess you could say that Hemingway was there before I read it. And Anne Tyler for sure: trying to stay simple so you don’t get in the way of the important things.
What is your favourite novel?
Another impossible question, but I’ll say Middlemarch and The Rings of Saturn because they both expanded my view without seeming to try. At number 3, I might say American Pastoral by Philip Roth. I know it was supposed to be just one, but sorry.
Why The Lightman System, now?
The simple answer is that I had to write it. A friend suggested that The Lightman System is ‘the story of a quest for understanding’, and that goes for me as well as for the characters.
I also think that, as terms like ‘mental health’ have become so much a part of everyday language, it’s timely. I wanted to write my way into the complex experience of two people whose lives are being changed, radically, subtly, by internal storms. Like any fiction, it doesn’t offer answers, but I hope it affects perceptions. On a similar note, I had great help in my research from an eminent psychiatrist, who described the book as being an incidental portrait of the development of modern psychiatry.
Do you have any thoughts about your experience of independent publishers?
Wrecking Ball is my experience, and it’s revelatory. Apart from sharing their name with a great song by Gillian Welch, they have a seriously intelligent view of book design, which is more than refreshing.
What else are you working on and what does the future hold for you?
I’m halfway through the first draft for a new novel, I’m hoping to make a short film I’ve written later this year, and I’m working on two feature projects. In case that sounds grand, none of it is commissioned, and films may be even harder to get off the ground than books.
What would you say to someone who was keen to write, and would like to see their words published?
It’s usually very hard to get published, but in the end this is not why you do it. It took me around five years, alongside other work, to go through several drafts of The Lightman System. It was, from the publishing point of view, a complete gamble. Lots of people said no, or ignored my letters entirely. But for the activity of writing, it went from tears, frustration and sinking doubt to moments of real freedom and revelation. I’m still writing, and I expect to continue that very uneven journey. Honestly, if you want to do it, you’re probably already doing it in your head; so welcome to the caravan!
I’m also privileged to be in a writing group – on the invitation of Albyn Leah Hall – which consists of several extremely talented writers, all of whom I admire and respect a lot. That means that the process I’ve described (all those drafts) was not done alone. Not only did I feel supported by my colleagues, but they were tough, detailed and frankly relentless critics. That meant I had the courage to continue, and the material with which to do so. So if you can gain a support network of people you trust, that’s a really great thing. I know some writers work in isolation, but there’s enough isolation in the process already without actually being cut off from intelligent views and kindly voices. I could not have written this book without those people.
What are your hopes and dreams for the book?
Of course I hope a lot of people will read it, that it will move most of them (well, all of them, naturally), and that it might gain some recognition beyond that. But mainly, I genuinely want it to expand people’s perceptions.
Anything else you’d like to add?
One thing in particular. I’m ridiculously lucky that my partner has stayed kind, insightful and encouraging through my many moments of collapse.
The Lightman System can be pre-ordered from Wrecking Ball Press at
OUT NOW: Persons Unknown - The Battle for Sheffield's Street Trees

OUT NOW: Persons Unknown – The Battle for Sheffield’s Street Trees

Persons Unknown – The Battle for Sheffield’s Street Trees has been published by Wrecking Ball Press.
In 2012 Sheffield City Council and the Department of Transport signed a twenty-five-year contract with Amey PLC to renew the city’s highways in a programme titled ‘Streets Ahead’, costing £2.2 billion of public money.
That contract has never been made publicly available. As a result of persistent Freedom of Information requests, we now know that it includes the following clause: Amey ‘shall replace the highways trees in accordance with the annual tree management programme at a rate of not less than 200 per year so that 17,500 highway trees are replaced by the end of the term’.
For three years residents took ‘non-violent direct action’ (NVDA) to prevent the unnecessary felling of healthy street trees. This is their story, a story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things in the service of their community. All the chapters consist of original first-hand accounts of events from the perspective of people who were involved.
Calvin Payne and Simon Crump have deliberately stepped back from an authorial role, allowing their fellow protesters to speak for themselves, and often the stark truths told are all the more shocking for that.
With a Foreword by Nick Hayes, Introduction by Paul Brooke and Afterword by Christine King.

National Poetry Day 2021 – Vicky Foster’s The Constant Parade

Hull’s High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) and Humber Mouth Literature Festival have partnered with Wrecking Ball Press to commission Whitefriargate’s poet-in-residence for 2021, Vicky Foster.

Drawing on the street’s rich history and its long-standing role in the story of the city and the people who live and work on Whitefriargate, Vicky has written ‘The Constant Parade’.

Launching on National Poetry Day on Thursday 7 October, this short film of Vicky reading the poem, made by Wrecking Ball Press, will be seen on the big screen in Trinity Market Food Hall.

The poem will also be stencilled on the pavement at six locations along Whitefriargate.

The project has been funded by Historic England as part of Hull’s High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) and forms part of the Community Engagement Plan.

Vicky Foster is an award-winning writer, performer and poet who has broadcast extensively across the BBC. She has published two collections of writing and is currently working on her first novel whilst studying for a PhD in English and Creative Writing. She won The Society of Authors’ Imison Award at the 2020 BBC Audio Drama Awards for her Radio 4 play ‘Bathwater’, and last year her Radio 4 documentary, ‘Can I Talk About Heroes?’ was reviewed in the national media. She has written poetry for radio, podcast and TV, delivered writing projects and creative writing workshops for all kinds of organisations, and performed at festivals and events across the North. She is a writer-in-residence for First Story, working with schools to help young people write their own stories.

Find out more 

Wrecking Ball Press:

Humber Mouth:

Historic England:

Poet Interview: Carla Mellor

Carla MellorCarla Mellor’s debut poetry collection Scraps will be published in October by Wrecking Ball Press.
Naturally, we love Scraps – but don’t just take our word for it. 
“Carla reminds us to love our rough edges and embrace the imperfect. A candid and crucial first collection from a bright new voice.” Toria Garbutt
“Common but not commonplace, lyrical and luminescent. If you like early Armitage, karaoke, Cooper Clarke, cans of Carling, Garry and Garbutt, and growing up working class, you’ll love this book of bitter-sweet poetry from an up-and-coming Northern star.” Louise Fazackerley
“Microscopic reflections. Half answered questions, half answered.”Mike Garry
We caught up with Carla to find out more about her work, writing in dialect and her route into poetry. She also described independent publishers as “normal”, which is the nicest thing anyone has ever said about us. 
How would you describe this collection?
Nostalgic would be the main word that springs to mind. Although it’s not entirely autobiographical it is heavily influenced by my childhood and teen years spent between Sowerby Bridge, a small Yorkshire mill town, and Withernsea, a rural Yorkshire coastal town.
When did you start writing these poems in the collection and how long did this body of work take to complete?
I started writing poetry back in 2018, so it’s been building up nicely since then. I’d say 2020 was my most productive year in terms of producing poetry.
Tell us about the cover design and the collection’s title?
I really wanted to call it Broken Biscuits to be honest, but there seemed to be a fair few books out there with the same title. In the end I felt like scraps paid homage to the seaside town where I landed my first job, at a chip shop – but also summarised my poetry as they’re all just small scraps of writing really – nothing too long.
What is the importance of place to you as a poet?
All I ever wanted to do was write, but I struggled finishing anything longer than a poem. I put my poor concentration down to lack of ambition and focus but was recently diagnosed with ADHD. That diagnosis helped me to stop beating myself up and to embrace what I (seemed to) have a natural talent for – short, succinct poems.
You write in a northern dialect. Tell us more about the reasons why?
I just want the reader to hear the poem as it would be performed as spoken word. I remember reading the Colour Purple about a decade ago and the thing I loved the most about it was how it was written how the protagonist spoke.
Why these poems, now?
Why not? I think poetry is becoming more accessible to people and I hope I can contribute to that. I remember the feeling of dread pulling out my GCSE anthology in English and knowing I wouldn’t be able to understand half of it. Obviously there were other people in the class who could, and who probably enjoyed it, and that’s great. But i think there needs to be an alternative option too.
Who do you consider the audience for your poetry to be?
People who don’t like poetry. People who do like poetry. Anyone and everyone really.
What experience do you want readers of your collection to have?
Just to enjoy it, maybe even think “if she can do it anyone can” and have a go themselves.
Poetry on the page, or on the stage?
Ah it depends on the poem, there’s some stuff in scraps I wouldn’t perform and others that I would.
Can you tell us something about your journey into creative writing?
It was always something I’d dabbled with and never really picked up fully. I think confidence and self belief come with age, and having the right people around you. My fiance Tash has always pushed me with my poetry and I’m really grateful for that.
Could you tell us something about your creative process? 
Nothing about me is disciplined or organised, unfortunately! I tend to get a thought or a feeling and just go with it, get as much down as possible and then edit it or add to it later.
How do you feel as your debut collection is about to be published?
It’s absolutely unreal. When I was a kid, about 6, I remember saying to myself “when I grow up i’m going to write a book”. And it’s never left me really, it’s always been the one thing i’ve wanted to do with my life, and to achieve it is the best feeling ever.
Who are the poets that you admire, and why?
There’s a few – Toria Garbutt, Louise Fazackerley, Mike Garry, Matt Abbott, and of course John Cooper Clarke. I think they all just own their truth and speak it. It’s accessible and relatable.
What would you say to someone who was keen to express themselves through poetry?
Just go for it!
Do you have any plans to perform the works from this collection in public?
Yes, absolutely. I live in Wigan so i’ll be popping up at numerous places across the North West in the coming months but also hoping to travel further afield too.
Do you have any thoughts about your experience of independent publishers?
It’s really warming how nice everyone has been, and how normal too!
Scraps can be ordered from Wrecking Ball Press at

National Poetry Day 2021: A poem for Whitefriargate

Vicky Foster

Hull’s Whitefriargate is the inspiration for a new poem that will be unveiled on the historic street on National Poetry Day on Thursday (7 October).

Vicky Foster, Whitefriargate’s poet-in-residence for 2021, has written a new poem, drawing on the street’s rich history and its long-standing role in the story of the city and the people who live and work there.

Hull’s High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) partnered with Humber Mouth literature festival and Wrecking Ball Press to commission the poem.

Vicky said: “It was important to me to write a poem that captured a sense of both the history of the street and the spirit of the people who’ve built that history. But also, that the poem ended with the idea of possibility and thinking about what might come next, because history and identity are constantly changing and we get to make choices about what happens next and how we take care of our places.”

The poem will be stencilled on the pavement at 6 locations along Whitefriargate for National Poetry Day on Thursday 7 October.

Two short films made by Wrecking Ball Press will also be released for National Poetry Day – one of Vicky reading the poem (which will be available to watch in Trinity Market) and one of her talking about the inspiration behind her poem. Both films can be found online via the Humber Mouth website after 7 October.

Councillor Rosemary Pantelakis, portfolio holder for culture at Hull City Council, said: “Whitefriargate is a key part of our heritage. The historic street is one of the most recognisable and much-loved places in our city, so it’s fantastic to see projects like this unearthing stories and celebrating its rich history.”

Whitefriargate has been at the heart of the historical, cultural and contemporary life of Hull’s people. Whether this relates to the city refusing entry to Charles I in 1642, its part in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, Wilberforce’s role in the abolition of slavery, or the various fashion trends and pop cultures of the swinging sixties, punk rock or house music eras.

Chris Collett, Public Engagement Manager for Historic England in Yorkshire, said: “Whitefriargate has a rich heritage, which has provided a great source of inspiration for Vicky’s poem. We are really pleased to be funding this project through the High Street Heritage Action Zone and look forward to experiencing this new tribute to the historic street.”

The project has been funded by Historic England as part of Hull’s High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) and delivered in partnership with Humber Mouth literature festival and Wrecking Ball Press and forms part of the Community Engagement Plan.

Whitefriargate has benefitted from £1m from the Humber LEP’s Humber High Street Challenge Fund and secured £1.75m from Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) programme.

Hull City Council has also been awarded a £100,000 grant from Historic England as part of the Whitefriargate High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) to create and deliver community-led cultural activities on the high street over the next three years.

OUT TODAY: John Newsham's Killing The Horses

OUT TODAY: John Newsham’s Killing The Horses

John Newsham’s novel Killing The Horses is published today (August 10) by Wrecking Ball Press.

In the woods the earth made myths. Angry myths. Savage myths. Myths that could kill…

Set on the outskirts of Bradford over the course of a single day, Killing The Horses follows Ryan and Liam, teenagers skiving off school in the woods at the edge of the city. But the woods hold secrets. Dark secrets. And the landscape aches with the violence of all that has been done there.

There is blood on the ground and a sickness in the earth. As the memory of what has happened there climbs back out of the hillside, the boys learn that they are too entangled in the savagery of the land around them to be able to separate themselves from it.

Killing The Horses is rooted in the landscape and dialect of West Yorkshire and fuses realism with the mythical. It brings the macabre and darkly-religious world of the American Southern Gothic to the north of England.

The short story version of Killing The Horses was longlisted in the 2018 Manchester Fiction Prize run by Carol-Ann Duffy.

John Newsham’s other writing credits include fiction publication in the Fortnightly Review, winning a Dorothy Rosenberg Prize for ‘young poets of unusual promise’ from the University of Berkeley, and the Grist first-place prize for poetry describing place, from the University of Huddersfield. He has performed at numerous literary festivals around Yorkshire including the Ted Hughes Festival, the York Takeover Festival, the Leeds Lit Festival and the Bradford Literature Festival. John is also a teacher of A-Level English Literature and Language.

Killing The Horses can be purchased directly from Wrecking Ball Press at

To request review copies or for further information email

PRESS RELEASE: Talitha Wing's debut collection out now

PRESS RELEASE: Talitha Wing’s debut collection out now

Title: The Things I Learnt And The Things I Still Don’t Know About

Pages : 124

Cover : Paperback

Language : English

Publisher : Wrecking Ball Press

ISBN : 978-1903110836

Released : 26.07.2021

Talitha Wing‘s debut poetry collection The Things I Learnt And The Things I Still Don’t Know About has been published by Wrecking Ball Press. 

This debut poetry collection from writer and thrilling live performer of spoken word and poetry Talitha Wing will propel Talitha to prominence in the world of poetry and spoken word. The honest, raw and intimate nature of the poetry in this debut will make a positive impact on your life.

Within the pages of The Things I Learnt and the Things I Still Don’t Know About, Talitha presents a collection of work that provides a voice for those who, like her, refuse to be categorised and labelled. Talitha explores the ambiguities of the journey into adulthood, self-acceptance and what it means to be ‘other’ in a manner that will resonate with readers. 

Talitha is an actor, writer and poet, based in London and Vienna. Talitha’s debut play Socks was commissioned by Paines Plough for the nationwide Come To Where I’m From program in 2019. Talitha’s next play will be She Calls Me Crazy, currently in development with TBA Productions. 

Poets can spend years finding their voice but Talitha writes with the same level of self-assurance, passion and determination that are evident in her spoken word performances. We should all be thankful that she’s picked up her weapon of choice in order to get these poems onto the page and is now ready to share them with the world. The Things I Learnt and the Things I Still I Don’t Know About is as vital and exhilarating as poetry gets. 

Talitha said: “To me this collection is a journey into adulthood, a raw and real look at discovering ones identity, and all the experiences, thoughts and feelings that come along with that, both extremely exciting, utterly confusing and often a mountain sized challenge. From the first time using a tampon, to heartbreak, dealing with mental health and everything in between.

”I want readers to be able to get lost in the words, the world and the story of the collection. I hope it is accessible and easy to digest – I love that poetry doesn’t have to be elitist, fancy and traditional (I love poetry like that too sometimes) but my style is hopefully quite down to earth! I want them to feel how I feel when I listen to a Beyoncé album.

“I’d say that this collection is mostly for young people, young adults and adolescents – but also for anyone who has felt different, unseen, or unheard. It is a love letter to young women.”

The Things I Learnt and the Things I Still I Don’t Know About can be purchased directly from Wrecking Ball Press at

To request review copies or for further information email

Our arts venue receives £100,000 grant

Our arts venue receives £100,000 grant

Wrecking Ball Music & Books, on Whitefriargate, has received a £100,000 grant from the Humber LEP’s Humber High Street Challenge Fund.

The store, which moved from Princes Quay to Whitefriargate last year, is the latest business to receive funding as part of Hull City Council’s Whitefriargate regeneration project.

Wrecking Ball opened its retail offer in November and has plans to open its arts venue and café later this year.

Owner Shane Rhodes said: “We are excited by the council’s plans for Whitefriargate. When we opened before Christmas we had a fantastic response from the public and it was clear that there is a demand for this sort of retail offer in the area.

“When we open the arts venue and café we will be able to draw even more people to the area and contribute to the fantastic regeneration happening on the historic street.

“Customers still like and want social contact. The high street gives people the opportunity to browse and time to choose their purchases – it is not just about acquiring something.

“The independent sector can offer something different and can respond to local needs. Our offer will be diverse with retail and hospitality downstairs and an arts venue upstairs. We see this as an opportunity to innovate and be creative with a fantastic space in an historic area of the city.”

The Whitefriargate regeneration project includes a number of grant schemes and funding projects.

Whitefriargate has benefitted from £1m from the Humber LEP’s Humber High Street Challenge Fund and secured £1.75m from Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) programme.

Funding can be used to undertake building and conversion projects that animate high streets, diversify the traditional high street offer and bring unused floor space back into use.

The High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme can also fund lighting and interpretation improvements.

Councillor Daren Hale, portfolio holder for economic investment and regeneration at Hull City Council, said: “Momentum is really starting to gather now on Whitefriargate and it is fantastic to see so many exciting and diverse businesses and projects receiving funding.

“The council has made the regeneration of this vital thoroughfare a key part of our plans for the city centre. We have secured millions of pounds of funding already from Historic England and the Humber LEP, and will continue to support and invest in the historic street and our fantastic Old Town.”

Contains Strong Language 2020

BBC Contains Strong Language

Wrecking Ball Press is delighted to partner with the BBC once again on BBC Contains Strong Language.

The partnership has seen three previous Contains Strong Language festivals delivered in Hull, from 2017-2019. For 2020, the UK’s largest festival of poetry and spoken word has relocated to Cumbria.

The festival takes place from September 25-27 at multiple locations that include Wordsworth Grasmere, Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness. Live coverage of the festival will see events on BBC Arts BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4 with additional programmes on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds.

To find out more about Contains Strong Language 2020, view the brochure below and visit, where you can also view highlights from previous festivals.

Wrecking Ball Press Book Club

Poetry and prose from Wrecking Ball to you.

Imagine a Wrecking Ball Press title delivered to your door every single month. That’s what the Wrecking Ball Press Book Club is all about.

Here’s how it works – for just £80 we will send you a book on the same day every month for a year. The first book you will receive is your choice* – simply go through our back catalogue and pick the book you want.

After that we’ll select books for you from literary legends such as Ben Myers, Dan Fante, Roddy Lumsden, Geoff Hattersley, Niall Griffiths and exciting voices like Shirley May, Toria Garbutt, celeste doaks, Vicky Foster, Isaiah Hull, Barney Farmer, Dean Wilson, Andy Fletcher and Peter Knaggs.

So what are you waiting for? Join the Wrecking Ball Press Book Club, include all your contact details and, in the order notes, your choice of first book and we will add you to our lovely list of literature lovers who will be getting a year’s worth of words, one month at a time.

The £80 cost is fully inclusive of postage and packing, so the Wrecking Ball Press Book Club is great value for lovers of poetry and fiction.

So what are you waiting for? Head here to sign up:

*excludes The City Speaks.