Over 190 pages, over 150 poems, over 100 poets on play, including some of our nation’s most celebrated wordsmiths, plus many more perceptive and playful poets from here, there and everywhere! Poets in the book include Carol Ann Duffy, Matt Harvey, Roger McGough, Ian McMillan, Alice Oswald, Brian Patten, A E Stallings, George Szirtes and many more.
The book also features over a dozen full colour illustrations, including work by South West artists and illustrators, Hannah Broadway (cover), Carol Ballenger, Paula Cloonan, Veronica Gosling, Claudia Schmid, Tom Williams and Reuben’s playmate, Juno Joy Cadbury.
PLAY is a heart-warming publication, lovingly designed and edited by Susan Taylor and Simon Williams in memory of their grandson, Reuben Sylvan Williams, who was killed in a car crash in December 2017. In the aftermath of this tragedy, a major fundraising project was launched in order to commission a new interactive play park in Reuben’s memory. Many wonderful events have happened. They’ve covered everything from triathlons to classical music concerts. The PLAY anthology is just part of this monumental communal effort.
All of our poets and artists have put pen to paper and, as Sheila Aldous says in her poem, One day all this,
they have made
a hubble bubble place,
a running, jumping about place,
sparkling in the fizz of laughter,
a place where play
is free and memories are dear.
Play is such an essential activity for all ages – we feel it's amazing that, as far as we know, there has never been an anthology of poems on the subject before. Poems in this ground-breaking book cover all aspects of fun activities, from hopscotch to cricket, shadow puppets to computer games and rock climbing to the quiet and reflective activity of reading, which just has to be included, naturally!
And now… this superb set of poems continues to raise funds for a project to plant a willow tunnel and other natural elements to extend the interactive capacity of Reuben’s Play Park on Vire Island in Totnes. We already have a beautiful sculptural play structure funded by the major efforts of so many people. It was designed and built by Earth Wrights of Dartington. We are very grateful to all of those people who have donated to this project and to Earth Wrights for their generosity, which has helped us along the way considerably.
Susan, Simon & Brian Patten, Launch at Ways With Words – Jul. 2019
Launch in The Royal Seven Stars, Totnes – Dec. 2018