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Peter Street's blog covers a variety of publications by the author - the latest being a memoir of his days as a gravedigger in the 1960s. The blog also follows the launch of his fifth poetry volume 'Listening to the Dark', which was published by Penniless Press in August 2012.

Rite of Passage - a gravedigger's memoir

13 May 2013

Blog

Grave-digging was hazardous work back in the 1960s. There was very little machinery: graves were still largely dug by spade. There were no Health-and-Safety rules. Opening up a grave, after however many years, to inter a new member of the family, was anything but healthy or safe. The typical gravediggers who I met were hard men: ex-Marines, night club bouncers, bare-knuckle boxers. But I am physically small, and have struggled all my life with epilepsy and dyspraxia, which got me sacked from...

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The Moon Marble company in Kansas City

28 December 2012

Blog

photo of rows of glass jars full of glass marbles with exotic names

The sun was hitting eighty in Kansas City and we had just refreshed our water bottles in the local supermarket. I was touring the States to launch my latest collection published by Penniless Press, 'Listening to the Dark.' After reading my poem about reaching the dizzy heights of local marble champion in my home town of Bolton when I was a youngster, Professor Fred Whitehead could resist giving me a guided tour around The Moon Marble Company, 600 East Front Street, Bonner Springs,...

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Day Seven

26 November 2012

Blog

The sun was hitting ninety degrees. Fred reminded me I would need at least two bottles of water to keep hydrated. So with shorts,t-shirts and sandals we hit the road again. Within a few minutes I knew the day was going to be different. Ok, maybe he should have told me we were going into the desert. Maybe I wouldn't have been as nervous about the rattle snakes and the one scorpion we saw scuttling past us in the midday sun. But my  hands were now feeling like they were going to burst...

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Leaving Kansas City

21 October 2012

Blog

a photo of two american wagons

Day 6 of the tour of my launch of 'Listening to the Dark' across the US. There is something strange about leaving Kansas City. It's a bit like feeling you have lost something, but you don't know what? There is more to the place than meets the eye and I definitely had a feeling that I was missing out on whatever was hiding there. Whatever it was I would catch it on my return from New Mexico about one thousand miles south of  this wonderful city. Everywhere I looked in and...

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Mad Fish and Epilepsy

15 October 2012

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Day 5 of the tour of my launch of 'Listening to the Dark' across the US. Eight in the evening of my second night and hungry, so Fred took me down to Mad Jacks fish place. He promised it was the best fish place in the universe. I had never eaten 'pike' especially coated in corn flour. My dear lord it was amazing. So too was the whole experience of the fish shop itself.  With  permission I took their photo'.  I even got a kiss from one of the workers who had...

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Surreal: of course! What else is there?

12 October 2012

Blog

photo of lifesize cardboard cut-out of artist outside his house

Fred and Me hit an early morning road on our tour of my launch of 'Listening to the Dark' across the US. There are things to do and things to see like the work of Thomas Hart Benton, regional artist, whose work is breathtaking. Late summer was hanging on to the heat as much as possible before giving up the fight to autumn. First stop Benton's house; brilliant, especially when the man himself who had died thirty odd years before was waiting to greet us. Surreal was just beginning......

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Mad dogs and me

8 October 2012

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photo of an elderly man sitting on a bench on 16th Street, Kansas City

16th Street, Kansas City the late summer heat was hitting 90. I walked a mile or so down onto Central Street where I was expecting hustles and bustles of every size and colour. It was a walk into a nothing; not one human being, cat or dog was in sight. So I turned right towards the Mexican quarters. Ok my conversational Spanish is not as good as it should be; by that I mean, I don't really know any. Still no signs of humanity. Determined to find someone I turned round and walked another...

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Taking secrets to Kansas

28 September 2012

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photo in airport lounge

Airport:  there is something rather strange about going through check-in especially with assistants waiting for me. Wonderful really, a first: leaving able bodied passengers standing their gobs wide open while watching me walk through to the boarding gate. I'd never flown through clouds; even as  far back as childhood I thought they were something mystical, wrapped around some kind of secret; a light moveable secret. Those  were my thoughts lying in Astley Bridge park in the...

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Expedition: Launching 'Listening to the Dark' in Albuquerque

14 September 2012

Blog

black and white photo of the poet as a young lad, being held by his mother

America, for most never happens. Free-Thinking founder, Fred Whitehead was making it happen for me thanks to: Disability Arts Online, my Royal Literary Funding grant and James Morrison's:  "Accidental Poet" Guardian: 17th December 2008. September 18th 2012: I am about to launch my sixth poetry collection: Listening To The Dark (Penniless Press) in Albuquerque via Kansas City. Professor Fred Whitehead (retired) University of Missouri has a keen interest in what he calls...

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Comments

Trish Wheatley

/
13 May 2013

Sounds like a fascinating read. I'll add it to my booklist!

jacqueline louise davies (nee sharrock)

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2 November 2012

I'm Peter's cousin, my Mum was his Mum's sister. I recognise Peter as a young lad and his Mum, Aunty Kitty, on the front cover of his latest publication! My Mum was Patricia Conroy. I think that Peter should be very proud of what he's acheived, it was great to recently see a piece written about him and his journey around America in the local paper.

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