A satisfyingly solid package thudded onto the doormat the other day, my copy of the long-awaited Birdbook 1, from Sidekick Books.
It's an anthology of bird poetry from contemporary writers, along with artwork for each species, and it contains work from (deep breath...) Rachael Allen, Rowyda Amin, Hannah Bagshaw, Becky Barnicoat, Simon Barraclough, Julia Bird, Niall Campbell, Michael Chance, Tom Chivers, Hanna Terese Christiansson, Monika Cilmi, John Clegg, Dave Coates, Phil Cooper, Lois Cordelia, Lorna Crabbe, Caroline Crew, Nia Davies, Lizzy Dening, Isobel Dixon, Philip Elbourne, Dai George, Matthew Gregory, Cliff Hammett, Aiko Harman, Emily Hasler, Holly Hopkins, Nicholas Hughes, i-lib, Kirsten Irving, Andrew Jamison, Amy Key, Judith Lal, Alexandra Lazar, Natalie Lazarus, Katherine Leedale, Roddy Lumsden, Edward Mackay, Marion McCready, Siofra McSherry, Kate Parkinson, Saroj Patel, Kate Potts, Richard Price, Fiona Purves, Declan Ryan, Bethany Settle, Jon Stone, Jennie Webber, James Wilkes, Chrissy Williams and myself.
That's a lot of birds, a lot of poetry, a lot of art, and a lot of kudos due to Sidekick's driving forces, Jon Stone and Kirsten Irving, with the 156 handsome pages costing you just £10.
While you're over there, have a look at Sidekick's other publications (all produced to the same high standard), and their rather splendid website, which contains some really excellent reviews, among other features.
Oh, and my four poems in the book (all previously unpublished) are Bullfinch; Watching Woodcocks, 25.4.10; ID (about Collared Doves) and Evidence (about Long-eared Owls).
I'll be returning to this book soon with a look at a few of the other poets featured, but in the meantime, get hold of a copy, and enjoy.