Words from before the world went quiet

This Rome drowns slowly - Words from before the world went quiet - cover image

Here comes the new anthology!

It’s called ‘This Rome drowns slowly’, and it’s at the printers. The official publication date will be 14th May, but free copies will be on their way to all concerned, including of course, the authors, as soon as we receive them.

These being strange times, the book won’t be going to the distributors immediately, and bookshops are currently in hibernation but the book will be available to order from your local bookshop and online stores.

Here’s Mandy Pannett’s commentary on the poetry

Here’s Jocelyn Simms on the flash fiction

Here’s the editor’s comments on the stories, and the introduction to the book….

We were amazed by the range and the depth of the subject matter in this year’s short story offerings. In the final read, the contenders for first place were The Volunteer Steward by Cedric Fox-Kirk which so skilfully takes the reader back a century and a half that it’s hard to believe it’s a contemporary piece, Long Black Veil by Sadie Thompson, with its beautiful character-portrait built into a plot with a real kick, and Twelve Bar Blues by Mike Wade, the story of a guitar which I defy anyone to read without hearing the sound track – but all the stories in this anthology were nudging for a top place along the way. Together, the set strike me as a gallery of humankind’s epic struggles for life – struggles against ourselves, each other, and all the extremes our environment throws at us.

Short and long, prose and poetry, the works from all three short lists seemed to rise up at me with new meaning while we were proofing and preparing to publish – with all of us under semi-voluntary house-arrest due to the covid19 situation, it would be so easy to start thinking the authors had all been having premonitions. I looked again at the lines from the poems that lingered in my mind, ‘Today, the cloth of the cosmos/came undone…’ (George Payne, p73), ‘There is a forest that I return to…’ (George Payne, p79), ‘This living room/is losing the plot…’ (Roger Elkin, p82) and ‘For my grandmother lies all alone/In a widow’s wide warmthless bed…’ (R D Gardner, p83) and then I looked at Tony Noon’s Rome Drowns Slowly, and there was the title of the anthology looking back at me. I hope you enjoy the book, and I really, really wonder what we’ll all be doing this time next year.

This Rome Drowns Slowly

Words from before the world went quiet Published quietly, during lockdown, featuring poems and flash fiction from the winners of the 2019 Earlyworks Press competitions. Direct from the publisher, post free to UK addresses


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