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Phoenix New Writing Arising from the Warwick Writing Programme

Originally published 25 July 2003

Coventry, like any other city,

Has its moments and momentos, of war,

Development, and death, but the pity,

Is, they say, it has no heart, only more

People struggling to live a decent life

Between the Giro and the grave, catching

Buses, going ‘up to town’ with a wife

Who looks for bargains for the kids, snatching

Time, when time permits, for passing pleasure

Of a drink with friends. Cathedral? So what?

‘City’ lost again, the rent is due. Treasure

In heaven maybe. Here, races mix and plot

Revenge, babies are born and homes are made.

The Crem expands; like cars, a dying trade.

Fred Holland (2003) Coventry. In: Phoenix New Writing (David Morley, ed.), p141. Coventry: The Heaventree Press

Yesterday saw the launch of the new poetry anthology Phoenix New Writing edited by the Warwick Writing Programme Director David Morley.

David has worked with over three thousand individuals and various city institutions to reclaim the city culturally through creative writing. The City’s Phoenix Initiative commissioned the project, which was supported by among others the West Midlands Arts Board and The Arts Council of England.

David sums it up by saying “The process of this project has been a huge success for the city of Coventry. And the outcome, this book, is only one finale, a sharp illumination, of that journey."

The contributors to the book range from age seven to eighty-five and the common ground for all of the pieces is Coventry itself. David explains “Some writers choose to write about Coventry (its histories and its people), but most of the writing is free – rightly – to the place itself where it wishes, whether in the observed, remembered or the imagined world.”

If you want to read more from Phoenix New Writing, the book is in the Sutherland Staff Lounge. Or to buy the book contact Jon Morley Tel: 07833 150277 Email:

If you have one of your books to donate to the Sutherland Staff Lounge please send it to Casey Leaver, Communications Office, Senate House.