#MondayMusing with Guest: Isabelle Kenyon @kenyon_isabelle @fly_press

A product of contemplation; a thought: "an elegant tapestry of quotations, musings, aphorisms, and autobiographical reflections" (James Atlas).

Today I would like to welcome Isabelle Kenyon to the blog. Isabelle is Editor of Fly on the Wall Poetry Press. She has popped by to talk about poetry collection, Persona Non Grata and also to put Homelessness in the Spotlight. There are also a couple of wonderful examples of poetry from the collection. 

Persona Non Grata is packed with exceptional poets writing on the theme of social exclusion.
With interpretations exploring our refugee crises globally, physical and mental illness, homelessness, addiction and family estrangement, the anthology fundraises for two important and vital charities: 'Shelter' and 'Crisis Aid UK'.

Sample poetry:

By Debbie Walsh

                   We watched them leaving my little brother and me
   And we stood gazing gaping as they shifted
From parents to corn stalks in over-filled carriages
                     And the train just repeated: ‘God-angst God- angst.’

Michael held his teddy bear in a small gloved hand
                   And held me, almost whole, gloved in the other.

                                    Looking into his dark eyes; innocence pooled
                   Shouting softly, pouring hope into my heart.

 I squeezed his hand and smiled.

          Somewhere there were tears, tragedy ploughed through this
                        Half-closed platform – what would yield more than fear?

                                               In the distance, a train like a tamed ancient
                                Beast drew breath-beating to a halt.

                 I swung him upon my hip.

 Limping he would fall beneath the dragon toothed
           Crush of brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers,


                            Safely seated on my safely seated knee, I felt the bite of his
             Ice cold face warm. My fingers staccato through his hair.

                            His palm sized head.

                          Fear is noiseless; love is noiseless, felt like lightning
 Forks gripping each before a fall. Thunder in your Soul.

                 I didn’t know that time was darkness and breath-ticked
Everywhere. I was smiling into Papa’s face waking:

                      Waking. My trousers wetted and a huge tear in the
           Corner of Michael’s eye. I hugged him. Nodded okay.

There was a huge departing crush.

          All I could see was an arm, a hand, a finger pointing
                                 A finger in the air pointing right or left. Michael stood
   By my side.

RIGHT. Said the finger.
                LEFT. Said the finger.

            His glove slipped as they tore him away
Huge eyes kissing mine. Huge eyes kissing mine.

Originally published in ‘21 Poems' published in the USA by Linda J. Langham, 2007.

The roof’s not free
By Rose Drew

If you escape at night
cos your mom’s insane
[beating you with sticks not cool
at 17]
Walk off to the pub,
find some friends,
end up at theirs –
but she’s not in…

‘The roof’s not free’ he says
sex pest
sex pest
if I don’t say yes & don’t NOT say no can I stay

Nothing’s free
and he’s bigger than me
and he covers me
and I seem to sleep,

Dawn comes: I go.
Teddy can never know!
I’ll avoid her now:
another loss that night

Hope she someday
what he is like.

Homelessness in the spotlight:
Award winning editor launches political poetry collection ‘Persona Non Grata’.

With the global refugee crises being very much in the media at present, it is timely that a collection of poems should be published, which goes to the heart of how it feels to be displaced from society. Inspired by the concept of social exclusion, the collection, ‘Persona Non Grata’, which features exceptional poets across the globe, explores themes including homelessness, loneliness and mental health.
All profits from the book will be donated to Shelter and Crisis Aid UK. Isabelle, who is the editor of small press, Fly on the Wall Poetry, hopes that with the support of her readers, and the 45 poets involved in the anthology, she will raise an incredible amount for charity, providing support and advice for anyone who finds themselves homeless.

Isabelle said, “I am thrilled and proud to have edited and compiled this anthology to raise money for charity. This has been a brave, yet thrilling project which aims to give a voice to those who feel alienated from society for whatever reason. Reading the work of so many talented poets and being granted access to their inner thoughts, has been a great privilege. Knowing that the money we raise will be used to improve the lives of those who find themselves displaced, throughout the UK, is humbling.”

Shelter commented: “We are delighted that 'Fly on the Wall Poetry Press publishes charitable anthologies - and anthology 'Persona Non Grata' is packed with poetry inspired by the concept of social exclusion. Without support such as this we would not be able to support the people who reach out to us for help with housing issues and homelessness. Thank you so much to everyone involved.” - Lindsay Tilston Jones, Regional Community Fundraiser: Manchester.

This book is the second anthology published by the press, which was awarded ‘Runner Up for Best Anthology’ at the prestigious Saboteur Awards this May. Both books are available to buy through in both in paperback and Kindle formats, worldwide.

To support Isabelle’s charity book release, please visit to find out more about the project, or to request an interview, please contact Isabelle directly (see email address at top of page). 

About Fly on the Wall Poetry Press
Fly on the Wall Poetry Press publishes high quality anthologies on pressing issues, chapbooks and poetry products, from exceptional poets around the globe. The first anthology, Please Hear What I’m Not Saying, for UK charity Mind, came runner up at the Saboteur Awards 2018, for Best Anthology.

Isabelle Kenyon is editor and you can find her on twitter: @kenyon_isabelle.

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