Poetry: COBLE COAST, by InHouse Poets. Available post-free from Jean Laurie (email: inhousewriters758@gmail.com). £4. Softback.

A POWERFUL anthology inspired by the men and women of the Northumberland fishing communities who used cobles to earn a living, the poems are written by published writers based in Morpeth, Ponteland, Bedlington and Whitley Bay who have walked the coastline to research its colourful history and highlight this unique area and its people. Here are tales of conflict, dramatic rescues and the lives of those left at home.


Poetry: WAKE, by Gillian Allnut. Published by Bloodaxe Books (www.bloodaxebooks.com). £9.95. Softback.

THIS is the first new poetry collection by Gillian Allnut since she was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry last year. Poems with a regional connection include ‘Lindisfarne: the Roughs’, ‘Near the Peace Garden (Minsteracres Monastery), ‘In a Field of Oats’ (Wooler) and ‘Harnham’ (Harnham Buddhist Monastery).


Fiction: THE COAL BOAT, by Sam Kirk. Available on Amazon. £7.99. Softback.

THE author is a granddaughter of coal miners who grew up in Morpeth and, while living there, she became fascinated by the colliery rows and was deeply affected by family tales of personal frustration and hardship, told with customary Geordie humour and a noticeable absence of self-pity.

This debut, coming-of-age novel is divided between locations – the coal mining community in the north-east of England and 1930s bohemian society in London – as the main character, Nancy, fights for her freedom from family, traditions and her past.