Masculinity here ranges from Odysseus to Clint Eastwood, from the Black Country to Haiti or Australia. This collection of poems takes in the workplace and social media, the law courts and the environment, travelling from the 1920s to the present day. There is substantial and varied evidence of men behaving badly, but there’s also an attempt to see how we might work towards a better balanced, more positive future.
Paul Francis’ second main collection contains a variety of work ranged in five groups – Sonnets, Stories, Miscellaneous Poems, Political Poems and Poems for Performance.
“Paul Francis shows himself to be a master of rhythm, rhyme and engrossing narratives. Pick up this book, hold it to your ear, and listen to it beat.” (Liz Lefroy)
Trump, Brexit and Beyond
Paul Francis explores the current crisis in Western politics though sonnet and villanelle, ballad, triolet and free verse. He adopts a variety of tones, but the aim throughout is to provoke shared, constructive thinking about the challenges we face.
On the Damascus Road
The Grenfell fire was an appalling, complicated event. Paul Francis argues that the fullest published account of it – Andrew O’Hagan’s 60,000 word article in the LRB – is seriously flawed.
This varied collection of poems draws on books and TV documentaries, newspapers and tweets, to provide a lively study of migration. There are poems here about Farage and Calais, camps in Jordan and Australia, a freed West Indian slave and Irish navvies in Wolverhampton.
Us and Them
After 9/11, the UK signed up to the War of Terror, with serious consequences for peace abroad and justice at home. Paul Francis’ collection of poems – varied in length, form, style and tone – explores the price paid for this rash commitment.
Writing for Blockheads
“No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money” (Dr Johnson).
Paul Francis doesn’t agree. He argues that writing is rewarding in itself, whether or not the writer gets paid. To those who are prepared to put in the necessary work and to learn from others, writing can be its own reward.
£2.49 ePub format, immediate download.
Sending a Signal
This booklet explores the issues involved in electro-senstivity through poems as well as reportage and argument.
The aim is to provide the general reader with some clear starting points to a passionate debate which has often been confused.
REMEMBER? Benefit cuts, legal aid, bankers’ profits, unqualified teachers, disability tests, tax evasion, selling off the NHS, secret courts, anti-immigrant vans, bedroom tax? THEY’RE ALL HERE.
Illustrated Sonnets is a collection of poems and photographs by Paul Francis. It’s been produced to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s society.
All proceeds from this booklet go to the society.
Love and Chalkdust
“This is a brilliant portrayal of the life of just about any school. It has some serious messages about the nature of education, without ever becoming preachy. The characters are well-observed, and the dialogue is well written. It would make a great TV drama.” (Derek Gillard on Love and Chalkdust)
“The whole collection is full of good things: witty, satirical, angry, gentle or savage but unfailingly observed by a poet very much in touch with contemporary issues. Highly commended.” (Peter Wooldridge, Shropshire Review, July 2010)
“Francis has an engaging easy style which makes the book very readable, and he has the noveslist gifty of making the personalities in the book real and distinctive... His seventeen years as a deputy head are described in detail, and he goes for Chris Woodhead like a terrier after a rat.” (Shropshire Review, April/May 2009)
Boxed Set is a collection of poems dealing with film and television. It ranges from a memory of watching the film of Cockleshell Heroes, aged 11, to the final episode of The Killing, Series 3. There are poems which cover Brief Encounter, Katharine Hepburn and Clint Eastwood, and a sequence of sonnets and sestinas dealing with The Sopranos.
Some of the other books I’ve written:
1975 Beyond Control? (Allen and Unwin)
1981 Power Plays (Edward Arnold)
1988 Working Talkshop (CUP)
1997 Looking for the Moon and other plays (CUP)
“I first read his thoughtful book on discipline, Beyond Control?, years ago, and have recommended it to student teachers ever since. Francis is a good writer with a persuasive style. The book moves at a decent pace, peppered with descriptions of events in particular schools…” (Ted Wragg on The Best Policy?)