Monday, 4 October 2010

The Captain's Tower: Seventy Poets Celebrate Bob Dylan at Seventy

The Captain’s Tower: Seventy Poets Celebrate Bob Dylan at Seventy

JEWELS & BINOCULARS, published by Stride/Westwords in 1993, featured fifty poets who celebrated the life and work of Bob Dylan and his influence on their own. Among them were Wendy Cope, Allen Ginsberg, Sophie Hannah, Lachlan Mackinnon, Glyn Maxwell, Adrian Mitchell, Linda Chase, Geoff Hattersley and Matthew Sweeney.

The book is out of print and has become a collector’s item. A changing revue of poets and musicians played venues from London’s Troubadour to the West Yorkshire Playhouse to promote its publication.

On May 24th 2011 Bob Dylan will reach seventy, after almost fifty years in the music industry. To mark the occasion, SEREN will publish THE CAPTAIN’S TOWER: SEVENTY POETS CELEBRATE BOB DYLAN AT SEVENTY. It will combine the best from the original with new work from established and up-and-coming writers.

Among submissions already received are poems by Roddy Lumsden, Luke Wright, Simon Armitage, Tamar Yoseloff, Mark Ford, Jeremy Reed, Matthew Caley, Tim Dooley, Peter Finch and Roger McGough. Others are arriving daily from all over the world. We’d be delighted to hear from other poets and of other poems. Contact

By the end of the year we hope to have collected seventy poems by seventy writers. An accompanying tour is being scheduled for Spring and Summer 2011.

We are asking all authors to donate their royalties to CRISIS, the charity for the homeless that Bob Dylan chose as the UK beneficiary of the proceeds of his Christmas in the Heart album.

Editorial Policy

· Submissions are welcome and should be sent to

· The deadline for submissions is December 10th 2010.

· Submissions will only be provisionally accepted by unanimity of the editors – Phil Bowen, Damian Furniss and David Woolley.

· Shortlisted submissions won’t be confirmed for publication until early 2011.

· Publication will be in May 2011.

· Any previous publication should be noted and will be credited. Copyright will remain with the author.

· We expect most accepted submissions to come from established writers with one or more collections published by well known publishers. However, exceptional work by less known writers will be considered.

· In the submission email, the poet should state his or her willingness to be published in the first and any future editions of the book, their royalties going to Crisis in perpetuity.

· He or she should also provide a biographical note saying when and how Bob Dylan most deeply touched their lives.

· Contributors will receive a copy of the book and may be invited to participate in performances marking the publication.

· Information on any poems relating to Bob Dylan already in existence would be much appreciated, with contact details of the poet if possible.


Phil Bowen has published four collections of poetry, his first full collection, ‘Variety’s Hammer’ (Stride) being selected for inclusion in The Forward Anthology of 1998. His last collection ‘Starfly’ was also published by Stride in 2004. ‘Nowhere’s Far: New and Collected Poems 1990–2008’ was published by Salt in 2009 and recently reviewed in Poetry Review, to be followed by ‘Cuckoo Rock’, his first collection for children, later in 2010.

He is the editor of two Stride anthologies: ‘Jewels & Binoculars’ (fifty poets celebrate Bob Dylan) and ‘Things We Said Today’ (poetry about the Beatles). He has also written four plays : ‘A Handful of Rain’ – an imagined meeting between Bob Dylan and Dylan Thomas, ‘A Case of the Poet’, ‘Parlez Vous Jig Jig’ and ‘Anything but Love’ – in which Dorothy Parker meets the lyricist Dorothy Fields.

Born in Liverpool in 1949 ,where he taught Drama until 1979, he now lives in Newlyn in Cornwall and works all over the country as a freelance writer, performer and teacher.

Damian Furniss is a poet whose first full collection, ‘Chocolate Che’, was published by Shearsman Books earlier in 2010, and recently highly commended in the Forward prize for best first collection. His pamphlet ‘The Duchess of Kalighat’ won the Tears in the Fence competition.

His poetry, prose and reviews have been widely published in magazines and anthologies and he has read at festivals and arts centres around the country and at the Indian High Commission. He is currently working on two novels: Shin Kicking and Life Before Death. He is the co-host of Blah Blah Blah, an arts magazine radio show on Phonic FM.

Conceived on the night England won the Football World Cup, he was educated at King Edward VI Grammar School, Stratford-Upon-Avon (where he was taught in the same room as Shakespeare) and Keble College, Oxford. He lives in the West Country and works in social care.

David Woolley is a poet, performer, writer, tutor, broadcaster and arts consultant. He has published three collections of poetry, the most recent of which, ‘Pursued by a Bear’ (Headland Publications) was launched in June 2010. He edited and published Westwords arts magazine and poetry press for ten years.

He was the inaugural Chair of the National Association for Literature Development, Chair of Festivals of Wales for three years, and has been on the Boards of Dylan Thomas Prize Ltd, Swansea Fringe Festival, and the Advisory Panel for New Welsh Review.

Between 1996 and 2010 he was Literature Adviser for City & County of Swansea and Arts Programmer for the Dylan Thomas Centre where he directed the annual Dylan Thomas Festival. He is currently a regional literature officer for the Arts Council.


  1. Could you advise deadline for submissions please?

    And if time allows, can include a news item in the magazines, if that is in order.

    Carole Baldock,
    Editor of Orbis and Kudos

  2. Carole,

    Deadline December 10th.

    Publication May 2011.