The Peter Finch Archive

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Peter Finch is a poet, experimentor, psychogeographer, performer, author, and compiler of books on cities and places throughout the lands. You can find out more about his work here.

Walking The Valleys - Peter Finch and John Briggs walk north. Check here. Fifteen walks in four valleys. Finch and Briggs explore how the Valleys have changed, and what they have become. Their forward-looking book is also one of record, as the towns and villages evolve into the twenty-first centuries. This is their take on Abercynon, Aberdare, Aberfan, Bargoed, Caerphilly, Gelli, Gelligaer, Merthyr Tydfil, Pontypridd, Porth, Rhymney, Taffs Well, Tonypandy, Treherbert and Ystrad Mynach.

The informative texts can be used as both a route finder and a literary entertainment in themselves. John Briggs's lively photographs provide further detail and each walk is illustrated with a map. Armchair walkers will find the book as interesting and as useful as those actually pull on their boots. And natives and visitors alike will find a new discovery around every corner.

"Altogether this equates to a superb gift, even if you don’t wish to venture out in person. Walking The Valleys is an immersive guide that will take you there anyway, and you can lose many hours within its wide-scape pages, enjoying facts and fascinating insights. How the south Wales valleys have changed since their coal mining past is extremely interesting, and the fact that these places are a short train trip or even cycle away makes them very tempting to take a visit to. An excellent addition to Finch’s series of psychogeographic guides, and highly recommended." - Mab Jones in Buzz magazine

Edging The City - A Journey Round the Border of Cardiff - complete with maps and rich in anecdote is available from Seren. A city psychogeographic ramble, an anecdotal history, a literary adventure, an armchair traveller's guide, a geographic entertainment, all of these. "There’s a city’s edge playlist which filled the author’s head as he strode available on Spotify". Edging the City is a view of Cardiff like no other, full of insights and discoveries. Read more.

"Finch's writing is as jovial as it is fascinating…..In a similar way to some of Bill Bryson's work, Peter Finch's love for his home city is evident in every sentence; Edging The City is engaging in every sense of the word." - Chris Andrews: Buzz magazine

"What Edging the City does so effectively, though, is defamiliarize and enrich these landscapes, with allusion, digression and depth, all painted in seemingly effortless poetic prose. Finch lifts the apparently mundane to a place of real literary significance, giving some of these lesser-known quarters the attention they deserve."
- Tim Cooke in Nation Cymru

"With Edging the City, Finch has created a work that is not just a walking guide, but is an historic record of a particular time and place. He puts flesh on the narrative bones of his journey with the monochrome pictures and coloured maps he uses to illustrate his book."
- Bobby Seal in Psychogeographic Review

"one feels this treasure trove of material has been building for some time.... He writes as a poet, but also as someone who has lived locally for many years and has digested the city, mentally, physically and emotionally. His conversation with the reader has the directness, intelligence and humour of a Guardian newspaper columnist."
- Madeleine Gray in Morgannwg - The Journal of Glamorgan History, January, 2023.

Copies available from the publisher Seren Books.
Click here to purchase
more information here
Plotaroute interactive map
and for those who would like to see what it all looked like the photostream is here

Peter Finch Collected Poems in two volumes - edited by Andrew Taylor with forewords from Ian McMillan and Nerys Williams. From the 60s to the 2020s visual work repaired, innovations strengthened, poetry represented in all its variety. In all its heft and style this work is now published. More information here.

"this was for me the poetry book of 2022, the essential Peter Finch wonderfully served by Seren Books"
- Billy Mills

"this collection is a delight. A gallimaufry. A compendium of forms. A dictionary of discovery. A mixtape of marvels. A variorum of voices."
Steven Walling - Litter Magazine

"Now in his mid-seventies, the shaven headed septuagenarian feels more culturally relevant than ever, not least because of his verve and iconoclasm. If, like him, you’ve an appetite for literary subversion, you’ll find his double volume Collected Poems good enough to eat."
Paul McDonald on The Collected Poems in London Grip, August, 2022

Finch Collected Poems Two cover

Copies directly from Seren in both paperback and hardback
Signed copies available with a special two vols almost for the price of one offer. Don't miss it.

Also Out Now -

Edging The Estuary - Finch on the estuary that separates Wales from England. The new 2022 reprint now available from Seren. Chepstow to Worm's Head, Gloucester to Lynmouth, the barrage, the islands, the water. Now available from Seren. For more information check here

Walking Cardiff -
Peter Finch and urban photographer John Briggs explore the lesser-known and offbeat parts of the city. Large format. Photographs, text and maps. £14.99 from Seren Books here. Check the blog here

The Machineries Of Joy, first new collection of poetry by Peter Finch in a decade. Available now. £9.99 direct from Seren here. "Peter Finch continues to make iconclastic works that sparkle and spit... his new collection is a painfully joyful achievement - not only in its command of various genres, including concrete poetry and the sombre-comic anecdote, but also in the ability to unite his variety of singing fish in the net of a single poem." Carol Rumens in The Guardian. A free podcast from Alternative Stories and Fake Realities is available entirely free here. Read more about this groundbreaking new vol here.

Check these -

Second Aeon (1966-1974) A revised history of Peter Finch's historic magazine. The past comes back to life. History here, bibliography of the magazine and the press here.

Oriel. A revised and illustrated history of the Charles Street and The Friary manifestations of this enterprise. Check here.

Films. Peter Finch reading A Welsh Wordscape and Urology made by the Israeli film maker Omri Lior. Filmed at the end of 2018 these are a cut above the regular face to camera and breathe new life into two of Peter Finch's most popular poems.

Real Cardiff The Flourishing City,
the fourth volume in the series, is available from Seren Books. Copies can be ordered directly from the publisher, Seren, here, or are available from good bookshops.
The blog for book containing extracts and additional material is here.

The Roots Of Rock From Cardiff To Mississippi And Back -
Peter Finch traces the music on both sides of the Atlantic. Music, travelog, psychogeography, playlists, history. Published by Seren Books @ £9.99. You can buy directly from the publishers here. Or from Amazon. The Roots of Rock blog is here

Real Cardiff
- the truth about Europe's youngest capital. A irreverent, informed and thoroughly readable guide to the Capital of Wales in all its reinvented glory. Cardiff the multi-layered. Cardiff the multi-cultural. Cardiff the post-industrial. Cardiff the much bigger that you thought. Based-on and much extending Peter Finch's books for Seren, the Real Cardiff section of this site is an essential guide.

Real Cardiff, the original and first book, is now in its fourth printing, Real Cardiff Two extends the boundaries. Real Cardiff Three - The Changing City is the new one and you can check the content here. The BBC story and photo slideshow is here. The Big Book of Cardiff (edited with Grahame Davies) collects contemporary writings by many hands.

City Littoral - David Enrique Spellman's film from the Cardiff edge. See it here

Real Wales - based on the success of the Real Cardiff series. A book encompassing the whole country. Finch's Real Wales (Seren) is available. View the Real Wales Flickr photostream here.

hammer lieder helicopter speak is Peter Finch's sonic history of twentieth century music published in folded poster form as #1 in Antonio Claudio Carvalho's revival of Hansjorg Mayer's sixties futura series.

The Archive of the Now is an electronic and print collection of poetry. Based at Queen Mary, University of London, it hosts recordings of over 100 poets based in the UK, including many unique, specially commissioned recordings unavailable anywhere else. All the recordings can be downloaded free of charge. Finch's extensive entry including many specially made recordings is here.

RSAW - For his work in these areas Peter Finch was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Architects of Wales (RSAW) in September, 2007. Read the citation

Ted Slade Award For Service To Poetry. Peter Finch won this award in 2011. "The Ted Slade Award is given annually to a person who is in the opinion of the selection panel has given unstintingly of their time and efforts over many years to promote poetry to a wider audience." More info.

with Peter Finch at

The Peter Finch Archive is also one of the original writers' sites on the net. Here is collected information on self-publishing, on the poetry scene, Welsh literary links, examples of Finch's own poetry, prose and criticism, concrete, visual and experimental verse, a unique and avant-garde information resource on the poet R.S.Thomas, and a lot more.

Poetry - Finch's work can be read in Food, published Seren Books. His innovative The Welsh Poems is published by Shearsman. His fat Selected Later Poems is published by Seren. Download special purchase offer, three Finch titles for the price of two, here (44K pdf)

Zen Cymru - Finch's collection of poetry is available from Seren. More details. YouTube clip of Peter Finch reading from Zen Cymru at The Promised Land, Cardiff is here.

You Tube - look here for embedded files of Peter Finch performances

Finch as Taliesin Grahame Davies's tribute poem read at Finch's standing down from his post as CEO of Literature Wales. Here

Not About Pete Ifor Thomas's tribute poem. Here

Vizet / Water is a selected Finch in Hungarian, edited (and for a large part translated) by the amazing Kinga Kovacs, published by Konkrét Könyvek of Budapest. Read here. Andrew Wood's videos of readings from Foodball and the Viset launch in Budapest can be viewed here and here.

The Argotist Online offers a transcription of Zoe Skoulding and Ian Davidson interview with Peter Finch carried out at Theatre Gwynedd, Bangor, in January, 2006. Here

Public poetry - Peter Finch's work has been incorporated into five public structures in Cardiff. Across the entrance, glass frontage, foyer and main corridor of BT's Internet Data Centre in Cardiff Bay is an extensive extract from Finch's post-modern interpretation of the work, life and influence of Wales' greatest twentieth century poet, R S Thomas. The BT IDC is situated in the west Bay, on the Ferry Road peninsular. To the east, running across the top of the re-claimed Lamby Way refuse dump, is a Finch commission which recycles itself as it goes. The structure is just about visible from the road alongside the Rumney River. Finch's acrostic concrete poem as part of Jean-Bernard Metais' L'Alliance is situated outside the new John Lewis store in the center of Cardiff. Look down not up. His Ballast Bank poem now fronts the new South Wales Police HQ on James Street in Cardiff Bay. His poem Kerdif can be read on the front windows of Cardiff's Central Library

Biography - in one page here's a handy Peter Finch biography. Where is Peter Finch appearing next ?

Flickr - Peter Finch's photostream is here

Slope. Visit also the Welsh issue of Slope - In 2001, and with the assistance of Ceri Anwen James, Finch guest edited a Welsh edition of the US literary magazine Slope. The issue gave a bi-lingual snapshot of just what was happening in poetry in Wales at the turn of the Millennium. Contributors included Dannie Abse, Child Roland, Iwan Llwyd, Robert Minhinnick, Catherine Fisher, Gwyneth Lewis, Bobi Jones, Sheenagh Push, Fiona Sampson, Ifor Thomas, Chris Torrance, Grahame davies, Tony Curtis, and many more.

Bob Cobbing 1920-2002 - A Tribute.

But check the rest of the Peter Finch Archive before you go.

Edging The City cover

Finch Collected Poems One

Finch Collected Poms two

The Machineries of Joy Finch cover thumb

Walking Cardiff

RC4 cover

Roots Of Rock

hammer lieder helicopter speak cover

Zen Cymru cover

Real Cardiff Three cover

Real Wales _ Peter Finch

Peter Finch - Selected Later Poems

Real cardiff Two - The Greater City

Real Cardiff front cover

Big Book of Cardiff - Finch & Davies

The Welsh Poems - Peter Finch

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