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September 2024

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Conversations with Other Animals

What do the longest-serving Canadian Prime Minister and a ketamine-injecting psychonaut have in common? What would a poltergeist mongoose say if you spoke to him on a Ouija board? Would talking spiders be more believable if they had lips? These are some of the important questions Luke Thompson seeks to answer in this exploration of human-animal conversation.

playful, provocative, at times surreal, at other times heartbreaking MELANIE CHALLENGER

A wry, intimate magpie of a narrator gathering eclectic histories, Thompson is a beguiling guide in a world enriched with the possibility of communicating with other speciesJEN HADFIELD

Sparkling, clever, kind, playful and profound: an urgently important meditation on the accessibility of other minds and worldsCHARLES FOSTER

An utter delight of a book - exuberant, witty and beautifully written. I look forward to discussing it with my catWYL MENMUIR

Ortac Press 2023

ISBN: 978-1-7384667-1-9


Treasures of Cornwall

An anthology of 'Cornish Classics', featuring songs, tales, poems, stories and non-fiction from writers both celebrated and lesser known. Selected, edited and with introductions by Luke Thompson.


Pan Macmillan 2023


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Small Press Publishing

Practical and approachable, with stories from our own practice, we hope this first Guillemot Guide will encourage the successful and smooth formation of lots of other little presses.


Guillemot Press 2022


Singing About Melon

Singing About Melon opens with a call for silence: ‘Silenzio’. This is the self-defeating shout of the guards in the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi, where several of the poems are placed. It is a call that echoes through Luke Thompson’s first collection, playing with sense and nonsense, the sayable and the unsayable, as well as the saying that un-says.

Eels, anchorites, parrots, invertebrates, a ventriloquist’s dummy and a mechanical squirrel are all deployed in this exploration of sense and silence through themes of bodily identity, grief, the divine and other species.


Shearsman 2020


Three poems - Singing About Melon
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Ganda the rhinoceros was a celebrity when he arrived in Europe in the sixteenth century. Kings and popes were intrigued, while poets and artists raced to depict the rhinoceros regardless of whether they had seen him with their own eyes. Most notable among them was Albrecht Dürer, whose celebrated woodcut is held in the British Museum. Rhinoceros is a playful fragmented reflection on the life of Ganda and the position he assumed as representative of his species, layered with expectations from millennia of wonky natural histories, bestiaries and etymologies. It looks at the rhinoceros as a spectacle, tracing a literary journey from Diodorus and Pliny the Elder to Babar the Elephant and Disney, via unicorns, YouTube, Ionesco and the Medicis. 


Broken Sleep Books 2020



A monster pulp-style novella about a young man who returns from war to confront a new enemy: radioactive eels. This story is part of the 'absurdity and conservation' publication project commissioned by the Sustainable Earth Institute and supported by the Sustainable Eel Group. The project was a collaboration between myself and John Kilburn, whose brilliant illustrations run throughout this volume. Published January 2019.


Guillemot Press 2019


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Robot Squirrel

A playful sequence of prosey poetry, poemish prose and some poemish poetry, illustrated by John Dunbar Kilburn.


Robot Squirrel is a 'robotic wildlife coming of age story' about a robot wanting to be a squirrel. Published by zimZalla, 2017.


zimZalla 2017


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Clay Phoenix

Clay Phoenix is the first biography of the poet Jack Clemo (1916-94), a strange feature of the twentieth century’s literary landscape. Deaf and blind for most of his life and raised in poverty in Cornwall's china clay-mining region, Clemo's experience of the world was harsh. Using his rural-industrial landscape as a symbol for his faith and physical decline, Clemo produced some of the most surprising poetry of the era. 

Clay Phoenix reveals the causes of Clemo's suffering, with a number of new and surprising insights into his life, writing and struggle.


Ally Press 2016


Tree Tales

In 2016 Luke Thompson and Jos Smith invited the people of Exeter to tell their stories about the city’s trees. Tree Tales is the result, a collection of memories, artwork, photographs, articles, songs and poetry about Exeter’s extraordinary canopy. It is both a celebration of this one city’s urban silva and a wider reflection of the cultural importance of our trees today. Dorset: Common Ground.


Little Toller 2016


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the clearing

The clearing was my debut pamphlet, designed and illustrated by Mairead Dunne, who won the Michael Marks Award for her work on the book. 

The poetry is sparse - brief moments of listening and watching as woodland birds move in and out of the clearing. Mairead's illustrations respond to and develop the senses of lighting, clearing and watching in a darkly evocative way.


Atlantic Press 2016


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Jack Clemo: Selected Poems

Introduced by Rowan Williams, the Selected Poems of Jack Clemo includes work from all of his major volumes, from the 1951 The Clay Verge to 1995's The Cured Arno. Awkward, radical, nature-baiting landscape poems full of pain and anguish give way to monologues, biographical sketches, broader themes and looser forms. The settings of white tips, flooded pits and the grinding works of the industrial-rural clayscape are replaced by the rivers and bridges of Florence and Venice and the coastal ease of Dorset.


Enitharmon 2015


Jack Clemo: Dialect Tales

Jack Clemo (1916–1994) is best known as a poet – one of the most extraordinary poets of the twentieth century – but he began his literary career writing comic short stories in Cornish dialect. A Proper Mizz-Maze brings all twenty-one of these dialect tales together for the first time.

Set around the villages, lanes and works of Clemo’s native china clay country in the 1930s, the stories of A Proper Mizz-Maze record the landscape, culture and an underrepresented language form, and they do it in an attractively light-hearted way.


Francis Boutle 2016


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