New Towns is an anthology of poetry and prose writing, edited by R. M. Francis, that creatively explores New Towns in the UK. Featuring a range of established and upcoming writers, this anthology offers a diverse range of perspectives and forms inspired by and set in these places. It considers how place impacts individual and communal identity and how the cultural psyche might impact place.
The writers in this collection are Helen Angell, Craig Austin, Jane Burn, Brian Comber, Sarah Davy, Murdo Eason, Harry Gallagher, Mark Goodwin, Steve Harrison, Sarah James, Alison Jones, Richard Lakin, Laurence Mitchell, Heather Moulson, Marcelle Newbold, Nick Pearson, Finola Scott, Billy Stanton, Rob Walton, Kim Wyshall-Hammond.
We’re defining New Towns by those associated with the New Towns Act 1946, and the subsequent waves of development following the Second World War: the waves of 1946, 1961-64 and 1967-70. These towns were designed to alleviate housing shortages by expanding into the UK’s Green Belt and areas considered “overspill” close to large cities. That said, some already existing conurbations were designated with New Town status during these waves, this included town planning and housing projects in keeping with the design and ethos of the wider projects.
This anthology is a glimpse at a handful of sites that all share similar histories, social and cultural make-up, and founding principles. This collection uncovers the eerie and haunting in these places – areas that promised release and relief, and still show the slightly faded signs of these promises. Towns that glimpsed at a possible future, but are caught in the defunct eddy of that glance.