A PERFORMANCE poet from Oswestry has released a new book of poems which encompasses items of international interest, but also topics that are closer to home.

Many of the poems in Neil McKeown's latest collection, Still Hoping – Thirty Six Poems, have been written to be performed, and Neil often performs the pieces with complementary music from improvising music band, Improetry, based at the Hermon Chapel in Oswestry.

"Rather than them remaining simply poems on a page, I like to perform them wherever possible, especially with music," Neil said.

"These poems are my imperfect attempts to make sense of the rhythms and meanings which the world sometimes offers."

His poems tell tales of life in the 60s and news stories spanning across the years, from the death of five-year-old April Jones in Machynlleth in 2012 to the colliery disaster in Aberfan in 1966 – among many other things.

One highlight of the book is a poem named A Super Market Town in Shropifornia, which blends the familiar sights of Oswestry with far-fetched scenarios about famous people.

The book will be available from Booka Bookshop, Hermon Chapel, Oswestry Library and Rowanthorn or from Neil at njmcpoet@gmail.com at a price of £5.