I was born in Leeds and, following stints in Huddersfield and London, have been based since January 2012 in the Calder Valley. I've done lots of jobs in retail and health but for much of the last 15 years have worked in libraries, while pursuing my writing, photography and media projects. My writing is inspired by the natural history, folklore, landscape, history, flora and fauna of my local area and beyond, and has been said to focus closely on the largely overlooked details of the world around us, including insects and small creatures. I have read at many poetry events in and around the valley, and have developed something of an unexpected reputation as a "poet of slugs and snails."
In addition to poetry I also write fiction and prose, and have written and delivered material for film and radio, including my 2017 film about Branwell Bronte's Calder Valley Years:
I am also a gardener and photographer.
My favourite poets include Coleridge, Keats, GM Hopkins, Baudelaire, Kathleen Raine, Philip Larkin, Seamus Heaney, Harold Massingham, Lynne Wycherley, Daniel Healy, Nuala Fagan, Musaemura Zimunya, Jean-Joseph Rabearivolo, Ivan Davidkov, Vasko Popa, Gerry Singh, and Victoria Gatehouse.
I have been published in many poetry magazines such as Acumen, The New Writer, Obsessed With Pipework, Iota, and Tears in the Fence. In 2006 I won a Commendation from the Tonbridge Poetry prize.
My poetry publications are:
Little Creatures - Poems of Insects, Small Mammals and Micro-organisms (Caterpillar Poetry 2013)
Dream Sequence (Caterpillar Poetry 2013)
Random Journeys (Unpretentious Arts 2014)
In October 2013 a collection of stories, Freezings, was printed by Cascading Fictions. Most of the above are now sold out, but are still available in libraries. All will be reprinted very soon and available via independent bookshops and from me at email@example.com Thanks to a 2017 reprint, I have copies of Little Creatures available now, at a special price of £4.99+p&p.
TWO POEMS FROM LITTLE CREATURES
I am thinking of the little creatures:
the bugs and crickets of the night,
timid snails and unhurried slugs
inhabiting the bordered lands of people.
No difference the kings and queens,
no effect the interest rates,
a million blood-full massacres,
eternal slicing up of souls.
Where is their social welfare,
those who wind and scurry
through the concrete leagues
who crawl from wall to lawn and live
at the mercy of unprovoked claws?
The little mouse, the meek woodlouse,
crushed beneath the passing feet,
every day a civil war,
every night grotesque defeat.
The cat and I, we crouched,
scrutinized the newcomer
languishing on concrete,
body tinted in brown blotches
like a cancerous lung,
death like and unmoving,
Rain-bathed and night-primed
it stuck firm to the drive
like a stalagmite,
belly clamped in slime,
but my prod sent ripples
through the bulge:
shot back within
the mask-like fold
of protective skin.
TWO POEMS FROM RANDOM JOURNEYS
teak-wing of May mornings;
the veins and organs, grass-blade thin,
compressed within your body
must be like bagpipes opened up.
A frozen hulk of silver
occupies the water
like a continent
Sliced husk of frosted glass
flecked with diamond dust,
crystal cave, pierced fruit,
water seethes within.
This thick slab of ice
encloses melded elements.
thawing from inside
melting the veins and rivulets.
Here come swans,
white coats drizzled
with the residue of rain,
backs like roadsides dulled with sludge.
They emerge from mists
of the ice-floes.
My photography has been featured on various websites, and Pennine Prospects included two of my pictures for their 2018 calendar:
3 photograph albums:
My fiction blog, to which submissions are invited: https://sites.google.com/site/cascadingfictions/
I am continually seeking poetry from all over the world.
Below are details of events where I will be reading. Where possible, links will follow, with ticket info where appropriate and so on. The most imminent will always be at the top of the list. Events will remain on the list even after the date, for reference.
There are events which happen regularly and where I sometimes read on the Open-Mic, and which it seems needless to list each time.
I have also included details of my greetings cards venture, Caterpillar Cards.
Wed 15th August 2019 - Turn the Page, at The Book Corner, Halifax Piece Hall - reading at the open mic. Free
Sun 18th Aug, 3pm, Jubilee Tea Rooms, Sowerby Bridge, Brontë Beginnings. First in a series exploring the birthplaces and backgrounds of the parents of the Brontë sisters. In this talk, I look at Patrick's birthplace in Rathfriland, Northern Ireland, where I vsited for his birthday this year. Includes photographs, videos and a recorded poetry reading by living family descendent Anne McKee. Free.
Thur, 18th July, Morley Library and Community Hub, Brontë Beginnings. Exploring the birthplaces and backgrounds of the parents of the Brontë sisters. In this talk, I look at Patrick's birthplace in Rathfriland, Northern Ireland, where I vsited for his birthday this year. Includes photographs, videos and a recorded poetry reading by living family descendent Anne McKee. Free.
Wed, 20th June 2019 - Turn the Page, at The Book Corner, Halifax Piece Hall - Bronte event at the open mic, not reading, taking photographs and video. Free
Wed 28th March 2019 - Turn the Page, at The Book Corner, Halifax Piece Hall - reading at the open mic. Free
Mon, 1st April 2019 - Screening of A Humble Station? Branwell Bronte's Calder Valley Years - Halifax Playhouse, tickets £10 http://www.halifaxplayhouse.org.uk/events/lift.html
Sun, 16th Dec 2018- Screening of A Humble Station? Branwell Bronte's Calder Valley Years - Jubilee Refreshment Rooms, Sowerby Bridge train station, 3.30 pm and 6.30 pm (free)
Tues, 21st Nov 2017 - Little Creatures Poetry: The Fox and Goose, Hebden Bridge, with Atar Hadari, Madhuri ZK Ewing and Heather Wilson. Free
Sat 25th Nov 2017 - Poetry at Legacy Arts Gallery, Burnely Rd, Todmorden, with Jo Haslam and myself, 4.30pm, details tbc
Thurs 12th Oct 2017- Little Creatures Poetry: Blue Teapot, Mytholmroyd, with Anne Caldwell.
Tue 10th Oct 2017 - Exploring the Brontes, with Caroline Lamb - http://www.brighouseartsfestival.co.uk/bronte-evening/
Wed 4th Oct 2017 - Exploring the Brontes, with Caroline Lamb - Gildersome Meeting Hall, for Morley Art Festival (£5) Tkts and info soon.
Sat 30th Sept 2017 - Screening of A Humble Station? Branwell Bronte's Calder Valley Years, Morley Library for Morley Art festival (£4) Tkts available soon via Eventbrite and library.
Mon 25th Sept 2017 - Screening of A Humble Station? Branwell Bronte's Calder Valley Years - Jubilee Refreshment Rooms, Sowerby Bridge train station, 2.30 pm and 6.30 pm (free)
Sat 9th September 2017 - Exploring the Brontes, with Caroline Lamb, Halifax Central Library re-opening event. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/exploring-the-brontes-simon-zonenblick-caroline-lamb-tickets-37444680046?aff=es2
Tue 15th Aug 2017 - Fox and Goose, Hebden Bridge (free)
Sun 26th June 2017 - A Humble Station? Branwell Bronte's Calder Valley Years - Haworth Bronte Parsonage
Sat 25th June 2017 - A Humble Station? Branwell Bronte's Calder Valley Years, at Thornton St James' Church.
Thurs 15th June 2017 - Premiere of A Humble Station? Branwell Bronte's Calder Valley Years - Halifax Central Library
Mon 24th April 2017 - Launch of Ayelet McKenzie's Small Bear, Barrow Library (AM & SZ, with Jennifer Copley and Neil Curry.)
Sunday, 26th February 2017 - Poetry at The Blue Teapot: Celebrating Leonard Cohen - The Blue Teapot, Mytholmroyd HX7 5LL (Free but booking essential) Introducing and reading, with live music and poetry with discussion from Jessica Lawrence and Atar Hadari, limited open mic.
Wednesday 15th February 2017 - Exploring the Brontes, at Todmorden Library
Monday 30th January 2017 - Preview of my film on Branwell Bronte, with poetry, Todmorden Library.
Monday 19th December - Preview of my film on Branwell Bronte, with poetry, Sowerby Bridge Library.
Monday 5th December 2016 - Puzzle Poets Live - Blind Pig, Sowerby Bridge - hosting and reading.
Monday 31st October 2016 - Poetry at The Blue Teapot (Steve Nash book launch with SN, Genevieve Walsh and myself) - The Blue Teapot, Mytholmroyd HX7 5LL (Free)
Saturday 8th October 2016 - Hosting and reading at Morley Arts Festival event - Morley Library, LS27 8HZ - Exploring the Brontes
Wednesday 5th October 2016 - Morley Arts Festival poetry event - Oscars Bar, Morley, LS27 9DG
Monday 26th September 2016 - Poetry at The Blue Teapot: Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath - Exploring and Celebrating their Poetic Legacies in the Calder Valley - The Blue Teapot, Mytholmroyd HX7 5LL (Free). Hosted by Simon Zonenblick and Bob Horne, with poetry by and inspired by Hughes and Plath from Freda Davis, Mark Hinchcliffe, Jessica Lawrence and Ayelet McKenzie, plus music and a visual presentation.
25th August 2016 - Kultura at Kava - 4 min open mic slot following guest reader Atar Hadari, plus poetry lecture by James Morgan Nash, poetry discussion and other Kultura poets. Kava, Todmorden, OL14 7LA (£3)
Monday 6th June 2016 - Puzzle Poets Live - The Blind Pig, Sowerby Bridge, HX6 2EQ (Free). 8pm. Along with an open mic reading (see above) I will be hosting the first half and introducing guest poet Louise Fazackerley. The second half with open mic will be compered by Anthony Costello of Kultura at Kava, Todmorden, at whose open mic I will also be reading on 26th May.
Monday 23rd May 2016 - Poetry at The Blue Teapot - The Blue Teapot vegetarian café, Mytholmroyd, HX7 5LL (Free). The debut event of this feature, with guest poet Nuala Fagan, supported by Bob Horne; introduced by myself. I will also read some of the featured poets' works and more. Booking advised - email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Thursday 18th February 2016 - A Flood of Words, flood relief fundraiser - The Fox and Goose, Hebden Bridge, HX7 6AZ (Free). Poetry from Rosie Garland, Rose Condo, Genevieve Walsh and more, with open mic at which I and others (including award-winning Victoria Gatehouse and Steve Nash) will be reading
Tuesday 15th December 2015 - Spoken Word Shindig - Nelson's Winebar, Hebden Bridge, 8PM (Free). Twenty minute reading. https://en-gb.facebook.com/events/550136778354695/
Wednesday 18th November 2015 - Launch of Nuala Fagan's collection Not All Birdsong. The Blind Pig, Sowerby Bridge, HX6 2EQ, 8pm (Free.) Readings from Nuala, and also Gaia Holmes, Victoria Gatehouse and John Foggin. Introduced by SZ.
Saturday 7th November 2015 - Poems for a Liminal Age Anthology Launch. Huddersfield Quaker Meeting House, 2PM. Readers include Mandy Pannett, Anthony Costello, and myself. Proceeds to charity Doctors Without Borders http://www.sentinelpoetry.org.uk/publications/liminal-age/
Monday 26th October 2015 - Morley Arts Festival: Poetry and Pictures of Morley and More. Morley Library, LS7 8HZ 6.30-8PM (£4) Poetry from Gaia Holmes, Steve Nash and I. With a photographic exhibition by Helka Czhura and Ian Parker http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/poetry-and-pictures-of-morley-and-more-tickets-17582109563
Thursday 22nd October 2015 - Mytholmroyd Arts Festival. The Blue Teapot Vegetarian Cafe, Grange Dene, HX7 5LL 7.30 PM (Free) Poetry night themed on Mad Hatter's Tea Party.
Sat 26th September 2015 - Brighouse Festival. Miller's Bar, 1PM (Free) - Poetry from Dan Greenwood, Ben Guilfoyle, and myself; Music by Barry Smith. http://www.brighousefestival.co.uk/whats-on/
SITES WHERE MY POETRY IS FEATURED
In the spring of 2005, Parameter magazine published my poem When You are Unattached http://www.parametermagazine.org/Simonzonenblick.htm
In the same issue they published my story Vanessa http://www.parametermagazine.org/Simonzonenblick2.htm
Both appeared online and in print.
American online poetry zine In Posse Review published two of my poems - Weasel and Urban Fox - in summer 2008, here http://inpossereview.com/IPR_Zonenblick.htm Weasel appeared in my collection Random Journeys (The Unpretentious Arts, 2014).
3. SITES CONTAINING OTHER EXAMPLES OF MY POETRY RELATED PROSE
Ryburn Ramblings. This is a website I put together between the summer of 2013 and spring 2015, containing poetry by myself and others, essays on poetry, history and the natural world, and photography - centred on the theme of the Ryburn Valley, where I was living at the time, and which is a stone's throw from where I live today. https://sites.google.com/site/ryburnramblings/home
June 2015 In Memoriam: Poems of Bereavement (Candlestick Press) http://sabotagereviews.com/2015/06/29/in-memoriam-poems-of-bereavement-introduced-by-carol-ann-duffy/
June 2015 Ten Poems From Wales, ed. Gillian Clarke (Candlestick Press) http://sabotagereviews.com/2015/06/14/ten-poems-from-wales-ed-by-gillian-clarke/
Caterpillar Cards is a new range of greetings cards featuring original photographs by Simon Zonenblick, produced in Sowerby Bridge by Knights Graphics.
All cards are priced at £1.99 inc. p&p within UK, with discount rates on multiple orders.
The following cards are currently in stock:
Sowerby Bridge Local:
Ryburn Valley from Triangle:
Inner sleeve greeting: Greetings from the Ryburn Valley, Yorkshire. Also available with blank inner.