Thursday, 1 September 2016

Book review by KappaCino Book Club

Taken from KappaCino Book Club

Hitting the Black Wall is a book that I never thought I would end up reviewing, mainly because it is a poetry book. Poetry is one of those things that people will love or loathe. And having known a few poets in my time, the torture that comes from writing poetry is something that can’t be imagined. There is a saying/story about poets spending all morning decided if a comma should be placed at the end of a sentence, then to spend all afternoon agonizing whether it should be removed.

The book

Hitting the Black Wall, like any poetry book, is an insight into the soul and the mindset of the writer. This book is dark. The author has said it himself, “This book isn’t wildflowers and butterflies”. All the poetry in Hitting the Black Wall is written by Paul Scott-Bates, a poet who has been expressing himself on the internet for a few years now on his blog. This is his first published book with a collection of over 50 original poems. And like I said, they are dark. They are uncomfortable thoughts that stir in the back of the mind that have been expressed by Paul thought words.

Thoughts on the poems

Right from the outset, you are smacked in the face with the darkness that this book contains. There is no breaking us in gently! The first poem, Gone, crashes into your mind with images of cold steel and emotional detachment from the beginning. But as we move through the book, we are presented with poems that show lost loves, lost lives, and the voids that come and go from this emotional rollercoaster that we call life. At times we are plunged into deep darkness and forced to confront emotions that we might not be used to seeing in ourselves. Other times, we are shown humor in the darkness. And some are filled with complete compassion for another human being.

Thoughts on the Author

They say that poetry, or any writing, is a window into the soul. Paul appears to have used his poetry as a safe way to deal with his demons over the years. The poems are not a reflection of true events but are clearly a way for him to express himself in a safe way. I don’t know John and I’ve never had the pleasure of speaking to him, so I can only speculate what has gone on in his mind or his life. I don’t like doing that, mainly because I would feel like I’m profiling him. But what I will say is this- John, like everyone else on this planet, has dealt with love, loss and everything in-between, that’s called life. Even if the dark moments, the emotional inspiration for these poems, only lasted a minute, he has done a bloody good job of grabbing them and shaking them out for the sake of his art.


As I said at the beginning of this review, this is a dark book. But it is wonderful to read. Too often these days we see poetry that is filled with sunshine and rainbows. If you are looking for those things, go read a different book. This is a disturbing read which makes it closer to art in my opinion. “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable”. I don’t know who said that, but in this case it is very true. The collection that you will find in these pages will reach into your head and your heart, give them a rattle, and exercise those demons inside of you.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Book Review by Ralphs Life

Taken from Ralphs Life 

Occasionally Ralph strays from the musical path and dabbles in other arts related forms and on this occasion it's Hitting The Black Wall, a book of poetry by respected Louder Than War writer and fellow music blogger extraodinaire (under the nom-de-plume of Hiapop) Paul Scott-Bates.

Originally a Burnley Lad, he's now based in Lancashire's Rossendale Valley where he enjoys 'The Good Life' with his family. 

This book though examines quite the opposite, delving at times almost painfully into the frailties of man's existence. There's longing, suffering and death alongside love, regret and malice. 

Is this book of poems by Paul Scott-Bates retrospective? 




Sunday, 24 July 2016

Book review by Babi A Fi

Taken from Babi A Fi.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Non-Fiction, 2016. Some really evocative writing here; a few of the angrier pieces in particular felt like it could be an outpouring of my own experiences with depression. These poems, interspersed with lighter moments (e.g. Drink) and poetry which conjures up an entire story in a few carefully chosen words, make this collection well worth checking out. 

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Book review by Louder Than War

Taken from Louder Than War, article by Dave Jennings.

Louder Than War contributor and Hiapop Blog writer Paul Scott-Bates makes his written print debut with a striking collection of poetry. Paul hails from Burnley Lancashire and was an early devotee of Glam and New Romantics and dreamed of forming a band of his. However, inability to play an instrument was something of a stumbling block and he turned his lyrical adventures into the poetry we see here.

Paul has recorded the ups and downs of life over the last thirty years or so and this leads to a varied and challenging collection of poems that take no prisoners. There is a fearless examination of themes which may prove uncomfortable reading but certainly attest to the power of the written word. The fact that the words are laid out unaccompanied by music adds to their impact and possibly encourages the reader to delve deeper than if they were part of a song.

Book review by Helen McCookerybook

Taken from the Helen McCookerybook blogspot.

Paul Scott Bates hails from Rossendale in Lancashire, blogs under the name Greenfield Cygnus and can also be found writing articles for Louderthanwar, amongst other publications.

Hitting the Black Wall is a collection of 65 poems that are a surprisingly dark offering from a happily-married father of four and grandfather of one; but then these things do not preclude a person from hitting a black wall, do they?

They circle around death, isolation and self-destruction: the first poem, Gone, is about a shooting from the perspective of a murderer (terribly apt at the time of writing). The poetry  in this volume describes a fight against demons, with the bittersweet success/failure of a completed suicide of a friend reminding us just how fragile is our hold on sanity and hope.

Some, for instance JanineSilensore and You Left Me Standing In The Rain, are crying out to be made into songs. The most complex, Josephine, is the darkest and most powerful: reflections on a car crash centred on the deceased passenger who didn’t wear her seat belt.Josephine sums up the collection, which will appeal to fans of Scandi-noir looking to savour a cloudy weekend exploring the darker realms of the soul.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Hitting The Black Wall - Book Launch

I am delighted to be able to confirm that Hitting The Black Wall will be launched at the stunning Whitaker Museum in Rawtenstall Lancashire on Thursday 21 July 2016 at 7pm.

The Whitaker (previously Rossendale Museum & Art Gallery) is set in a beautiful park at the centre of the Rossendale Valley, Lancashire, UK. The museum displays include interesting local history, painting, and  Victorian natural history collections. There is also a very active contemporary art gallery with changing exhibitions. The main galleries have been newly refurbished by The Whitaker Group, who have exciting plans for the future of the gallery, the collection, and the park.

There will be the opportunity meet the author and buy the book, or place an order for a copy, and each one will be personally signed.  

Alternatively, the book can be pre-ordered here.

We look forward to seeing you and introducing you to the world of hiapoetry.

Admission is FREE and tickets are NOT required.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

News - Hitting The Black Wall

As you all know, my first poetry book Hitting The Black Wall will be published at the end of July. It's been an ambition for almost thirty years so as you can imagine I'm absolutely thrilled.
Some of the subjects are hard-hitting - it isn't wild flowers and butterflies, but it is all my own hard work. Some of the poetry can be seen here -
I'm currently arranging a launch night where I'll invite local press etc... to try and get as much interest as I can. I know it isn't going to be a huge international best seller, but I also don't want it to flop!
I hope to sell the book at the launch, but need to buy those up front for the event. Money is tight for us all and I simply can't afford to buy them now so I had an idea........

Many of you expressed interest in buying a copy so I've decided to have a pre-sale ordering method. You can order now, and your copy will be posted at the end of July/early August. By ordering now I can hopefully raise enough to buy copies for the launch.
The book will cost £5.99 with £1.99 for postage and packing to the UK (I'll post overseas but will obviously need to check the cost). If you want a copy you can visit where you can pay now and book your copy (Ha! Ha! - 'book' your copy!)
By the way, I don't receive all the £5.99! A lot of the price is down to design, publishing and production so it isn't going to make me a millionaire!
Please, please, please support me, it means a lot.
Here is the link again -

Thank you

Wednesday, 27 April 2016


Justice for the 96
Victory against the contemptable pricks
 who for 27 years denied the blame
 and treated those people one and the same
 as though second class citizens led their friends to the slaughter
 lost Dad, lost Mum, lost brother, lost daughter

Peace at last for the ones that died
and punishment surely for the ones that lied
 the Press, the Government, the ones in charge
 the lying bastards not now at large
 now Rest In Peace sport lovers all
 Justice is done, Justice for all