Books Worth Looking out for in New Year; Disappearance and Dickens Are Literary Themes for 2012. JAMES HOGG, Sales Executive of Newcastle-Based Inpress, Which Represents Small Publishers, Selects Some New Year Reads

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES HOGG

A Mutual Friend: Poems for Charles Dickens edited by Peter Robinson, (Two Rivers Press, pounds 10), February 2012 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens, one of our most enduring and endearingly popular authors. This delightful anthology of new poetry from writers including Sean O'Brien, John Hegley and Philip Gross celebrates the great man, drawing on incidents from his own life.

Animal Magic: Poems on a Disappearing World by Liz Brownlee (Iron Press, pounds 10), April A beetle disguised as a water-drop? A cat that lives in the desert and never drinks water? A frog poisonous enough to kill just by touching it? This beautifully illustrated book about the animal kingdom features playful poems on more than 40 animals, birds and insects, including some of the world's most endangered species.

Selected Poems by John Fowles (Flambard Press, pounds 12) May One of the most innovative English writers of the second half of the 20th Century, John Fowles is known the world over for novels including The Collector, The Magus and The French Lieutenant's Woman. Fowles was also a distinguished poet, writing throughout his life, from his early beginnings before fame and fortune, to his time in hospital before his death in 2005. This Selected Poems is the first to be published in the UK.

Jack the Ripper: The Hand of a Woman by John Morris (Seren; pounds 9.99) March For a more grisly 2012, this new book re-opens the Whitechapel murders of 1888. …