By Richard Sykes

If you have ever wondered what inspired Edvard Munch to paint ‘The Scream’ or how Shakespeare’s characters would have coped in the digital age you need look no further than Mary Lister’s new book ‘Complete Twerks.’

A year after the publication of ‘Trapezing in the Dark,’ her first collection of acclaimed poems, the Holmfirth author and poet launched her latest volume of sketches, stories and verse to an appreciative audience at the ‘NOWHERE’ bar/restaurant venue in Holmfirth.

The launch featured readings from the book, including a very convincing performance of ‘The Post Apocalypse Gin Club’ sketch by Mary, Liz Heywood and Rachael Hodgson playing roles of the sole survivors of the annihilation who, between them, determine the fate of the last bottle of gin on planet Earth.

There were also support performances by guitarist Tim Pavitt and writer and story teller Sarah Lowes.

Mary’s new book is very different from her last one. She said: “Twerks is basically a collection of absurdities. I enjoy a good chuckle and I wanted to write pieces that make people smile and laugh.

“There are one or two serious and hard-edged stories, like the one about Trump and the one about Putin, but the unifying theme throughout is the absurdity of situations.

“I love the richness of the English language and enjoy literary and linguistic word play. I like the fact that different disciplines have their own unique vocabulary and special forms of register which has provided me with rich pickings. I have had fun with forms and meanings without taking them too literally or seriously.”

‘Complete Twerks’ contains three sections of poetic ‘twerks’ which follow themes of love and life, gods and beasts and modern times. There are also theatrical and story ‘twerks.’

All are rich in humour and irony. Mary is a gifted writer who cleverly leads her readers into unlikely situations upon which she has put her own imaginative slant.

She has written a third act to Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ in which the bloke actually turns up, naked except for stockinged feet.

In ‘At the Final Trump’ Donald Trump assumes the role of guide in a parody of Dante’s Inferno, leading the reader into a future hell of the ex-president’s own making.

‘Neolithic Knit and Natter’ and ‘Neolithic Tinder Dating’ speculate how these modern day phenomena would have played out 4000 years BC.

In all Mary Lister has penned 75 funny and thought provoking poems, stories and mini dramas which take readers on a fascinating journey into the unexpected.

She advises them not to attempt to read the book all at once but to taste one or two poems and stories at a time.

In ‘Complete Twerks’ she has created a literary smorgasbord that will not disappoint and make you want to return for second helpings.

‘Complete Twerks’ has been published by Darkmoor Books and is available in paperback from Amazon priced £8.99. All profits from the sale of the book will be donated to local good causes.