Tuesday, 31 August 2010

At the Jivanis' in Nadadouro, Portugal, July 2010

My stay in Portugal has been one of the best parts of the summer.

A great place to take book and journal...

Monday, 23 August 2010

Prize night photos, Monday 16 August 2010

fellow shortlister Maureen Jivani and I

my friend Francesca Francoli (my guest for the event), me, and Maureen

the irrepressible Naz Jivani and Mulfran publisher Leona Carpenter

Maureen thought my trophy resembled a telescope....

Thanks to Naz and Maureen Jivani for the photos.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Poetry Picnic at the Porlock Arts Festival, Saturday 11 September 2010

I can't attend, but dearly wish I could! Poets due to read include Tim Allen, Lyndon Davies, Giles Goodland, Alasdair Paterson, Frances Presley, Gavin Selerie, Sam Smith, Steve Spence, and many others. The organiser is Tilla Brading.


Saturday, September 11th 2010


in Jubilee Garden or (if wet) Small Hall

Entrance at gate £3.50 Poetry book stall



11.00 – 11.15

Music: Eileen Ann Moore & Jim Parham - Folk Songs & Guitar

11.15 – 11.40


11.40 – 12.05

INDIVIDUALS Jo/Chris/John/Rosemary/Jillian

12.05 – 12.15

Music: Eileen Ann Moore & Jim Parham - Folk Songs & Guitar

12.15 – 12.40


12.40 - 1.05


1.05 2.00

Lunch, Music (1.30-40) followed by Open Mic (1.40-2.00-sign up!)

2.00 – 2.25


2.25 – 2.50


2.50 – 3.00

Music: Eileen Ann Moore & Jim Parham - Folk Songs & Guitar

3.00 – 4.00

GUEST POET: Harriet Tarlo


Friday, 20 August 2010

Describing and classifying poetry

I've noticed that a couple commentators on The Tethers, knowing of my "experimental work," seem to struggle with TT's "mainstream" qualities, but where they see a vast difference between the two areas, I see continuities, a spectrum. Asked by an interviewer about the difference between his poetry and prose, Gary Snyder responded, "I don't really think of them as different so much--I adopt whatever structure seems to be necessary to the communication in mind." I feel much the same way. Just as a poet may choose among such forms as the sestina, the sonnet, etc. in composing a poem, I think about modes of expression, degrees of tension or fragmentation, lines versus prose, etc. and may in one day write poems that would be classified as "mainstream" and "experimental." Is such an approach so hard to comprehend? Is it so unusual?

Cathedral Sé de Lisboa, Lisbon, 2 August 2010

Click on any picture to enlarge it.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

i.m. Edwin Morgan, 1920-2010

A wonderful poet. Read an obituary or visit a website devoted to his work.

Prize notices

Thanks to Kathryn Gray, editor of New Welsh Review, for her kind notice of The Tethers winning the prize on the New Welsh Review blog; to Alex for the enthusiastic notice on Cyprus Well; and to Sarah Ellen Hughes for her account on the LondonJazz blog.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The Tethers awarded London Festival Fringe New Poetry Award 2010

Last night at the Pizza Express Soho's Jazz Cafe, I was awarded the London Festival Fringe New Poetry Award for The Tethers. Judge Daljit Nagra's description of the book could not have been more appreciative--it nearly made me cry. I'll receive the £2500 cheque at another awards ceremony at the Waldorf Hilton in London on the 26th.

My thanks to all the judges and to my fellow shortlisted poets, the quality of whose work made the prize that much more dear.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Miradouro de Santa Luzia, Lisbon, 2 August 2010

A miradouro is a viewpoint; in Lisbon the miradouros are generally at the top of its seven hills. Click on any picture to enlarge it.

Wonderful tiles are on buildings throughout Lisbon.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

A writing intensive

That's the best phrase I can think of to describe Claire Crowther and I's period of concentrated poetry writing and reading in the same abode. Last year we had a full week; each day, virtually all day we read poetry and wrote and revised poems; each night we swapped poems for feedback and/or shared new poets with one another. This time we have only four days, but I hope to make the most of them. We begin today!

Monday, 9 August 2010

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Poetry Salzburg Review 17

The new issue of Poetry Salzburg Review has wonderfully catholic taste, including work from Martin Anderson, Rae Armantrout, Infinite Difference contributor Anne Blonstein, Joanne Limburg, Christodoulos Makris, Paula Meehan, Pascale Petit, Mario Petrucci, and Nathaniel Tarn. I look forward to reading it.

Friday, 6 August 2010

"Poetry for non-poets: Carrie Etter, The Tethers"--a new review

A zestful, frank, and appreciative review of The Tethers appeared Wednesday on the heretofore unknown to me blog, Semipop Life by Brad Luen of Berkeley, California. It's also the first one I've seen using obscenity. I tried to choose a favourite passage as a sample here, but I couldn't decide; you're just going to have to read it for yourself. It's great fun.

Damn the Caesars issue N

The new issue of Damn the Caesars includes a good number of British poets, such as Infinite Difference contributors Emily Critchley and Frances Kruk, as well as Allen Fisher, Francesca Lisette, Luke Roberts, and Keston Sutherland. I myself have eight Divining for Starters poems in the issue. The cover art is "Proposal 22" by Fisher.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Lee Ann Brown's Polyverse (Sun and Moon, 1999), first selection

I'm loving rereading this book--the range of invention delights. This does make it more difficult to excerpt, however. I'd like to copy loads of poems, including, in the first 108 pages, "Tender skin under the edge of your shirt," "Oshinko," "The Day the War Started," "Dreams Listing," "Thang" (now there's a sex poem!), "My Evans," and "Thought" (written with Bernadette Mayer), among others.

Home is the sweet pill I take every night
My mother turns it slowly over in her once soapy palm
Like a hard communion wife

first stanza of "Those with the Pointed Hats Consult
Secretly with my Mother in the Corner"

Even as we speak I might be writing
an acrostic with your name.
What's the use
in cutting up? What about explosives?
I glow among poets.
Dress up for it. Unspeakable.

from "Coffee"

Blue water verses stasis.
The shapeless morning suddenly writes a beautiful hand.

final stanza of "The Thousand-and-One Nights
of the Inside-Out Gown"

What's with these people
boys or girls who tamp down
the lyric impulse, the heart
waiting in line, barefoot &
illegal. Old-fashioned emotion
is relegated to a loud radio
void sometimes, but Frank O'Hara
has faith in you & me even
though or because we're girls.

final of two stanzas of "To Jennifer M."

Transmission loves a vessel or letter,
unseemly, pushed through the slot--so
your poems fetch my pleasure as I
embed your name via a spread room. You
travel such a continental divide.

last lines of "August Valentine"

What's as empty
as the way we begin?

from "Sestina Aylene"
(the lines made me think of Divining for Starters)

Kindness came to sing your thighs

from "Body in Trouble"

Polyverse can be purchased from Advanced Book Exchange (US) (UK).

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Please consider sponsoring me for Macmillan Cancer Support

For Macmillan Cancer Support's "World's Biggest Coffee Morning" on Friday, 24 September, a group of writers, including me, will be writing and presumably drinking that coffee to fuel sentences. Come sponsor me/us at this website in the name of someone you know who has/had cancer. No amount is too small. Thanks to Julia Copus and Lynn Corr for making the first donations on my behalf. I'm doing this in memory of friend and poet Linda Lamus--I miss her dearly.

"The Colony of Us" on WGLT's Poetry Radio

My reading of "The Colony of Us" from The Tethers aired yesterday on WGLT's Poetry Radio and can be heard streaming here.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

New pamphlet, Divinations, out from Punch Press

It's here! After an initial shipment of twenty copies seems to have been lost in the transatlantic post, I returned to Bradford on Avon today to find the additional two copies editor Richard Owens later posted. It is stunningly beautiful. It contains twenty poems from the series Divining for Starters and can be ordered for $10 in the US and $15 abroad (via Paypal) on the Punch Press website (admittedly it's a little expensive, but the production quality is ideal).

Monday, 2 August 2010

Statues at Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, Lisbon

I love good public art, and there's a lot of it in Lisbon. Watching people engage with such pieces, in a way they would not if they were in a museum, gives me great pleasure.

I'd be glad to know who created these sculptures, as I made note of the sculptor's name but have since forgotten it!

Click on any picture to see it enlarged.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Radio interview today

Hi, all. Some weeks ago Rachel McCarthy interviewed me for The Blah Blah Blah Show she hosts with Damian Furniss the first Sunday each month, and today the interview, along with appropriate music, will air from 12-2 on Phonic FM. You can listen to it online by going, during that time, to the live stream at www.phonic.fm.