Saturday 27 May 2006

Forthcoming Conference Papers on Prose Poetry

Hello, all. I know some of my readers are fellow prose poetry enthusiasts, so I thought I'd let you know about some forthcoming conference papers I'm giving on the subject.

For the Great Writing Conference at the University of Portsmouth in June, I've organised a panel, "The Prose Poem: Pedagogy & Practice." I'll be talking about the use of prose poetry to transform the personal, particularly in undergraduate creative writing; fellow presenters Andy Brown and Jane Monson will talk about "The Prose Poem as 'Set-Piece'" and "The Object Poem in Prose," respectively.

For the British and Irish Contemporary Poetry Conference at Oxford in September, the topic is "The Line in Contemporary Poetry." My paper, "What Line? The Place of Prose in Contemporary British Poetry," will look at the use of the prose poem in the work of Michael Donaghy, David Harsent, and Peter Redgrove. I'm focusing on these mainstream, male poets to stress that the form is not so marginalised in the UK as one might think.

I'd be glad to hear your thoughts on these topics.

Friday 26 May 2006

Current Issues--Reviews

It seems my recent reviews have all appeared in print at once. My review of Fiona Sampson's The Distance Between Us is in today's Times Literary Supplement, my review of Owen Sheers' Skirrid Hill in New Welsh Review came in today's post, my review of Vicki Feaver's The Book of Blood should appear any day now on Poetry Matters at Tower Poetry, and my review of Ted Mathys's Forge should be in the just published issue of Verse, though the issue hasn't reached me yet. Also forthcoming is my review of Gabrielle Calvocoressi's The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart in PN Review. I guess I've been busy....

Wednesday 17 May 2006

Upcoming Readings

Monday, 22 May, 8 p.m.--The Rialto reading at The Troubadour in London with Julia Casterton, Joanna Guthrie, Lorraine Mariner, Sam Riviere, John Siddique, and Lizzie Thistlethwayte

Thursday, 8 June--private launch of New Writing 14 in London

Saturday, 1 July, 7 p.m.--"Poetry & Independence," The Poetry School's Summer Reading with Linda Chase, Claire Crowther, and others at Ev Delicatessen, 97-99 Isabella St, London SE1 8DA

Wednesday, 27 September--"Poetry & Mystery" reading for the Bradford on Avon Arts Festival with Matt Bryden, Karen Hoy, and Alan Summers at The George on Woolley Street. There will also be an open mike for those interested in joining in.

early October--Irish Poetry Night at The George in Bradford on Avon with poets reading the work of Irish poets. Other readers include Matt Bryden (reading Paul Muldoon), Claire Crowther (reading Eavan Boland and Dorothy Molloy), Karen Hoy, Tim Liardet (reading Tom French), and Alan Summers

I've also been asked to read on another series in London in the autumn and to take my turn on the Bath Spa series during the next academic year; I'll post details as I have them.

Saturday 13 May 2006

A Life in Poetry

I've had a brilliant, poetry-driven week. On Monday night, I went with Joelle Adams and Annie McGann to an open poetry reading at Bath Spa's student union pub. I was impressed by the inventiveness and assurance of some students finishing the second year performance poetry class, and I was glad to hear Annie read after so long a time. I contributed with reading four new poems, "The Apprentice (1)," "The Apprentice (2)," "The Weather in Normal," and "The War's Fourth Year."

Tuesday night Tim (Liardet) and I met up to talk about undergraduate poetry &c. at The Globe, and Wednesday night, waiting for the bus back to Bradford on Avon, I ran into my friends Karen and Alan; we headed in to All Bar One (the tapas partly redeems the yuppie atmosphere) and talked life and work and poetry for hours. I arrived home feeling giddy from both sauvignon blanc and good conversation.

Thursday Deryn Rees-Jones and Gabrielle Calvocoressi read at BRSLI for the Bath Spa Reading Series, and while I'd have liked to see a larger crowd, I had no other disappointments. While their reading and writing styles are very different, Deryn and Gabrielle complemented one another well, and I enjoyed hearing them both. Some of Gabrielle's new work especially struck me, making me eager for her next book. We all went round to The Eastern Eye for a delicious curry, making for a perfect end to the evening.

Lytton Smith, my friend and publicist for Persea Books, Gabrielle's publisher, stayed the night at Matt and I's place on Thursday, and in the morning we talked about the state of British and American poetry until he had to catch his train. It's a conversation I never tire of. And Friday night, my old workshop resumed when Claire came round for dinner, and Matt, Claire and I workshopped new poems. I found it invigorating, as everyone had strong, original work to contribute, and the discussions about the poems proved ideally constructive (well, at least I feel that way about the feedback I received, and I gathered the same from Matt and Claire). I'm glad we're due to meet again in just a couple weeks' time.

I wouldn't want so much activity every week, but how grand to have such weeks now and again!

Sunday 7 May 2006

Fabulous reading this Thursday

There's going to be a fantastic reading this Thursday at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute with Deryn Rees-Jones and Gabrielle Calvocoressi, two women poets whose poetry evinces both keen intelligence and enchanting lyricism. The BRLSI is located at 16-18 Queen Square, Bath, and the reading will begin at 8 p.m. The cost is £5/£3 concessions.

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