Sunday 25 July 2010

Trinity Artists, Bath, 26 July 2010

If you're around Bath and free on the evening of Monday, 26 July, stop in at Walcot Chapel (Walcot Gate, BA1 5UG) for the opening of the Trinity Artists 2010 exhibition, 6-9 p.m. The exhibition will include ceramics, painting, photography, and prints, and includes a wide range of artists, including Hila Farres Clare, Jeremy Haslam, David Ladds, and Trevor Lillistone. Would that I could be there! The exhibition runs from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 26 July-1 August.

Photo by Trevor Lillistone

Friday 23 July 2010

Win four shortlisted first collections!

Cyprus Well, the Southwest literature agency, is holding a competition in conjunction with the London Festival Fringe New Poetry Award. Four poets in the Southwest are on the shortlist--myself for The Tethers (Seren), David Briggs for The Method Men (Salt), Hilary Menos for Berg (Seren), and Patrick Brandon for A Republic of Linen (Bloodaxe), and Cyprus Well has taken a short poem from each contributor and made them available on their website. CW has also obtained a copy of each book and is offering the chance for one person to win all four. Just send a postcard with your name, postal address, and email address to Poetry Competition, Cyprus Well, Exeter Central Library, Exeter EX4 3PQ by 12 August for a chance to win.

Thursday 22 July 2010

Shadowtrain 34 is out...

...with contributions by Claire Crowther, Rupert Loydell, Steve Spence, and yours truly, with three prose poems. Take a look.

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Free Verse Journal Roundtable on the State of Poetry Publishing

US-based online magazine Free Verse: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry & Poetics has published an interesting "roundtable" on "poetry publishing in the new millennium" with interviews from editors of Copper Canyon Press, Shearsman Books, Ugly Duckling Presse, and the Phoenix Poets series at University of Chicago Press. Take a look.

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Another take on Scott Thurston's reading of Internal Rhyme at Furzeacres

The first post on this topic gave some examples of the work on the page. Here are some passages I transcribed during the reading; I have not checked them against the book for accuracy, in part because I am interested in what I may have misheard.

"breaks of touch"

"the young argue to finitude"

"class-beguiling intellect"

"stage-managed sulk"

"anonymous indulgence"

"write it not too late whilst on the way"

"where is that simple expression tied in to a cakewalk to a pleasing"

"welcome back at the new bazaar"

"educated lack"

"scared to death in a poem interrupted by senior figures"

"haunted by surface"

"it takes art to (maintain?) a perpetual crisis"

"holding to what cannot be completed"

"sometimes you trust accidentally dead love"

"beauty conceives its own shape let no one intervene"

Internal Rhyme is available in the UK directly from the publisher as well as the usual suspects and in the US from

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Women's Innovative Poetry & Cross-Genre Festival, 14-16 July, London

Emily Critchley and Carol Watts have drawn together an outstanding array of presenters and performers for the Women's Innovative Poetry & Cross-Genre Festival this Wednesday, 14 July through Friday, 16 July at the University of Greenwich. Participants include Caroline Bergvall, Andrea Brady, Lee Ann Brown, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Susanna Gardener, Lisa Jarnot, Frances Presley, Lisa Robertson, Sophie Robinson, Eleni Sikelianos, Zoe Skoulding, Harriet Tarlo, Fiona Templeton, Cathy Wagner, and numerous others--the full schedule is online here. And the cost? Donation only. I'm expecting moments of poetic bliss.

Monday 12 July 2010

Scott Thurston's Internal Rhyme and the Occasional Reading Series at Furzeacres

Scott Thurston's third collection, Internal Rhyme (Shearsman, 2010), brings together eighty poems that are meant to be read vertically as well as horizontally. Earlier this month, on the Occasional Reading Series at Furzeacres not far from Plymouth, I found it most interesting to hear him read sets of five first horizontally, then vertically, for the changes of sound and sense thus invoked. Here are two (clicking on the first image will enlarge it in a new window; why the second is recalcitrant I don't know).

Internal Rhyme is available in the UK directly from the publisher as well as the usual suspects and in the US from

What is the Occasional Reading Series? Co-organiser Philip Kuhn describes it thus: "the occasional reading series was initiated in june 2003 and is hosted by rosie musgrave and philip kuhn. Due to the nature of the terrain and the uncertain climate on the Moor the events are only held during the spring and summer months. The aim of the series is to create an alternative to the more conventional poetry readings which usually tend to encourage two or more poets to present short readings from their works. In contrast the occasional reading series invites a single poet to offer (to an invited audience) an extended reading (or performance) from the whole of a long work, or from extended extracts from a long work which might be published or simply work in progress. The readings are followed by light refreshments an occasion which offers audience and poet a chance to socialise renew contacts and re-meet old acquaintances.

To date there have been 21 readings. The last event for this year was Scott Thurston reading Internal Rhyme (Shearsman 2010). It is hoped that the 22nd reading will take place in early Spring 2011."

LRB Bookshop's Pro-Poetry Pluralism focus

and hence anti-poetry factions. An interesting statement.

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Congratulations Matt Bryden, winner in this year's Templar pamphlet competition

Congratulations to one of my dearest friends, Matt Bryden, on winning this year's Templar Poetry Pamphlet and Collection Prize. His pamphlet, Night Porter, will be published this autumn, and his first book some time next year. There's a special pleasure when I work with someone closely on their poetry and it comes to fruition; Matt's been working on the poems in this pamphlet for over four years and I can't imagine how many times they've been by me. I'm so excited and proud. Congratulations, Matt. Hard earned, well deserved.

Steven Waling on performance poetry

Steven Waling's thoughtful post on performance poetry is well worth reading.

Tuesday 6 July 2010

Dublin reading podcasts

My reading in June on the Wurm im Apfel series in Dublin is now available in two podcasts from iTunes (simply search for my name under the description--not author) or for streaming online on this page of the Wurm im Apfel site. I read selections by Claire Crowther, Frances Presley, Anna Reckin, and Lucy Sheerman from Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets, as well as some of my own work from that anthology and from my pamphlet Yet (Leafe, 2008). Thanks to Kit Fryatt and Dylan Harris for the invitation and their generosity, and to Poetry Ireland for funding the event.

Saturday 3 July 2010

Thursday 1 July 2010

Another appreciative review of The Tethers in New Welsh Review

When a review of The Tethers shows close reading and subsequent understanding, I feel heartened and encouraged. Sarah Wardle's review in the summer issue of New Welsh Review is such a one (others include Paul Batchelor in The Times, Richard Gwyn in Poetry Wales, and Ben Wilkinson in the TLS). I'll quote the last few paragraphs here and refer you to the magazine for the complete article.

"In places the word choice is archaic: vocabulary includes ‘cherish’, ‘yearn’, ‘forebore’ and ‘nay’; but her fondness for such language fits with her at times Shakespearian inflexion. She deploys elevated diction, as in ‘asseverated your sincerity without reserve’, and in places uses academic discourse to interesting effect: ‘There is a London winter hermeneutic at work/ well into April’. In general, her raised diction and meditative cadence succeed in capturing the register and rhythm of the mind’s pensive voice, as at the close of ‘The Honeymoon of Our Attraction’: ‘Of the wave’s surge I know only/ I stand soddened.’

"Elsewhere, she can write with startling clarity and imagery, as in ‘Biopsy’: ‘This is my body. This is my heart,/ standing aside like a child at the zoo’; and in the fine lines which close the collection from ‘The World at Dusk’: ‘When at last I walked to the postbox, afternoon/ was everywhere. I had decades to live’.

"This book will be enjoyed by a readership that is both general and academic, and on either side of the Atlantic. Carrie Etter’s poetry stems from strong geographical roots and, unlike some contemporary poets, she shows an awareness of her literary heritage. Dedicated to her late father, The Tethers is a fine tribute and promising debut, filled with intelligent observation and written with precision."