Thursday 28 June 2012

The Other Room reading

Here's my (dimly lit) reading at The Other Room in April 2011. I read a couple poems by other poets in Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets before reading from my collection, Divining for Starters. Thanks again to James Davies, Tom Jenks and Scott Thurston for inviting me. 

Tuesday 26 June 2012

The Other Room Interview

with me is well-edited; I've only delayed posting it because it shows me with two chins (and so I am dieting again). Here it is, for the interested, brief and pertinent.

Monday 18 June 2012

Sunflowers is out!

Sylph Editions' Nobile Folio of Peter Coker's painting, "Sunflowers," is out, with my series of prose poems, "Meditations." The series intermingles responses to Coker's painting with thoughts on my late mother and flowers; the piece as a whole is dedicated to her memory. You can learn more about the folio on Sylph Editions' website here.

Sunday 17 June 2012

Father's Day without my father

Dad and I at the former Bloomington-Normal airport, when it had only two gates and you walked across the tarmac to your plane. I don't know the date of this photo, but I'm sure I was in my twenties. I miss him so much.

Saturday 16 June 2012

Alasdair Paterson's Brumaire and Later, second selection

Here is my second selection from Alasdair's pamphlet. For a reminder of the context, please read the second paragraph here.


You were there,
I was over here,
the swifts were 
everywhere between
being transcendental and
complicated and always
trapped in their velocities.

Their stitchwork fell apart
like old infatuation,
like the ghost of fireworks,
until dusk thickened 
and they were only
shivers in it.

I moved closer.
You let me help with
your imaginary shawl.

Alasdair Paterson
Brumaire and Later (Flarestack Poets, 2010)

You can buy a copy of Brumaire and Later directly from the publisher for a mere £5.50 including postage.

Friday 15 June 2012

Two readings, two reviews

I'm just back from Beeston, near Nottingham, where I read at The Flying Goose Cafe last night with C.J. Allen and Joe Coghlan. It was a lovely evening, thanks to organizers Sarah Jackson and √Čireann Lorsung's care. The night before, I read with Alasdair Paterson and Robbie Vane at The Garden Cafe in Frome; thanks to organizer Crysse Morrison for her kindness and support. 

Today I learn both have been reviewed online: Morrison on her blog entry for 15 June; and Alan Baker on his blog. Thanks to both for their appreciative comments! Two splendid nights running!

Monday 11 June 2012

Alasdair Paterson's Brumaire and Later, first selection

It's been out for a while, but only last week did I obtain Alasdair Paterson's pamphlet, Brumaire and Later. The poems are wonderfully precise and taut. Alasdair has given me permission to post here two poems from the pamphlet, one from each section; it helps to be familiar with the context, available on the publisher's website here (so go read the second paragraph on that page and come back).


Today we'll be looking through
what's called the revolutionary window.
Each time it opens and shuts
the view is bound to change.

Change is brought to you today
in the name of these laden country folk
who've groped their way to market.
We'll explain it to them later.

Meantime we recommend the celery,
free from the earth, its prison;
so elegant, so palely bred by now
you'd think it wouldn't snap.

It snaps; and pricks your eyes
with an extract of summers
strong-armed from you, the lives
your children should have had.

And with the antidote it carries:
a fizzy virtue of fresh beginnings.
Beginnings waiting for us all,
both sides of the revolutionary window.

Alasdair Paterson
Brumaire and Later (Flarestack Poets, 2010)

You can buy a copy of Brumaire and Later directly from the publisher for a mere £5.50 including postage.

Saturday 9 June 2012

Two reviews of Ian Pindar's Constellations

My review of Ian Pindar's Constellations appears today at The Guardian, minus two sentences of criticism. Here is the sentence prior to them along with the missing sentences:

The poems are most effective when precise images build into nuanced observations, as when the speaker notes "the seductive endurance of the particular" toward the end of "21." When the entire poem  operates as an abstract meditation, sometimes the result appears a little hackneyed, as when "62" begins "Poetry must go where prose cannot follow." At other times the desire to declare means an otherwise intriguing poem is undermined by a trite conclusion, as when "75" closes with "A new beginning, a fresh start, morning" and "77" ends "If my children are happy I am happy."

From there the review resumes as it's printed. I post this here because I don't want any reputation I may have as a discerning reader of poetry to be marred by what seems a wholly positive review of a not wholly strong collection. Obviously it has a number of good qualities, as the review in The Guardian notes, but the weaknesses need to be noted also.