Welcome and contact details


This site doubles as a commonplace book and a home for updates on my poetry.

I’m on twitter as @harpertext, my email is: harpertext [at] outlook [.] com

Thanks for stopping by.

Posted in Welcome

‘The Cooler’ in The Interpreter’s House

Delighted to say that The Interpreter’s House issue 68 is out, the final issue edited by Martin Malone and assistant Charles Lauder Jnr. I’m delighted my poem ‘The Cooler’ is included, my second appearance in TIH after two of my poems appeared in issue 58. Thanks to Martin and Charles.

It’s a great journal, 130 pages of always interesting poetry and reviews, and I look forward to seeing the next issues from editor Georgi Gill and assistant Andrew Wells.

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Guy N. Pocock on the function(s) of poetry (1920)

Like Prufrock never happened…

…poets write [poetry] because they have a keener imaginative insight into the real significance of things than most men; and besides they are able to use words in such wonderful fashion as to conjure up for us a sense of beauty or power, the existence of which we had not suspected, or only vaguely, ‘at the back of our minds.’ This, primarily, is what poetry is ‘for.’

But a poem need not necessarily tell a story, like Enoch Arden; nor arouse patriotic zeal, as in Scots wha hae wi’ Wallace bled; nor paint a scene with wonderful words; nor call forth our pity or anger. It may do all these things, and more. But there is something else it can do. It can transport us into another world–a world outside Space and Time altogether.

This world of Fancy, and Romance, and Imagination lies all around us, and quite close to us, but is often just out of reach until the poet supplies the key.[…]

The people who inhabit this world are not real people; they need not think or act like real people; and the scenes need not be very like anything we know in experience. It is all a blend between what the poet had in his own mind, and what he stimulates in ours when we read as poetically as we can. And then our experience of this world of Fancy is real enough.

— Guy N. Pocock (editor) in Modern Poetry (1920)

Edited to add: I didn’t realise that Fancy was being used so late, this all feels like it could have been written many decades earlier, though I wonder if “outside Space and Time” is echoing the terminology of Einstein’s relativity.

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‘Edgelands’ in Cordite Poetry Review

Cordite Poetry Review 84: Suburbia went live today. As ever it’s a rich issue, containing art, essays, interviews and poetry, and I’m really pleased it includes my poem ‘Edgelands‘.

It’s my third appearance in Cordite, my thanks to issue editors Lachlan Brown and Nathanael O’Reilly, and to Kent MacCarter!

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‘Ask’ in Eye to the Telescope

Eye to the Telescope Issue 27 has gone live today, on the theme of Arthuriana. My Gawain poem ‘Ask’ is included, alongside an interesting and inventive range of Arthurian poems.

Many thanks to editor Adele Gardner!

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Name change to A.D. Harper

I’ve been considering a change of writing name for a while as there are several poets writing or performing as Alex Harper, as well as several others writing or performing non-poetry material. (Hello to you all, if you’re reading this!)

So, from today I’m writing as A.D. Harper. As far as I can see there are no other A.D. Harpers writing or performing poetry.

This site’s URL becomes ADHarper.com, and my email address becomes harpertext@outlook.com, matching my twitter handle @harpertext. (I’ll still receive email addressed to alexharperwriting@outlook.com, and following links to alexharperwriting.wordpress.com will still bring you here.)

Two obvious downsides (there may be many more): I’ve been publishing as Alex Harper for 3 years, and I’m sorry to make a name change mid-flight, but I’d rather change now than in another few years’ time. Secondly, researching the use of initials in a name throws up lots of issues, many of which are covered in Debbie Young’s useful post Writing: Using Initials in your Name. I may come to look fondly on the clarity of Alex Harper, and rue the need for decisions about whether I am AD Harper, A.D. Harper, A D Harper, etc.

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‘The Switch’ in Kaleidotrope

The Summer 2017 issue of Kaleidotrope has gone live, and I’m delighted it contains my narrative fantasy (and witchy) poem ‘The Switch’. You can read it here.

It’s my third appearance in Kaleidotrope. Thanks to Fred Coppersmith!

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‘Sheer’ in Mirror Dance

The Summer 2017 issue of fantasy zine Mirror Dance has gone live, with a theme of masks and disguises.

As well as fiction, it contains poems by Jeana Jorgensen, Mary Soon Lee, Todd Dillard and Robert Beveridge.

Delighted that it also includes my long poem ‘Sheer‘, a fairy tale retelling, or perhaps a fairy tale slice-of-life.

Thanks to Megan Arkenberg!

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