‘But after’ in Eye to the Telescope

I’m really pleased that my poem about reincarnation ‘But after’ appears in the interesting and broadly-themed “Ghosts” issue of Eye to the Telescope.

Thanks to editor Shannon Connor Winward! Edited to add: and thanks too for her fascinating series of seven blog posts, talking about the selection process for the issue and her thoughts on the poems she chose (and their relation to each other, and sequencing). The blog posts are a great read. Here is the seventh and last post which includes discussion of ‘But after’ (there are links to the rest of the series at the end of the post).

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‘A Spell a Day’ in Kaleidotrope

Really pleased that my poem ‘A Spell a Day‘ has gone live in the Autumn 2016 issue of Kaleidotrope, my second appearance in this fine zine.

Thanks to Fred Coppersmith!

Update Feb 2017. Really pleased to see that Michael Matheson included this poem in his Recommended Reading for 2016.

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Robert Lowell and confessional poetry (Lost Puritan)

Soon Lowell walked in with several other dons, was introduced, and read. Afterwards, the don who’d introduced [Lowell] asked if there were any questions and, when no one raised their hand, [Michael] Waters asked Lowell about his confessional poems. At once the don interrupted to explain that Mr. Lowell did not write confessional poetry, and that if that was the sort of question his guest was to be subjected to, there would be no more. Lowell, still at the podium, interjected. If there were to be no more questions, could he read another poem? Fine, the don agreed. “Then I’d like to read ‘Skunk Hour’,” Lowell drawled. “It’s one of my confessional poems.”

— Paul Mariani, Lost Puritan: A Life of Robert Lowell (1994) p.390

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‘The Ritual’ in Liminality

Today sees the launch of the ninth issue of Liminality.

Really pleased to say that my poem ‘The Ritual‘ is included, my third appearance in the journal.

Thanks to Shira Lipkin and Mattie Joiner!

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Susannah Herbert on not marketing poetry as a vitamin pill

The whole evangelical look-lovely-poems-are-good-for-you schtick assumes poetry is a precious endangered superfood, somewhere between a vitamin pill and a rare flower.

Wrong. It should be ranked among life-forms that will survive nuclear holocaust: jellyfish, cockroaches, Millwall fans.

Any effective campaign promoting poetry needs to distil this toughness and ask: what immunity does this awkward art carry deep within it that resists eradication? What force lives in a form in which language, selfish as a Dawkins gene, deploys all its armoury to demand space, seize attention, burrow tenaciously into memory?

Susannah Herbert on the Resilience of Poetry

From a great post by the Executive Director of the Forward Arts Foundation.

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Alan Moore on the appeal of writing comics (The New Yorker)

“The reason I liked comics was that nobody else did, because it was completely unsupervised…I was given a chance to sneak up on culture by some sort of back door.”

— Alan Moore quoted in A Party in a Lunatic Asylum, The New Yorker, 8th September 2016

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Vahni Capildeo on the impossibility of herding readers (Poetry Spotlight)

Poetry Spotlight: I wonder if you could tell us a bit more about the process of reaching the final order of the book, and how important do you feel the ordering of poems is to how a reader experiences a collection?

Vahni Capildeo: Readers are not to be herded. Even with the best-behaved, most imposing novels, readers will disrespect the chapter order, fall asleep and read things several times over, stop and start again at the wrong place, look at the ending first, somehow randomize the experience.

With Measures of Expatriation, I think I have prepared meaningful surprises for people who are willing to track the indicated paths, but who is to say if or how that would work?

Vahni Capildeo interview, Poetry Spotlight

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