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Showing posts from March, 2006

The Los Angeles Review

I have a poem in the 2005 issue of The Los Angeles Review, from Red Hen Press, a good-looking journal which is just out recently. The issue also features the work of poets like Charles Bernstein, David Lehman, Jeffrey McDaniel, Mary Jo Salter and James Ragan. The cover art is by James Doolin, a painting from 1999, "Underpass", pictured here.

Poem by Janice Fixter

I am glad to welcome Janice Fixter (pictured here) to these April-leaning pages this Friday. I have been very much enjoying the poems of hers I've seen lately, in my various roles as an editor, and mild-mannered poetry reader. The poem featured today is one of the ones that especially struck me and is taken from her latest pamphlet.

Fixter was born in Kent and has remained in the South East ever since. She writes non-fiction and poetry and her poems have appeared in many respected journals such as Agenda, Smiths Knoll, Tears in the Fence, Iota, Staple, The Times, Envoi, and Smoke. Her poems have also been broadcast on local radio, LBC and Radio 4. Her haiku have been anthologised both in the UK and in the USA.

Fixter has had two poetry collections published: Walking Away From the Shadows was published by Poets Anonymous in 1997 and Walking the Hawk (pamphlet) was published by Tall Lighthouse in 2005.

She has an MA in Creative Writing, the Arts and Education and a D.Phil. in Creative …

Ian Hume Has Died

My grandfather Ian Hume has died at the age of 91. He is pictured above, leaping, Montreal's Olympic Village in the background.

He was one of my heroes, an extraordinary man. When I would say I was his grandson, people would nod, as if I had said Atticus Finch was. People who met him called him "Mr. Hume" - men in their 60s like schoolboys at his name - to meet him was to never forget him, for he was good, and he inspired you to be your best, in any walk of life.

In a poll for a news magazine, he was once voted one of the "100 best things about Canada" - up there near Niagara Falls.

Ian Hume was synonymous in Canada with excellence, on and off the track. He was the chief official for Track & Field at the Montreal Olympics in 1976. He was a key member of Olympic committees that wrote the rules for woman's pentathlon and other events. He was given the Order of Canada for his achievements, and has had a major track meet named after him.

More than that, he was…

World Poetry Day

Happy World Poetry Day!

See the link below:

http://www.unesco.org/culture/creativity/literature/html_eng/poesie1.shtml

I edited a "world poetry" anthology in 2002 with Phil Norton, which was published in New York by Rattapallax. It is called Short Fuse, and is still a very good introduction to what I consider the three main poetries currently developing in the English-speaking world at the start of the 21st century: mainstream lyric, linguistically innovative, and performance/alternative - the second and third of these categories between them include additional experiments with multimedia, hypertext, cinema and other art practices; the Short Fuse collection chose to describe the meeting point of all three of these widely-differing writing practices and kinds of poetry as "fusion poetry" - a term which has not been adopted by most critics or academics - perhaps because the very idea of finding common ground between these radically diverse and at times disparate and con…

Spring Quartet

Spring's sprung rhythm will hopefully gash gold soon. In the meantime, an (edited version of) a press release from one of Canada's most dynamic (and impressive) new small poetry presses:

Quartet 2006 / The Passionate Edge

Frontenac House is pleased to celebrate its sixth year of poetry publishing with another dazzling quartet of books and poets. Join us for one of the launches of Quartet 2006, an evening of richly spun poetry. It promises to be a great party, with readings, discussion, refreshments, and door prizes.

The Launches:

Thursday, April 20, 7:00 p.m. at Memorial Park Library, 1221-2nd Street, SW, Calgary,
with Pages Books on Kensington as our bookseller.

Monday, April 24, 7:00 p.m. at the Edward Day Gallery, 952 Queen St. W., Toronto,
with University of Toronto Bookstore as our bookseller


The Books

A Bad Year for Journalists by Lisa Pasold
In Pasold's poetry we hear the dissonant music of a broken and brutal world, its static and its ragged breathlessness. ~ Cecelia Woloch,…

Poem by Patrick McGuinness

I am very glad to feature the poet, scholar and editor Patrick McGuinness (pictured here) this Friday, St. Patrick's Day (a merely happy coincidence, I assure my readers).

McGuinness was born in 1968 in Tunisia. In 1998 he won an Eric Gregory Award for poetry from the Society of Authors and in 2001 he won the Levinson Prize from the Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine.

His poems, translations, essays and reviews have appeared in the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, The Independent, PN Review, Poetry Wales, Leviathan, and New Writing 10.

His books include a collection of poetry, The Canals of Mars, from Carcanet, academic works such as Maurice Maeterlinck and the Making of Modern Theatre (Oxford University Press, 2000) and Symbolism, Decadence and the 'fin de siècle': French and European Perspectives (University of Exeter Press, 2000).

He has also given us editions and anthologies, such as Anthologie de la poésie symboliste et décadente (Paris: Les Bell…

Openned

A new site for poetry in the UK, which is also a reading series and a magazine and a new poetic movement and.... Openned offers a lot of potential, and it also has a new poem of mine archived, see below:

http://www.openned.com/view.php?sid=80&id=28

Lynette Roberts Redux

I recently acquired a copy of a book (Poems) by the nearly-forgotten, and great, modernist poet Lynette Roberts (pictured here).

Importantly, Carcanet has now republished her work, out of print for nearly 50 years, as the Collected Poems, edited by the poet Patrick McGuinness (http://www.patrickmcguinness.org/).

See the review in today's Guardian: http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,1727423,00.html

It is extraordinary, especially in this climate of interest in the experimental aspects of language, that Roberts is not a name on the tip of everyone's tongue. At any rate, when modernist poetry is at its best, it clears the palate and raises the roof beams like no other sort of language can, and deserves not to be obscured but clarified, and welcomed. So it is I offer a quote from the Carcanet site, below:

Lynette Roberts was born in Buenos Aires of Welsh stock in 1909 and died in West Wales in 1995. She published two collections of poems in her lifetime, both from Faber and F…

Madrid, March 11

Today is the second anniversary of the March 11, 2004 Madrid train bombings, in which 191 people were killed.

In solidarity with the citizens of Spain, please find below the link to the original Nthposition e-book, "Poems for Madrid" which I edited two years ago.

http://www.nthposition.com/poemsmadrid_screen.pdf

March Poems Online At Nthposition

I Have Moved

I have moved flats, from gritty Marylebone, to leafy Maida Vale.

Like Hirohito among the rubble (see The Sun/Solntse: review pending) I am currently unpacking my spectacles, top hat and white gloves, and will resume regular posting later this week.

Crash Coarse

Notwithstanding the fact it was voted for by a majority of its peers, Crash was the least deserving winner of the annual industrial distraction known as the Academy Awards.

The further fact that it was the love-child of a Canadian made good in Los Angeles is beside the point. The film, in effect a series of intense, contrived actorial moments designed for maximum drama-school tension and release, was shallow and had a made-for-TV feel. The set up and pay off involving the dummy bullets and the child was particularly lame, a sort of Mad Magazine send-up avant la lettre. It did have moving elements, admittedly but...

Racial tension in Los Angeles is an important navel-gazing issue, and might be one sort of America's fault-line. Brokeback Mountain, Good Night, And Good Luck and Munich were far more profound, and controversial. My own preference was for the deeply-flawed but ultimately daring (in its context) Munich.

Talk And Reading At Dulwich College

The man to your right is Raymond Chandler, creator of Marlowe, the greatest noir detective in the English crime canon. Chandler has always been one of my true loves, as a stylist, and I rank him with Fitzgerald and Nabokov in that department.

Chandler attended, as a boy, Dulwich College, the famous public school in England, which was founded by a close friend of Marlowe's (the dramatist, not the gumshoe). So it was a delight for me to be invited to attend Dulwich on Friday, by the Literary Society, to give a talk on poetry in the 21st century, and then, later in the day, read my poems for half an hour in the Old Library, as the dark came in through the (yes) high windows (a Chandler image before it was borrowed by Larkin).

I was the guest of the fine English poet Jonathan Ward, who teaches there. We both agreed that some of the chestnut trees on the grounds require poems, especially at twilight.

Poem by Glen Sorestad

I am very glad to welcome the well-seasoned traveller, Glen Sorestad (pictured here) to these pages this Friday.

Sorestad is a veteran poet from the Canadian prairies who lives in Saskatoon on the South Saskatchewan River.

His poetry has appeared in nearly 50 anthologies, textbooks and other volumes, has been published in literary magazines in many countries, and has been translated into French, Spanish, Norwegian, Finnish and Slovene.

He is a Life Member of the League of Canadian Poets, a recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, and he has read his works at over 400 public readings in Canada, the U.S., France, Norway, Finland and Slovenia.

His latest books of poetry are Grasses & Gravestones (2003) and Blood & Bone, Ice & Stone(2005).

The poem below is from Blood & Bone, Ice & Stone.


Somewhere Near Endeavor circa 1953

What you remember now
with fearsome clarity: the lighted
windows of the Flin Flon Flyer
flashing past in the darkness,
the car careening to a sto…

Weaver Was The Watchman

No image is easily found of Dennis Weaver's finest cameo, that of the addled Night Watchman in one of the great films, Touch of Evil. But it remains a superb performance.

Instead, here's a collector's card from another of his iconic roles.

Weaver was one of TV's most-loved actors, and a significant green activist, and his recent death leaves the gun smokeless.

The New Hampshire Review 2 Is Here

Seemingly in time for Brokeback Mountain's ride to the Oscar heights, comes this lovely cover image from the second issue of The New Hampshire Review, which is promising to become one of the most impressive new online poetry journals in America.

I confess to having two poems (and some dodgy audio hiss with my voice attached - ah trans-atlantica!) in it:

http://www.newhampshirereview.com/swift.htm

Ash-Wednesday

Where shall the word be found, where will the word
Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence
Not on the sea or on the islands, not
On the mainland, in the desert or the rain land,
For those who walk in darkness
Both in the day time and in the night time
The right time and the right place are not here
No place of grace for those who avoid the face
No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny the voice

(From "Ash-Wednesday" by T.S. Eliot)