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Showing posts from August, 2010

A Brief Essay by Derek Beaulieu

The manner/s of speaking


As founder and editor-in-chief of The Queen Street Quarterly, Suzanne Zelazo has filled its pages with a tight understanding of both lyrical and radical forms of writing. She has demonstrated an ability to combine two differing forms into a single magazine’s pages in such a way as to draw the similarities and commonalities forward. The QSQ rarely has editorial statements or an overt stated position, instead it leaves the editors’ decision-making process stated solely in what work is included. Zelazo’s editing is presented as a reading, a continuous documentation, a means of presenting a manner of speaking – a parlour for current poetics and prosody.In Parlance, Zelazo’s first book of poetry, she parleys this engagement with writing and reading into a series of dialogues and responses, each uniquely her own. Her “taxonomy of the past” reacts to a community of writers, friends, family, teachers, mentors. Zelazo, instead of struggling against an anxiety of influen…

New Poem by Colette Sensier

Eyewear is pleased to offer a new poem by Colette Sensier to the dying god, August, this morning.  Perhaps this will revive its fortunes.  Maybe not.  At any rate, it's a pleasure.  Sensier, a recent Cambridge graduate, is one of the more promising of the younger British poets.  She has new poems appearing in Iota soon.
Sleep
All night we lie back to back under the grid-shadowof the blue nylon mosquito net, our arms too hotto bear the weight of any more thick, blood-full human flesh. Your ankle twitches against mine, drumming a hollow rhythm, as our backs lie together to rest like tired, reproachful dogs. I tickle your dreams
like trout. Skimmed of the day behind us, we spendanother night held in the pen of piled skin and tired muscle, our feet twitching like fish in a cramped, singular skillet. All night we lie cramped under the mosquito net, the silver moon above calling our lives up to be caught.
poem by Colette Sensier

New Poem by Maureen Jivani

Eyewear is glad to publish a new poem by poet Maureen Jivani this Bank Holiday Monday (the last of 2010, alas).  Jivani's Insensible Heart was recently shortlisted for an important new London literary award.


The Dogs of Nadadouro

Look, there will always be dogs on the sandyowling inconsolably at the tide’s return
just as elsewhere a lone wolf in search of his pack,descending a mountain, yips at the moon
and look how our father, building his house of cardson the glass-topped table, whistles to himself.
poem by Maureen Jivani

Guest Review: Muckle On Rowe and Sheppard

John Muckle reviews
Three Lyric Poets by William Rowe
&
Warrant Error by Robert Sheppard


William Rowe’s Three Lyric Poets is a study of Lee Harwood, Chris Torrance and Barry MacSweeney – a triad of the best of the ‘British Poetry Revival’ or ‘New British Poets’ who began to write modernist-inflected work in the sixties. There is much to enjoy in this concise, well-turned book of admirable sympathies, and a validity to his suggestion that theirs has been a new kind of lyric poetry: “Instead of the lyric as an expression of yearning that can be accommodated to the status quo so that reader and writer can go on living as before, poetry which spits in the eye or pulls out the rug.” But the twin themes of commodification and non-unitary subjectivity rather dog these essays: an academic Marxist’s tics hopping around in the pelts of three very different writers.
Torrance’s utopianism and determination to live in a different way led him from a safe berth as a gardener in Carshalton to hoeing…

Eyewear For Ed

Eyewear voted Lib Dem in the last general election in Britain - and may do so again - but currently favours a greener party.  Meanwhile, two brothers go to war over the leadership of Labour - Dave and Ed.  Simply put, Dave is the candidate Blair wants, and Cameron fears, most; Ed is leaning to the "older Labour" supporters.  I think Labour should go into a clarifying and cleansing period of opposition, with Ed.  Ed was against (nominally) the Iraq War.  He represents a break with the spin and cynicism of New Labour.  He stands for more than a compromise the middle class voters can live with.  Ed may make Labour unelectable.  But I doubt that.  If The Coalition proves as unpleasant as it looks to be, then plenty of voters will be ready to swing back to a new middle ground - one with just that extra bit of sensitivity to the less-well-off in society.

NHS Indirect

The news that the Coalition is scrapping NHS Direct is shocking, and bad news for anyone who gets sick.  Last year, when ill, I called NHS Direct, and was able to speak to first a nurse, and then eventually, as I needed to, a doctor.  The service was courteous and informed.  Now we will be directed to people with 60 hours of medical training instead.  In the week that the Camerons enjoyed excellent NHS service in Cornwall, such a blow seems low and mean.  And many lives will be lost, as misdiagnosed persons are left untreated or misguided - misdirected from the care they deserve.

Humourless Chain?

I have been reading Seamus Heaney for at least 30 years - since I was 14, and my aunt Bev gave me a book of his.  He started publishing the year I was born, 1966.  For 44 years, he has been a major figure, and since his Nobel win, in 1995, a pre-eminent one.  Indeed, since North in 1975, he has been a dominant poet.  Traditional poet, of course.  I am not here to discuss his entire output, or unquestionable import.  As Helen Vendler, and then a thousand others, have said, he is the lyric poet of our moment.  He is not the poet of the disturbed lyric, he is not experimental.  But he is in the line from Frost on down to us.

Of course, these ours and uses are themselves debatable.  There is no one or two poetic audiences anymore, no poetry receiving line.  The king stands alone, and what courtiers come, come on their own, in their own time.  Heaney's 12th collection has arrived at my door this Saturday from Amazon.  Nothing says more about what remains of England's civilisation t…

Featured Poet: Kavita Jindal

Eyewear is very pleased to welcome the poet Kavita Jindal (pictured) this last Friday of the British summer, as September looms.  Jindal was born and raised in India. She lived and worked in Hong Kong for several years before settling in London.
She is the author of the poetry collection Raincheck Renewed (2004) published in Hong Kong. Her poems, short stories and reviews have been published in various newspapers, literary journals, and anthologies, including The Independent, The South China Morning Post, Dimsum, The Mechanics Institute Review, Asian Cha, In Our Own Words, Not A Muse, and Asia Literary Review.
Jindal contributes a regular literary blog to Birkbeck’s Writers Hub website. She is also the convener of the Poetry Society’s south-west London Stanza.  She enjoys collaborating with photographers, painters, musicians and other artists on diverse projects.
Chaining the Ecstatic


As the white light on this summer’s day is pulled back into the molten skywhite flowers begin to gleam fr…

Guest Review: Brinton On Gross

Ian Brinton reviewsI Spy Pinholeby Philip Gross and Simon Denison
A recently published essay by Peter Makin on the work of the octogenarian Midlands poet, Roy Fisher, was titled ‘The Hardness of Edges’ and it opens in such a way as to shed light on what Philip Gross has achieved in his series of poems from Cinnamon Press:
When the total contents of each micro-package of similar wavelength reaching me distinctly (from this leaf, or from that greenhouse window-pane) are evenly diffused over the whole surface of the retina, then I can no longer see; I am effectively blind. This can be achieved (a) by placing a ground-glass plate before the face, (b) by cataract.We depend absolutely on the distinction of this from that; our lives depend on it.
Gross’s poems complement the distinctive photography of Simon Denison’s industrial landscapes: both photographs and poems are measures of distinctions. Both poems and photographs cohere within the covers of the book without the distinct differences of …

Guest Review: Monios on McVety

Jason Monios reviews
Miming Happiness
by Allison McVety



Allison McVety’s second collection arrives with a certain level of expectation due to the success of its Forward-nominated predecessor, The Night Trotsky Came to Stay (2007), and the new book returns us to some familiar subjects. There are poems on childhood, working class life in post-war northern England, old houses, damaged relationships and partial lives. All are depicted without sentimentality or mawkishness but with cold appraisal and dignified precision. A wealth of detail imbues her vignettes, in poems such as “On the East Lancs Road”:
                                    . . . There, on the East Lancs,men listened to twin cylinders: the rapid-firerattle of pistons banging down the exhaust.
But they are more than simply descriptive snapshots. Phrases such as “the scars/ ran the length of their lives” (“What the Women Say”), or “to hear/ the slap of our own names in the foot’s/ repeat” (“Typewriter”) demonstrate her ability to u…

Guest Review: Hymas On Brennan and Kinsey

Sarah Hymas reviewstwo recent collectionsby Catherine M Brennan and Chris Kinsey -Beneath the Deluge and Cure for a Crooked Smile

Beneath the Deluge is Catherine M Brennan's first collection, published as one of Cinnamon Press's prize-winning collections. A cohesive and focused thematic collection, it considers boundaries, particularly those that exist between humans and the natural world.
These are not clear borderlines. The opening poem presents an image of Vikings:
fade now between monochrome borderson the slow return from a naming, a wedding, a wake.
so blurred it is possible to interpret the figures as doing anything. This loosening of possibility is what opens the poems out into the realm of the readers' imagination. Nothing is prescriptive. Everything is open to interpretation: what are the boundaries between "skin and air"? How substantial are shorelines? Where are the regional divisions invisible to the seer?
When you look, as Brennan does, so much becomes …

Guest Review: Butt On McLoughlin

Maggie Butt reviewsChora, New and Selected Poemsby Nigel McLoughlin
It’s possible that Nigel McLoughlin may have the most extensive vocabulary of any man in Britain, and what a gift that is for a poet.  His contents page says: “the following abbreviations are used in footnotes to the poems: (Ir) Irish language, (Hib) Hiberno-English dialect, (collq) colloquialism or slang;” but he doesn’t list (Ac) academic or (Mu) the music of words or (He) the language of the heart – all of which he speaks like a native.  Even the title, Chora, is a word redolent with meanings which are different within the realms of ancient Greek, ancient philosophy and modern philosophy.  I expect he also knows it is a genus of nolid moths.
I first encountered McLoughlin’s work with the 2007 collection Dissonances (again a word with a range of meanings) so it was fascinating for me to see the genesis and development of poems published between 2001 and 2010. Some ‘New and Selected’s have poems in reverse order like a…

New Poems by Laurie Duggan

Eyewear is pleased to feature two new poems by Laurie Duggan.  Duggan was born in Melbourne in 1949. He moved to England in 2006 and now lives in Faversham, Kent. Recent poetry books are Crab & Winkle (Exeter, Shearsman, 2009), Compared to What: Selected Poems 1971-2003, (Shearsman, 2005) and The Passenger, (University of Queensland Press, 2006). His translations of The Epigrams of Martial have just been republished in the USA (Boston, Pressed Wafer, 2010).



Paphos
Darkness across the water, before whichlightning, hail against windows;a morning of tombs and low scrub, the desireto get ‘shit-faced’ in some bar
The term ‘authenticity’ is meaningless here,even the ruins attest to constant change
Sea-horse duct above rooftop generators,satellite dishes, air-conditioning units, hot water servicesVISIT PAPHOS AQUARIUM andCHRIS HOLIDAY RENT A CARAn illuminated truck circles the townplaying Christmas carolsSanta Claus awash on the seafront
At night a manhole cover, lifted by wavesclanks in…

Hey kids, Poetry T-Shirts!

Silkworms Ink have outdone themselves with their stylish new range of poetry T-shirts - for all occasions that require poetry and t-shirts - which would be many, or should be.  Order now for Xmas!  For birthdays!  I feel pretty.  I feel like I can't wait to wear one of these.  Okay, I admit, one of them has a poem of mine on it.  But still, what fun.

Bourneography, or, On First Looking Into Anna Chapman

Philip Noyce directed one of my favourite films, Dead Calm, an utterly thrilling (and romantic) movie about a bereaved couple and a handsome madman on an isolated yacht (based on an idea by Orson Welles for a movie).  Then he directed a lot of big-budget thrillers based on Tom Clancy, some a little hit and miss.  Angelina Jolie, who stars in his new film, Salt, is a curious actor - although world-famous - she has been in relatively few good films - and, more interestingly - alternates between action blockbusters like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Wanted, and more intelligent worthy dramas like The Changeling, A Mighty Heart and fusions of the two like Beyond Borders.  She worked with Noyce last century in The Bone Collector, so they have a history.  Salt wants to be a franchise like the Bourne trilogy - that most influential of all genre movies of the 00s, reshaping Bond and the style of all subsequent thrillers.  It has a good shot at this aim.

It's not as fun, smart, or fire-on-al…

Long Poem Magazine

There is an expression in England - "it does what it says on the tin" - and frankly, I am pleased to say that Long Poem Magazine falls into that category.  Rarely has a name of a little magazine so clearly and usefully lead readers to its pages: if you want long poems, here you go.  And what poems!  Issue Four, Summer 2010, has poems by Jane Duran, Patrick Early, Giles Goodland, Cherry Smyth, Claire Crowther, Graham Mort and Roger Moulson, among others.  I don't often write long poems.  Reading this fine selection makes me want to.  Buy this, and submit.