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Showing posts from May, 2015

2015 MELITA HUME POETRY PRIZE SHORTLIST FOCUS: BEN PARKER

Ben Parker’s debut pamphlet, The Escape Artists, was published by tall-lighthouse in 2012 and shortlisted for the 2013 Michael Marks Award. He is currently poet-in-residence at The Museum of Royal Worcester.
Church Flatts Farm

All night the waves are in his room
lifting him from half-dreams
of bladder-wrack and drift-wood.
The walls breathe like filling sails,
the blood-tide beats in his ears,
he is feverish and sleepless, far
from instruments, with no navigator
and the Pole Star lost behind plaster.

When arthritis closed around his hands
he left the sea and made his way here,
the furthest he could move inland,
and stripped his boat to make a bed.
Mornings now he wakes with dry lips,
salt-blur glazing the window.


poem copyright the author 2015

2015 MELITA HUME POETRY PRIZE SHORTLIST FOCUS: JULIE MORRISSY

Julie Morrissy is a poet from Dublin currently living in her home city after spending several years living in Canada and the USA. She has been selected for Poetry Ireland Introductions 2015, and her poetry has featured or is forthcoming in Cyphers, The Dalhousie Review, Abridged and The Honest Ulsterman. The poem below is from her shortlisted unpublished collection.
Moving Day
it is straight forward:

boots or die
boots or your toes stick together
like tongues on ice
boots or an all-inclusive
with trays of crab claws and prawn cocktail
delicious sweltering heat just a plane ride away

I write letters home
inquiring about the handheld heat packs from childhood
postage costs one dollar eighty-five cents
and five to seven business days - not counting Family Day
another provincial quirk

like the wine rack
and the difference between the store and the dep
I meet my friends at Aunties and Uncles and pretend
pour Aunt Jemima’s over my pancakes;
this is not maple syrup
- this is regular syrup

I sit on the st…

2015 MELITA HUME POETRY PRIZE SHORTLIST FOCUS: JESSICA MAYHEW

Jessica Mayhew's pamphlet, Someone Else's Photograph, was published in 2012 by Crystal Clear Creators. She graduated with a Masters from University College London in 2015. Her poetry and fiction have been published in magazines and online, including in Ambit, Stand and Staple.Rainy SeasonMonks stay putso they don’t hurt the shoots.We trawl through gutter-runthe colour of precious woodfor another meal of ricewhile cockroaches tide up wallsabove the lapping line.Fon Tok, rain tonguespitting on a foot of soi water,lightning I cannot pronouncebut count, gaining groundeach time saffron dusk cracks –five miles, four miles, three.We lie with windows open,swiping mosquitoes we can only hearbut smear someone else’s blood,mingled with mine, down white paint.When I sleep, the rainis bats back homethat have somehow learned to singthe splashy notes of blackbirdsdecked with frost, a proper October.Here, alms bowls fillwith baht and water,monks crouch, protected by the blueof old tattoos, th…

2015 MELITA HUME POETRY PRIZE SHORTLIST FOCUS: ANNA MACE

Eyewear will be announcing the winner of the Melita Hume Poetry Prize in early June.  We are now halfway (at number 6) through our alphabetic posting on each of the 12 shortlisted poets.  I include a copy of the whole list below as well, to jog your memories.Anna Mace has an interest in modernist, symbolist and experimental poetry traditions.Within her multi-disciplinary approach she is keen to explore relationships between text, art, science and performance.Recent work includes, collaborative project and publication, Revolve:R with film responses to her poetry by artists, Rammatik, One Five West and Maria Anastassiou. She will be poet in residence for the National Trust, summer 2015.She has lived in Europe, India and Japan but now resides in Bristol, UK.Not I

It was one to remember,
this one,
(weighted like a holy book).
More, {like scrunched up wings}

PROUD AS PUNCH ABOUT PEGASUS PRIZE!

THIS DIALOGUE OF ONE HAS WON THE FAMED PEGASUS PRIZE FROM THE POETRY FOUNDATION!

Eyewear Publishing has just won the world's most prestigious prize for poetry criticism in the English world for its recent collection of essays by poet, scholar, editor, anthologist and UCL professor Mark Ford, titled This Dialogue of One! The prize is from The Poetry Foundation & Poetry Magazine and is called The Pegasus Prize for Criticism.


We're only a small indie press in the UK, but we were competing against presses like Harvard University Press, FSG, Graywolf and others, with far larger staff and budgets - establishing publisher Todd Swift and his dynamic team (Cate Myddleton-Evans and Edwin Smet, with Oliver Jones) as a David against Goliath figure in literary publishing, here and across the pond in America. Eyewear's editorial vision  has already led to a first-time novelist, Sumia Sukkar, getting a BBC Radio adaptation for her debut.

Meanwhile the prize cements brilliant Mark Ford as one of the key poetry critics of our age, the equal of fabled Randall. He'…

2015 MELITA HUME POETRY PRIZE SHORTLIST FOCUS: MICHAEL CONLEY

Michael Conley is a 30-year-old teacher from Manchester.  He has been published in a variety of magazines including Magma, Rialto, Interpreters House and Bare Fiction.  His first pamphlet, Aquarium, was published by Flarestack in 2014. The poem here below is from his shortlisted collection for the Melita Hume Poetry Prize 2015.We Discover A Severed Thumb In The WoodsLying either side of it,we playwho dares get their tongue closest.It nestlesin a pile of wet leaves, real as a joke thumb.It mightn't be a thumb after all;could be a stubby finger.It's hard to tellwithout the context of a hand.It smells likethe thing you can’t findin the fridge.You are winning: your tongueis practically touching it.

THE BIG SAY YES

There is no argument to restrict marriage to heterosexual citizens, even in churches. Tradition is a poor blueprint for a more just or modern world. Should we still burn at the stake? There is no explicit permission from God in the Bible but neither does God give permission for liberal democracy or hydro-electric plants. Homosexuality was a sin because all sexuality outside of marriage was a sin. So bring the homosexuality into marriage and Hey presto! That sin problem goes.

Meanwhile the idea that only a man and woman can be married because only they can procreate - well not all of them can. Any couple can adopt and raise children as well. As for the argument that only married heterosexuals are truly able to be loyal and loving well sadly too many shelters for battered women tell another tale. Wedded bliss is not automatic for any gender or sexual bias. If Ireland votes No today it will be an embarrassment and a tragedy which is Hard to manage.

But they managed it in the body of Oscar …

SHADES OF EYEWEAR SPECIAL FOCUS ON OUR WRITERS AND POETS: #1 SUMIA SUKKAR

Over the next weeks, as Britain's sunny summer days intermiitently appear, we will be celebrating our Eyewear list of writers and poets HERE at our blog - each wearing a pair of shades, for the sheer fun of it. Enjoy and collect these cool images of the hot summer of reading ahead... and look for their books!

Sumia Sukkar is one of our younger Eyewear Publishing authors, but her debut novel, The Boy From Aleppo Who Painted The War, is already one of our biggest successes, in terms both of sales and critical reception.  It got a glowing review in The Times, and was aired on BBC Radio 4 as a special dramatisation last autumn - it was heard by over 600,000 listeners. There is now talk of a movie adaptation, and of course we are discussing foreign translations.  Her powerful, poetic and even at times visionary story of Adam and his sister Yasmine, caught up in the Syrian conflict, strips bare the savagery of war as it impacts on innocent civilians (and not so innocent people); explores…

2015 MELITA HUME POETRY PRIZE SHORTLIST FOCUS: TONY CHAN


In January 2015, Tony Chan decided to take a break from senior school English teaching. Unable to dream up better ideas to cover over his unemployment, he embarked on a 1400 mile solo trek across Britain.

The 78-day route started at Dunnet Head, Britain's northernmost point, and led to Britain's three other extremities. Each day yielded a sonnet. Tony is now working on his next creative project: a series of prose-fiction vignettes exploring lonesome lives.



MEMORIAL TREE

There is this secluded and shaded grove
Not easily noticed by passers-by
Where an ellipse of matured trees surround
An autumnal sea of long-fallen leaves
One tree stands solitary amidst all
A sapling rising slowly year on year
It is wintered bare to a slender trunk
Visibly without width and without leaf
Yet it is full with personal meaning
Each tiny branch a tender reminder
Of memories deep-rooted in the mind
This slight and single whip of English Oak
Unknown and left alone by most others
Draws me back and back to this poign…

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FOR OUR 3333 RD POST, WE OFFER FOUR OF OUR CLASSIC IMAGES FROM OVER THE YEARS

ROAD MADDER: THE NEW MAD MAX REVIEWED AT EYEWEAR

[SPOILER ALERT] The new Mad Max: Fury Road film has had a fascinating gestation and now a narrative of striving against another kick-ass franchise, Pitch Perfect, itself a vehicle for amazing women. Well, that's the media hyped story, and let's leave it there.  I saw Mad Max 4 (as it were) on Friday in 3D in London; at the end, reactions from the audience were mixed.  If you wanted to sum it up you might say Marmite - it did create a love-hate tension in the packed theatre.

I loved it.  I loved the insane Cirque du Soleil mania, the battery acid propulsion, the high-octane raciness; I loved the Trigger Warning vision of it.  The eco-warrior-feminist subtext; the redemption; the ugliness; the beauty; the sheer Wild West poetry of the cinema it extends and amplifies in its very motion.

I would argue that, at 70, director George Miller, in tandem with a hugely talented team - a crew of hundreds - has choreographed one of the most beautifully fluid and breath-taking action spectacle…

2015 MELITA HUME POETRY PRIZE SHORTLIST FOCUS: JEN CALLEJA

Jen Calleja (pictured) was born in Shoreham-By-Sea, West Sussex, and lives in London. She is a writer, literary translator from German, reviewer and editor of Anglo-German arts journal Verfreundungseffekt.

Her short fiction and poetry have been published by The Quietus and Structo, in many independent publications, as well as released on record and played on BBC radio. She was runner-up finalist of Brighton Festival's inaugural Peacock Poetry Prize in 2011. She also plays in the bands Sauna Youth, Feature and Monotony. This poem is from her short-listed collection.


extract from she is that which I areI come to an isolated factory. Disused, with a distorted structure. I remembered night shifts stirring, stirring, making checks and kicking back for naps. I’d eat – from the pots with a long spoon – the melting components. I couldn’t afford the canteen lunch. It was a story my friend enjoyed telling, the way only he can. It popped up in a graphic novel, green and brown and grey, and th…

POETRY COMPETITION FOR EYEWEAR 10TH ANNIVERSARY!

To celebrate the tenth birthday of Eyewear Blog - a major literary milestone in British poetry history perhaps (or not) - its spin-off sister, Eyewear Publishing is offering a £110 poetry prize for the best ten line poem using imagery in relation to eyewear, vision, opthamology, or something to do with monocles, glasses, glass eyes, eye patches, or optomosterists, including eye charts... and those tests that put a puff of air into your eye - ouch! Just email the poems as word docs within BEFORE MONDAY MAY 25TH to EYEWEAR TENTH BIRTHDAY POETRY PRIZE to info at eyewearpublishing dot com. Please share and retweet peeps!