Thursday, 31 May 2012

Saturday, 26 May 2012

full house on mount pleasant

Tom Leonard, Jack Hirschman, Ziba Karbassi, Marianne Morris, Sean Bonney and Harry Gilonis read at The Apple Tree last night. But by the time I got there and bought a drink it was nigh impossible to get in. I took my pale ale downstairs and out onto the footpath where I took these photos of Anthony John and Will Rowe at the windows. Colin Still turned up late and in a hurry with his recording equipment. I don’t know where he was going to put it.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


There was a heat haze over Canterbury, possibly the first of the season. In the Peter Brown Room (shouldn’t it be the Pete Brown Room) at the University of Kent, Peter Gizzi discussed the strange business of poetry and read from his most recent book Threshold Songs (Wesleyan University Press, 2012). It’s always refreshing to hear someone talk about poetry who isn’t trying to hammer a credo into your consciousness (when this happens the credo usually manages to place its author at the centre of things). I thought Gizzi got it about right. I would probably disagree with a fine point or two but I think he managed pretty well to balance a sense of the place of poetry with a degree of humility.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

candy apple grey

A stall at this year's Faversham car show was selling wills. Down the road the monumental stone mason had Ray Charles blasting from his outdoor speakers.

out of the bag

Saturday, 19 May 2012

political science

It’s perhaps not surprising that there should be a resurgence of expressly political poetries these days. In venues that don’t usually sponsor a high proportion of specifically engaged work this is perhaps significant if not surprising. Even Cambridge is getting into it. Last week the University of Kent hosted Canadian poet Steve Collis who talked and read from his poems associated with Vancouver’s Occupy movement. This was intelligent work, embracing ‘impurity’, making use of documents and various voices. I found myself thinking about Ed Sanders Investigative Poetry and in particular, Sanders’ comments on the footnote. On Tuesday at the Blue Bus reading Fran Lock read political work of some power dealing with the eviction of the Gypsies from Dale Farm, alongside Marcus Slease and Lesley McKenna (shown above). In a week’s time Birkbeck will be hosting a conference on Poetry and Revolution. A Crossing The Line reading held in conjunction with the conference will feature Tom Leonard Jack Hirschman, Ziba Karbassi, Marianne Morris, Sean Bonney and Harry Gilonis.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

end of the season

Last night’s reading was the last Shearsman one for the season. Paul A Green launched his selected poems The Gestaltbunker, Valentino Gianuzzi and Tony Fraser launched the comprehensive Complete Poems of C├ęsar Vallejo (translated by Gianuzzi and Michael Smith) and I launched my new book The Pursuit of Happiness.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

things for us to do

Pete Spence has been busy. Last year his substantial collection Perrier Fever came out with Alan Wearne's Grand Parade Poets. Now there's Excurses from Picaro Press and Things To Do In Kyneton from his own Donnithorne Press. Pete's been busy and we are all the better for it.

Saturday, 5 May 2012