Monday, 28 April 2014

Monday, 21 April 2014

Upper Harbledown, 21/04, 14.39


It's ETZ. time again: this one with a terrific cover by Pam Brown (the back, a bit dark to reproduce here, shows the interior of a library with various figures including Slavoj Zizek apparently becoming a Michelin Man). Inside are goodies as usual plus an eight page liftout by Mark Young, poet and editor of the wonderful Otoliths. To order ETZ. email Pete Spence.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones

On Saturday the University of Kent held a conference on the work of Amiri Baraka at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. Originally this was to have featured Baraka himself. Thankfully the organisers decided to go ahead after the news of his death on January 9th. The nature of the conference surely changed because of this. It became more of an overview and less, perhaps, of a straightforward celebration. I was able to get to the conference (despite rail trackwork in Kent) though I didn’t stay on for the reading in the evening. The standouts for me were Aldon Lynn Nielsen talking about Baraka’s work with musicians, Daniel Matlin’s account of the poet’s political development and his relationship with the Black Power movement, and the keynote address by Paul Gilroy that introduced a personal note to the proceedings.
Baraka on screen, Paul Gilroy at podium
Aldon Lynn Nielsen
LaDonna L Forsgren and Jean-Phillipe Marcoux
Daniel Matlin

David Grundy and Ben Hickman

Ian Brinton and Kat Peddie

What it said on the label

Thursday, 10 April 2014


My new book Allotments is now available from Shearsman. I shall be launching it at Swedenborg Hall in London on May 6th (7pm for 7.30).

Wednesday, 9 April 2014


I haven't posted an item of local news for some time. But this surely beats Man Falls Off Bicycle or Pensioner Loses Cat.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Pam Brown en Francais

French readers (and anyone interested in the process of translation) ought to be interested in this selection of Pam Brown's work translated into French by Jane Zemiro. The volume includes the original texts.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Ken Taylor, 1930-2014

I didn’t ever meet Ken Taylor, nor did I hear him read his work. But I have two of his books: At Valentines, published in 1975 (a faded image above), and Africa, published in 2000 (I was probably in the wrong place when A Secret Australia came out in 1985). I would certainly have seen some of his work with the Natural History Unit of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation though I may not have been aware that he was responsible for it. Taylor was involved with the poets who grouped around Melbourne’s La Mama theatre in the late sixties. I was just beginning to write at the time and Monash University in Clayton where I studied (and lived with my parents) was twelve miles away from the action in inner-city Carlton. Much has been made of the antagonisms between the Carlton and Clayton poets and that mere twelve miles seemed like a giant step at the time, but there were many commonalities (my first book was published by Ken Taylor’s friend Robert Kenny a year after At Valentines appeared). Taylor’s poems were influenced by those of AR Ammons and Gary Snyder among others, but they have a sparseness and sureness of their own. It would be a good thing if all of the poems were to appear in a single collection though Australian poetry publishers tend to divide into the scholarly presses who deal with canonically approved poets and the smaller presses who generally prefer their authors to be alive. Kris Hemensley has posted a good deal more about Taylor here.