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Showing posts from January, 2009

Young British Poets in The Manhattan Review

An interesting, varied and substantial biannual publication, TheManhattan Review has long been featuring exciting work by leading American, British and international poets alike, from John Burnside to D Nurkse, Pascale Petit to Les Murray, Ruth Fainlight to David Constantine, George Szirtes to Penelope Shuttle, and of course the late, great Peter Redgrove, who remained a regular contributor until his passing.

But of special interest in the latest issue, as well as work by Tim Liardet, John Kinsella, Polish poet Julia Hartwig and a number of those listed above, is an important feature – something of a welcome, occasional aspect of the publication, taking stock of trends and developments in contemporary poetry across the globe – in this instance, ‘Seventeen Young British Poets’, edited and introduced by Todd Swift.

As a successful editor – having put together Poetry Nation and 101 Poets Against the War, both of which featured a broad, eclectic sweep of established and emerging poets, as w…

Pomegranate meets PoetCasting

There's a new feature on the PoetCasting website today, which, for those not in the know, is a varied, interesting and always-growing collection of poets reading their work, put together by the enterprising Alex Pryce.

The new feature includes 18 poets who've previously been published in Pomegranate, an online poetry mag which publishes work by poets under 30, edited by a dedicated team of previous Foyles' Young Poet of the Year winners. For each poet there are two recordings - one of a poem which previously appeared in the mag, one of a new piece - and among the contributors (as chosen by Pryce and the mag's editors) are talented young poets including Claire Askew, James Midgley, George Ttoouli and Martha Sprackland. I'm also featured with the latter, reading a short sonnet and one of the poems from my tall-lighthouse pamphlet, The Sparks. Handily, there are also pdf docs of the recorded poems so you can enjoy them on the page while you listen to them, should you b…

Mick Imlah

Talented poet, journalist and TLS Poetry Editor Mick Imlah has died, aged 52, of motor neurone disease. I never had the privilege of meeting Mick, though I will always be grateful for his publishing a handful of my poems, and later, reviews, the first at a time when I had no real biog note to speak of or much of a publication record. His encouragement helped immeasurably, and I am sure that many, many other poets have received similar help and encouragement from Mick along the way, during his 17 years at the TLS - Carrie Etter and David Wheatley two such writers.

This is a huge loss for the world of poetry, as indeed for the world of journalism and literary criticism. It seems odd that, only last week, I completed a critical perspective of his poetry for the British Council's Contemporary Writers website, and had been in touch over a review I recently finished for the TLS. The perspective of his work has now been duly edited and will appear along with his forthcoming profile on the…

A Poem a Week

I just noticed on poet Carrie Etter's blog that Oxford Brookes have set up a weekly poem service as part of their Poetry Centre webpage.

If you sign up, you'll be emailed a poem each week by a poet published by one of the following presses: Anvil, Arc Publications, Cinnamon, Enitharmon, Heaventree, Landfill, O’Brien, Oversteps Books, Peterloo Poets, Salt Publishing, Seren Books, and tall-lighthouse.

Looks like an interesting initiative that'll be worth following.

Hotel Dusk

I’m not much of a video game player these days, but like many others, I had a handheld Nintendo GameBoy as a kid and I always enjoyed playing adventure role-playing games, namely the excellent The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening for the original GameBoy console.

It was this that prompted me to fork out for the GameBoy’s successor, the Nintendo DS, back in 2006: I’d randomly heard that later that year another game in the hugely successful Zelda series was to be released, and a childish and nostalgic excitement briefly gripped me. (Ten years after its release, Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64 is still considered by many as one the greatest games ever made). After several delays, then, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglasseventually appeared in late '07, and I duly bought it, became quickly engrossed in its excellent gameplay and storyline, and after completing it, let the DS sit around gathering dust for the whole of last year.

That is, until I received a game as an unusual gift…