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Odds and Ends

Still haven't found time to blog about my time at StAnza, Scotland's international poetry festival held in St Andrews, yet - though I intend to get round to it soon. In short, it was a great (long) weekend: particular highlights including readings from Bill Manhire, New Zealand's foremost contemporary poet; the excellent Simon Armitage; poetry centre stage with Robert Crawford and Kate Clanchy; and the launch of Roddy Lumsden's new collection, Third Wish Wasted. And I enjoyed taking part in the poetry breakfast on young poets, as well as the tall-lighthouse Pilot reading (alongside Abi Curtis, Adam O'Riordan, Jay Bernard and Emily Berry) and pamphlet signing, both of which proved popular.

Before I get to doing a proper write-up then, I thought I'd flag up a few forthcoming odds and ends: I've two new poems that'll appear in the next issue of Poetry Matters on the Tower Poetry site, and a short sequence that'll crop up in a future issue of Stand magazine. Also in the next two issues of Stand, I've a couple of reviews: first of Colette Bryce's Self-Portrait in the Dark; second of Glyn Maxwell's Hide Now. And I've completed a fair number of critical perspectives of poets for the British Council Contemporary Writers site which'll go live in due course, including Robert Crawford, David Constantine, Patrick McGuinness, Carol Rumens, Tom Paulin, and the late Mick Imlah.

Alongside forthcoming reviews for Magma and the TLS and working on new poems, then, I'm having a happily busy time of it - the only problem being that man flu has recently halted me from doing much at all productive; hunched as I am over the PC with a mug of tea and packets of honey and lemon Lockets. Even if you are misguided enough to do so, however, please don't extend your sympathies - many, not least my girlfriend, will amply attest to how utterly pathetic I am when afflicted with only the slightest of sniffles.

Comments

BarbaraS said…
No sympathy, then. Better get on with it then, hadn't you? ;)

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From the thumping heartbeat of the distance runner to the roar of football terraces across the decades, Ben Wilkinson’s debut confronts the struggles and passions that come to shape a life. Beginning with an interrogation of experiences of clinical depression and the redemptive power of art and running, the collection centres on a series of vivid character portraits, giving life to some of football's legends. By turns frank, comic, sinister and meditative – ‘the trouble with you, son, is that all your brains are in your head’ – these poems uncover the beautiful game’s magic and absurdity, hopes and disappointments, as striking metaphors for our everyday dramas. Elsewhere there are tender love poems, political satire and strange dream worlds, in an urgently lyrical book of poems that take many forms and modes of address: pantoum, sonnet, sestina; epistle, confession, dramatic monologue. All are united by a desire to speak with searching clarity about matters of the heart. Way More …

About the Author

Welcome to the website of the English poet and critic, Ben Wilkinson.
Ben was born in Staffordshire and now lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. He received his first degree from the University of Sheffield, and holds an MA and PhD from Sheffield Hallam University. He has won numerous awards for his poetry, including the Poetry Business Competition and a 2014 Northern Writers' Award
His debut full collection of poems, Way More Than Luck, appeared from Seren Books in February 2018.
He is a keen distance runner, lifelong Liverpool Football Club fan, and among other things he works as poetry critic for The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement. You can find many of his reviews on this site.
To contact Ben about readings, workshops, or for any other enquiries, you can drop him a line at benwilko(at sign)gmail.com. Unfortunately, I am not able to consider unsolicited requests from authors for book reviews.

You can follow Ben on Twitter - @BenWilko85 - and on Facebook.

You can find B…