American Poets Wallace and Fericano

fericano-wallace

Long-Islander George Wallace and Frisco Kid Paul Fericano have been quietly and diligently going about the business of furthering the tradition of Amercian poetry in their own unique voices. I take a look at what each has to offer — Wallace’s rough tenderness, Fericano’s slapstick pathos — in an online review of their work.

You can read the full review at HuffPost UK.


Four Poems from The Knowledge (Plus Video)

The Knowledge is quirky, wide-ranging, luminous and completely enthralling. If there were an A  —  Z of all the places poetry should take us, this would be it.”

 — John Glenday

Nine Arches Press has compiled four poems from my forthcoming collection, The Knowledge, along with a video of me reading one of the poems and answering some questions about it.

For those of you who have been curious about what this new book might contain, here is a sneak peek between the covers.

Enjoy.


The Knowledge Now Available to Pre-Order

“The work is elegant and strong. If it is silk, then it is silk over steel.”
-Rachel Stirling, stirlingwriter.com

The Knowledge by Robert PeakeI am excited to announce that The Knowledge, my debut full-length collection of poetry, is now available to pre-order directly from the publisher at the Nine Arches Press website.

The book ships worldwide, at reasonable rates, at the end of April. It contains poems begun in my MFA in Writing programme as well as many written in response to the remarkable past four years living in and near London. Nine Arches Press won “Most Innovative Publisher” in the most recent voter-picked Saboteur Awards and working with them to bring this book to light has been an absolute pleasure.

By ordering now direct from the publisher, you ensure that you will be amongst the first to get your copy. I do hope that you will consider “doing The Knowledge” and, above all, that you enjoy the poems.


Silk Over Steel: First Review of The Knowledge

Good things happen on Twitter.

I have Gail Borrow to thank for introducing me (and my work) to Rachel Stirling via this recent tweet exchange.

I scrambled an electronic review copy of my forthcoming book The Knowledge, and she read deeply into the poems.

The poet moves from couplet through the numbered stanzas to free verse, and back again, with confidence and grace. The pace is impressive, largely because the poems are a joy of enjambment. … The work is elegant and strong. If it is silk then it is silk over steel.

You can read Rachel’s full review, and many equally astute others, on stirlingwriter.com.

Also, if you write reviews in print or online and would like to peruse your own copy of The Knowledge, please do get in touch.


Namesake (Film-Poem)

<a href="https://vimeo.com/118540384"><img src="http://www.robertpeake.com/files/2015/02/namesake-1024x575.png" alt="Namesake (Film-Poem)" class="alignnone" style="width: 100%; max-width: 800px; min-width: 280px; border=0;"/><br/>Click to watch video</a>

About the Poem

I essentially wrote this poem for a dare. Click here to read the text of the poem, and more about how it came to be.

Process Notes

Having already enhanced this ekphrastic poem with imagery, I decided that a film-poem seemed like an obvious next step. Visually, the film follows the poem’s concerns about different kinds of reality — personal, virtual, and historical — by playing with dimensionality.

It gave me the opportunity to try out parallax 2.5d animation using all open-source tools (Gimp and Blender), which I found both painstaking and enjoyable. I also mocked up flat animations in HTML and Javascript — such as the opening search scene and ending Matrix-style text, using screen capture to convert it to video. Valerie Kampmeier wrote and performed the score, inspired by courtly dances and the D-minor feel of a dial-up modem sequence.


Interview with Paulo Brito Online

Photo by Paul BrittoI first met Portuguese artist and editor Paulo Brito online.

He kindly published an essay I wrote about magical realism in his journal The Ironic Fantastic, and then re-approached me recently for an interview on his website.

In it, I talk about my influences and mentors, current projects, and writing process. You can read all about it on his website, Porta VIII.

Many thanks to Paulo for this.


Innovation and Craft: A Trans-Atlantic Theory of Poetry

“Poetry must be as new as foam, and as old as the rock”

-Emerson

Dichotomies are often false but useful. Contemplating the similarities and differences between British and American poetry, having steeped myself in both for some time now, I have been slicing my experiences as a reader along two axes: innovation and craft.

Ancestors to the word “craft” come from Germanic languages and originally had to do with “strength, force, power, virtue”, making the transition to mean skill in art or occupation exclusively in English. To “innovate” comes from Latin and French and has always meant, as Ezra Pound would assert, “Make it new!”.

To better define the effects of innovation and craft on readers of poetry, here are some comparisons:

Craft Innovation
Reassures us with skill Disorients us with newness
Builds trust Generates excitement
Pleases the senses Delights the mind
Refers to convention Inaugurates new paradigms

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