My contributor’s copy of Domestic Cherry 5 popped through the post today. I love this little annual. There’s not a dull poem in it. Mine, called “Patient Refused Dental Anaesthesia“, could only have been written in this conspiracy-mad US election year. You can see a snap of it here. Get your copy of Domestic Cherry 5 (you won’t be sorry) from their website.
Apropos of a US presidential election year, I have a brief meditation on the nature of binary decisions up at Queen Mob’s Teahouse. The poem is called “Free Will“. I love Queen Mob’s for their rapacious, eclectic inclusivity, dished with signature wit. You never know what their Twitter handle will get renamed next. So, do check out the poem, and spend some time getting lost on the site.
I receive my contributor’s copy of Acumen 86 this weekend, bearing my poem “Masters’ Palette”. I was pleased to recognise fellow former Highgate Poets member Anne Ballard in this issue, as well as Seán Street, who featured in a previous Transatlantic Poetry broadcast. I also enjoyed the interview with Wolfgang Görtschacher, tracing the origins of Poetry Salzburg — the publishing group that gave me a big boost on this side of the Atlantic by publishing The Silence Teacher. I look forward to seeing Wolfgang, as well as editors William and Patricia Oxley, at the Torbay Festival of Poetry next month. You can order a copy of Acumen 86 or subscribe on the Acumen website.
“All that a man knows, and needs to know, is found in Berkeley.” -W.B. Yeats, mispronounced by Jack SpicerSome things are worth waiting for. I submitted “Reading James Joyce at the Berkeley Marina” to Berkeley Poetry Review in January 2013, and it was accepted in August that year. However, due to the Editor-in-Chief’s struggle with a major illness, my contributor’s copy just found its way through my mail slot here in England this morning. The issue must be something of a small victory for the editor, which he writes about in his preface. It is for me too. As an undergraduate at Berkeley, I applied to a creative writing workshop with some of my poems. I still recall standing outside the classroom door, reading and rereading the list of accepted students, my name not on it. Little did I know how fitting an introduction to the writing life this would be. This issue is a tome, featuring poets from Ashbery to Hass, filled with terriffic historical documents, letters, concrete poems, and sketches. It is a kind of tribute to Berkeley’s intellectual and artistic history in its way. Needless to say I am eager to get stuck in to it. You can order this issue, or subscribe, at the Berkeley Poetry Review website. Here also is a photo of my poem.
The Mary Evans Picture Library is an independent family-owned historical picture library started by Mary Evans in 1964 in Blackheath. She and her husband supplied clippings to publishers and news agencies for decades. The collection is now digitised and available online. Furthermore, the website’s Poems and Pictures blog features poems inspired by images from the collection, alongside the images themselves. Blog curator Gill Stoker contacted me recently, and I was delighted to respond to one of the images she sent my way. You can read “Filing Room” alongside many other interesting Ekphrastic responses online at the Poems and Pictures blog. Read the poem.
Parts I to III of my long poem sequence “Nomansland Common” appear in the summer issue of Under the Radar magazine. It is in good company alongside two pungent and haunting poems by Paul Stephenson, a trans-Atlantic observational poem by Jill Abram, several poems about identity by Josephine Corocan, and many other delights, including insightful reviews and prose. You can order a copy of Issue 16, or even subscribe for the year, at the Nine Arches Press website. Valerie and I also made part IV of “Nomansland Common” into a film-poem, which you can read and watch online here.