The postman dropped my contributor’s copy of Alice: Ekphrasis at the British Library through the mail slot just now.
What a wonderful project they have taken on this time, gathering responses from fine poets throughout the UK to the work of Lewis Carroll. I was delighted to add a political poem to the mix.
Many of the contributors will be reading this evening at the British Library in what looks to be a stellar lineup, with an encore reading tomorrow night as well.
Do check it out if you can.
Maddest of hats off to Ekphrasis for another really excellent collaboration.
Nine Arches Press in collaboration with Leeds Ebooks has done an excellent job bringing The Knowledge into an all-digital format. If you got a Kindle, iPad or tablet for Christmas, or have been holding off reading The Knowledge due to international shipping costs, now is your chance to get it for a song.
The e-book is on special offer for less than three quid (five bucks) throughout the twelve days of Christmas.
If you have a Kindle, you can download it directly from the Kindle Store. Even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can still read it on the Kindle app for your iPad or Android tablet.
I have a long list of e-book pet peeves, but this version has been expertly done. The table of contents is hyperlinked, font sizes can be adjusted to taste, and — best of all — it wraps long lines of poetry correctly with hanging indents. Apart from the formatting, you might also enjoy the contents.
Let it snow ones and zeroes!
Download The Knowledge e-book (US)
Download The Knowledge e-book (UK)
“…the voice in these poems is deeply reflective, defiant, and with doses of insect imagery”
-Lorenia Salgado, Poetry International
Poetry International (SDSU) carries a micro-review of The Knowledge on their website today. Lorenia Salgado notes “the speaker’s intricate response to life’s perplexing moments” throughout the book’s three sections, and quotes passages from “Nocturne with Writer’s Block” to illustrate various forms of Kafkaesque metamorphosis.
Reflection. Defiance. Insects. What more could you want from poetry?
You can read the full review at Poetry International.
Los-Angeles-based Piotr Florczyk takes on The Knowledge in a new review for World Literature Today (University of Oklahoma, founded 1927).
He rightly points out that the book is “fuelled by the poet’s insatiable wish to understand himself and the world around him”. Yet he also notes a the tempering influence, calling the work “equally restrained and voracious in … kaleidoscopic recording of the here and now.”
Noting the book’s cinematic quality, Florczyk observes, “Like a perfectionist cameraman, Peake is after the ‘dust in a shaft of light,’ recognising both its negative and life-affirming qualities.”
You can read the full review in the November print edition, and online.
[UPDATE: this offer has now come to an end.]
In celebration of summer, I am making a special offer available that should be particularly enticing to international readers.
Purchase The Silence Teacher and The Knowledge together and you will get instant access to download the e-book In Pieces free of charge as well as … wait for it … free shipping on both physical books (yes, including international orders).
If you already have one or more of these books, this is a great way to introduce them to a friend. I am also happy to sign and/or personalise the books — just make note of what you want with the order.
I have a limited stock, though, and summer is on the wane — so do place an order soon if you’re interested.
British poet Valerie Morton takes a close look at The Knowledge in a guest review on the website of Canadian poet E.E. Nobbs. How fittingly trans-Atlantic is that?
She calls the book, “strange”, “quirky”, and “honest”, and remarks, “What impresses me greatly is the author’s humanity, which I found very moving.”
Morton draws out themes of loss and culture shock in the first section of the book. Reflecting on the “difficult” middle section, she concludes, “the fact that America has been at war for most of its existence makes this section particularly enlightening.” About the London poems, she praises “such watchfulness and perception that I felt … invited to look at the city of my birth through new eyes.”
Finally, as a fellow poet, she seems to have a favourite:
Every poem in this unique collection is worth a special mention, but I cannot leave the book without showcasing one that holds particular significance for all poets — ‘Nocturne with Writer’s Block’ — where Robert Peake explores the two ‘selves’ of a poet with surprising honesty and produces an extraordinary piece of work on the secret life of writer’s block.
Finally, she praises the “beautifully produced and bound” object that is the book itself, concluding that, “It seems to tell you to be ready for anything and everything — a new kind of knowledge — dip your own eyes in and you will not be disappointed.”
You can read the full review on the website of E.E. Nobbs.