I received my contributor’s copy of Bare Fiction 9 today.
I love the format of this magazine — broad, art deco; it even smells nice. Inside, stunning poems by some familiar names — Mary Jean Chan, who will read for Transatlantic Poetry this summer; three corkers by Jane Commane; and two from Abegail Morley, on whom I can always count for a poem that tops and tails me. Many others remain for me (excitedly) to discover.
Another plus of this periodical is that you can get it however you like. You can pick up your literary fix — digital or physical, single or subscription — on the Bare Fiction website.
I have again compiled my shortlist of poets who I think are worth watching from both sides of The Pond.
We lovers of poetry have this consolation at least: when times get tough, the poetry gets better. More poetry, more fiercely, please, to see us through.
Get your fix of poetry recs. right here.
I have been reading a lot of amazing poetry lately, and so jotted down a few notes for Huffington Post on the ones that most grabbed my attention.
You can read the full list, with commentary, on the HuffPo site. Feel free to add your own favourites and recommendations in the comments section there.
“I saw something nasty in the wood shed.”
-Aunt Ada, “Cold Comfort Farm”
There’s nothing nasty in Abegail Morley’s Poetry Shed. I know becaus she recently invited me in for an interview.
We talked about the editorial process leading up to publication of The Knowledge, how the editor Jane and I worked together, and what it was like to finally see the finished product. The publication process can be a bit of a mystery to some, so thanks to Abegail for asking about this side of things and shedding some light on what was involved in bringing this book into the world.
You can read the full interview at The Poetry Shed.
Abegail Morley has kindly featured me today on her excellent website The Poetry Shed.
I was lucky enough to catch her attention at the Troubadour Poetry Prize Reading last year, and not long after that she invited me to read at the Royal Academy as part of the Ekphrasis project. It has been a pleasure to get to know Abegail — one of those people diligently and unassumingly going about the business of doing good things in the world of poetry.
She mentions the history of our acquaintance, along with a lovely nod to Transatlantic Poetry on Air, and reprints two of my poems on her site.
Do check it out, and the many other interesting poets she has featured over the years. You’ll no doubt want to find your way back to the Shed again soon.
Last night I participated in a truly unique poetry reading sponsored by Ekphrasis. A dozen of us poets dispersed ourselves amongst installations in the Sensing Spaces architectural exhibit at the Royal Academy. As patrons wandered through the exhibits, we read poems to them, which we had written in response to these very spaces.
It was challenging. Bursting into poetry as the spirit moved me felt a bit like trying to be a one-man flashmob. Having never done any busking, I was unaccustomed to people wandering into or out of a room while I was reading a poem. Based on their responses, I think it was challenging, too, for the patrons. I saw many a bemused and bewildered smile.
Often, when we encounter something surprising like a provocative art installation, we seek guidance — in the placards on the walls, or the words of a knowledgeable guide. Yet we poets were the opposite of guides — raising yet more questions in response to their questions, bringing our own thoughts, music, and imagery to bear. The patrons were therefore simultaneously experiencing their own responses to the installations, and responding to ours. Challenging, indeed.