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.
The Highgate Poets are a lively and talented group of North-London-area poets with whom I have had the pleasure of associating for over a year now.
They have been publishing an anthology of member poems every other year since their founding in 1977. I am delighted to have two poems in their newest anthology, Urban Harvest, and pleased to announce that it is now available for sale online at their website.
The book ships throughout the UK, however you can also contact the group coordinator if you are interested in ordering from abroad.
I made my way down to Kentish Town this evening to hear four members of The Highgate Poets read their work. As a newly-accepted member of the group, I was treated to a brief history lesson about the venue by coordinator Anne Ballard before the evening got underway. It turns out that Torriano House is synonymous with Hungarian Anarcho-Communist Poet John Rety, who founded and ran it as a centre of poetry and social change in North London for many years before his death.
The open reading portion of the evening was just as eclectic as those I had attended in California. The flavour, though, was different. Two older gentlemen sang folk songs a cappella. Themes of opera, atheism, and of course anti-war sentiment peppered the poems from the floor. David Floyd promoted his new pamphlet entitled “Protest.” The walls were lined with ink drawings depicting the horrors associated with capitalist greed for oil. And at the back table, a periodical called Peace News replaced what had typically been promoted at Torriano House — The Daily Worker.
The featured poets themselves took up less directly political themes. Continue reading…