Reading at The Shuffle, Saturday 26th January

January 24, 2013

This Saturday 26th January I’ll be reading some of my poems at The Shuffle, hosted by Jacqueline Saphra at the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden. There will be ‘feature sets’ from Peter Armstrong, Fran Lock and Anne Berkeley. Rowena Knight and I will be reading shorter sets, and a ‘short star turn’ has just been […]

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“Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care”

January 17, 2013

As an absorbing evocation of Shakespeare’s life in London, Charles Nicholl’s The Lodger: Shakespeare on Silver Street is up there with Peter Ackroyd’s biography and James Shapiro’s 1599. Starting with the one surviving fragment of Shakespeare’s recorded speech, from a testimony in a civil court, Nicholl ferrets out a mind-boggling array of facts, inferences and […]

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The Four Subjects of Lyric Poetry

August 10, 2012

a short but comprehensive summary of subjects for lyric poetry. I went out into the woods today and it made me feel, you know, sort of religious. We’re not getting any younger. It sure is cold and lonely (a) without you, honey, or (b) with you, honey. Sadness seems but the other side of the […]

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Farewell to Magma

April 23, 2012

After eight very enjoyable years as a member of the editorial board of Magma Poetry magazine, I’ve recently handed in my resignation. I’ve had a wonderful time – among other things I edited Magma 34 and recorded an audio edition of the issue at the Poetry Library, attended lots of Magma readings at the Troubadour […]

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Nancy Gaffield, ‘Nihonbashi’

October 16, 2011

Inside, the edo-jin stir ashes to a dogged glow. A pair of curs sniff the bridgehead and the rat that passed there, now wallowing unreachable in river silt. They turn their backsides to our Hiro as he slips out of sight. The old town droops into silence and the rains begin. (Full poem online at […]

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Nancy Gaffield, Tokaido Road

October 13, 2011

I’ve just finished Nancy Gaffield’s superb Tokaido Road – 55 poems based on Hiroshige’s series of woodblock prints Fifty-three Stages of the Tokaido. I read it first without looking at the prints, to see how the poems work on their own (very well). Now I’m going to read it again, looking at the pictures. For […]

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Private Poetry

October 6, 2011

Outside the Brisbane Powerhouse, apparently.

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Louis MacNeice, ‘Passage Steamer’

July 30, 2011

One of my favourite bits of MacNeice: Upon the decks they take beef tea, Who are so free, so free, so free, But down the ladder in the engine-room (Doom, doom, doom, doom.) The great cranks rise and fall, repeat, The great cranks plod with their Assyrian feet To match the monotonous energy of the […]

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Poet Inscribes Verse into Bacteria DNA

May 2, 2011

Many artists seek to attain immortality through their art, but few would expect their work to outlast the human race and live on for billions of years. As Canadian poet Christian B

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Geoffrey Chaucer’s Blog

March 2, 2011

Whilom I was browsynge thurgh myn RSS redere, ich happed upon an newe blogge – hyt nys nat altogidir newe, but newely entred into myn orbit – ywriten by noon othere than that noble auctour Geoffrey Chaucer. (Ich am nat makynge thys up, I sweare.) Ywis, yt is soomdel funnye and goode matere for those […]

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