August’s reading list

Working through Les Murray’s hefty Collected Poems (Carcanet). Four or five poems each night before sleep. Jen Hadfield’s Nigh-No-Place (Bloodaxe; above) is outstanding. I can’t recommend it highly enough. And will do properly when my brain’s in gear, via a reviewette. Hope she gets the Forward Prize this year. Still stop-start-stop-start with Martin Amis’s Other People. Very elusive.

Dipping in and out of The Newgate Calendar. Hence the ‘imagined emails’ below.

Half-read Sean O’Brien’s The Drowned Book (Picador). Three quarters through Lud Heat by Iain Sinclair (in a brilliantly tattered Poetry Library copy of 1986). Also picking through his Selected Poems, The Firewall (Etruscan). Finished Geoffrey Hill’s King Log. Excellent, especially the central sequence ‘Funeral Music’.

Just arrived from Amazon:

Sam Meekings’ The Bestiary, which has been recommended by numerous poetry folk. Contemporary Poetry and the City by Peter Barry, who also wrote Poetry Wars (Salt). And finally, Psychogeography by Merlin Coverley. Not really a balanced diet, is it?


  1. ivoryfishbone says:

    what did you think of sam meekings’ bestiary?
    i saw him read from it at ullapool book festival earlier in the year

  2. I enjoyed it. Mouth-filling language, for sure. I think it runs out of steam a little towards the end, but that’s a minor complaint. You?

  3. ivoryfishbone says:

    i wasn’t sure really – he was certainly an appealing reader, tentative and handsome – and an image stuck of watching some birds flying from above, out of a window maybe? … not sure the poems got me sufficiently

    i was wondering about reading it to see what happened

    but at the same festival i was bowled over by luke sutherland reading from venus as a boy – and that’s what i want to happen to me when i see someone

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