Blood, Sweat, Tears and Poetry

Today I spent a couple of hours at the Bishopsgate Institute being interviewed for BBC Radio 3 by Patience Agbabi and her producer Simon Evans. It’s for a programme called ‘Blood, Sweat, Tears and Poetry’, broadcast for National Poetry Day on 9th October at 11.30am. This year’s theme is ‘Work’ so they’ve been interviewing poetsContinue reading “Blood, Sweat, Tears and Poetry”

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 OtherContinue reading “August’s reading list”

Litvinoff at Guardian

Very interesting article at Guardian Online about legendary East End Jewish writer Emanuel Litvinoff. Below is a clip of me reading a poem, Improve Yourself, at Bishopsgate Institute. The poem is based on an extract of prose from Litvinoff’s Journeys Through A Small Planet (1972; recently republished as a Penguin Classic).

Latest reading and cultural activities

   Sorry, it’s been a while. Been busy, innit, redesigning my other website and things like that. Lots of interesting reading material of late, mind. * Finished Ian McEwen’s post-9/11 novel Saturday. Outstanding. I don’t think I’ve ever broken out into a sweat reading a novel before. Heart-pumping stuff. Suicide Bridge by Iain Sinclair –Continue reading “Latest reading and cultural activities”

Depth beneath surface energy

My reviews of On Purpose by Nick Laird (above), Mario Petrucci’s Flowers of Sulphur and Todd Swift’s Winter Tennis appear in the Summer 2008 issue of Poetry London, out now (£5). I also recommend this issue for poems by Michael Symmons Roberts and recent Eric Gregory Award winner Emily Berry.

Digging around in Bishopsgate

I spent this afternoon digging around in the Bishopsgate Institute‘s archive, which is housed in the basement of the building. Much of the material is stored in heavy-duty grey boxes with labels like ‘London Collection 3/5’ and ‘ICA Minutes 192-208’. You’ve just gotta start somewhere, so I pulled out one of the London Collection boxes. Inside, lots of whatContinue reading “Digging around in Bishopsgate”

‘How to Build a City’ published in The Edgeless Shape

Most excellent literary magazine The Edgeless Shape (‘a collection of new words and pictures’) has published my longish piece ‘How to Build a City’ as an A2 poster pull-out. Perfect for framing, or at least blu-tacking to the wall / any wall. It’s a kind of poem/essay/travelogue hybrid, set in and around Liverpool Street Station. The posterContinue reading “‘How to Build a City’ published in The Edgeless Shape”

“Black Panther” and Ackerman’s Microcosm, &c.

  Today was a good day. First, a meeting with the lovely Will Carr, Director of The Poetry School. Swanky little office in Lambeth Walk, shared with Poetry London (for whom I’ve just written three reviews) and two doors down from Spread the Word. A literary enclave, sort of. Will recently moved down to LondonContinue reading ““Black Panther” and Ackerman’s Microcosm, &c.”

Tears in the Fence 47

  I’ve just received my copy of Tears in the Fence 47, which I think is one of the strongest issues yet. Of course I would say that, as I’m Associate Editor. I’m particularly glad to see strong new work by younger British poets such as Chris McCabe, James Wilkes, Hannah Silva, Simon Turner and Joe Dunthorne.Continue reading “Tears in the Fence 47”

April is the cruellest month

Work off the intellectual lethargy of the Easter holiday with three forthcoming readings wot I am giving. All in Londinium. All very different. I’ll be reading from ‘How To Build A City’, a kind of hybrid diary/travelogue/guidebook set around Liverpool Street Station (and to be published in the next issue of The Edgeless Shape). AndContinue reading “April is the cruellest month”