Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Patrick Kurp's Anecdotal Evidence

I've long been a reader and admirer of Patrick Kurp's Anecdotal Evidence. Rob MacKenzie first drew my attention to it back in 2008, and I've been following it ever since. In my view, it's one of the most thought-provoking poetry blogs to come out of the U.S..

As a consequence of the above, I'm especially pleased to note that The Knives of Villalejo is being featured today on Anecdotal Evidence (and grateful to A.M. Juster for facilitating an initial contact a few weeks ago). You can read Patrick's article here, but I recommend you then stay and explore for a while. From personal experience, I imagine you'll need to bookmark it, as his posts lead you on to other interesting posts and exciting new poets and fresh perspectives, etc, etc, etc...


Thursday, 10 May 2018

Richie McCaffery reviews The Knives of Villalejo

Over at his Copy Cats blog, Richie McCaffery has posted a beautifully written and insightful review of The Knives of Villalejo. Richie produces lovely prose and "gets" my poetry in every way, so I'm delighted to read his words and learn more about my own work in the process. I'm not going to quote from his review here, simply because that wouldn't do its carefully crafted structure sufficient justice. Instead, I suggest you read it in full here.

Moreover, one of the most significant poetry events in 2018 will be the publication of Richie's second full collection, Passport, which is due out from Nine Arches Press in July. I'm not saying that as a consequence of his having been complimentary about my own book, but because the poems he's published recently in journals represent a step up from was was already a terrific standard. Passport will be a collection to savour and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Wood Bee Poet

2018 is already proving to be a bumper year for the emergence of interesting poetry blogs. The latest to have caught my eye is Wood Bee Poet. Run by Chris Edgoose, it features a blend of original verse and critical articles, while it's also not scared of tackling awkward issues: for example, one intriguing recent post featured an analysis of the fall-out in the media and blogosphere from the RebeccaWatts-Hollie McNish affair. I'll be keeping a close eye on its development over the coming months.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Lawrence Schimel on The Knives of Villalejo

Lawrence Schimel has had some very generous things to say about The Knives of Villalejo over on Twitter (see here), highlighting especially my poem "Sooner or Later", describing it as a "real heartstopper."

I first met Lawrence at The Poetry Book Fair in London back in 2012 when I was launching Tasting Notes, my second HappenStance pamphlet, and I've admired his work ever since. Moreover, the fact he lives in Madrid means he has a keen understanding of my own life between countries and cultures. I'm delighted that he should be enjoying my collection.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Then

Once a mainstay in my poems, it gradually became an occasional prop. These days, it's a warning sign that my narrative isn't strong enough to indicate a series of events without outside help.

As a consequence, it's one of the first words to be taken out of any draft. Its removal is an implicit challenge to the rest of the piece to avoid a similar fate. Of course, there will always be a certain poem that demands an inevitable exception to the rule...

Monday, 23 April 2018

A poem for St George's Day

The 23rd

in memory of George Stewart

It casually loiters in the fourth line
of April, pretending not to stalk me,
the expiry date on David's passport
and the start of a trade fair in Brussels.
It knows full well you chose your namesake's day
to die, as if you were somehow afraid
I might forget. As if I ever could.

from The Knives of Villalejo (Eyewear Publishing, 2017)

Saturday, 21 April 2018

A killer ending

Just for the hell of it, for the sheer relish of its rightness, I'd like to share with you the killer ending to Helena Nelson's "Ultimatum" from her terrific collection, Starlight on Water:

"...Come to bed, I said
shivering, now. Time later
when sad love's fed
to talk ultimata."