Kendal Poetry Festival 16/6/17

Performance #1 So the doors to the performance area are open because the room is packed, and the Lake District evening air is sneaking in to listen, and there is a hint of road noise and bird song, and one or two yoof outside. In and amongst all of this, you have live poetry and… Continue reading Kendal Poetry Festival 16/6/17

Night Sky with Exit Wounds – Ocean Vuong

Learning to Read #10 There is a lot to like in this collection of poems – it got hugely positive reviews in the US when it came out last year, as you can see from my meta-poll of the years books, and the Cape Poetry edition in the UK has also been warmly received. It is intense,… Continue reading Night Sky with Exit Wounds – Ocean Vuong

No Map Could Show Them – Helen Mort

Learning To Read #7 I enjoyed “Division Street”, with the Sheffield references, with the knowing glances back at the 1980’s and with the sense that the poems were forged from the base metal of working class northern England. This was something that I could relate to. I came to “No Map”, in contrast, with a slight sense of confusion. This was a book that… Continue reading No Map Could Show Them – Helen Mort

Say Something Back – Denise Riley

Learning to read #7 First and foremost the title – this whole blog could be summed up with those three words. My attitude to poetry could be summed up in those three words. Poetry, in my opinion, is not a passive, spectator sport – it invites a response, a comment, a creative reaction to write something… Continue reading Say Something Back – Denise Riley

catalogue of unabashed gratitude – ross gay

Learning to Read #6 First impressions, when the book opens for you, are that this is a short line poet; lines of two or three or four single syllable words, few capitals, variable punctuation, elastic sentence structure. It’s not always true; “weeping” and “spoon”, for example, broaden into more substantial couplet poems, and the title poem… Continue reading catalogue of unabashed gratitude – ross gay