Thursday, 15 May 2008
My ‘Collected Poems’ has now been well and truly launched, all 450 pages of it, with a reading at the Swedenborg Hall on 8th May – here is a photo of me courtesy of Laurie Duggan, the Sage of Graveney Marsh. All thanks to Tony Frazer of Shearsman Books. Also reading on the 8th May was Hazel Frew, launching her Shearsman collection ‘Seahorses’.
More Shearsman readings are in the pipeline – next is an extra one, this time at the Calder Bookshop where the performance space has recently been refurbished. Mercedes Roffe is reading with Ken Edwards on 20th May at 7.30pm. Next for Shearsman at the Swedenborg Hall is Nathaniel Tarn, based in America for many years now, who is over to launch a new collection, and who reads with Lee Harwood.
Another poet, one who has been published by Shearsman, will be over from America shortly to launch his ‘Collected Poems’ published by Carcanet. This is Christopher Middleton, a major figure who has the merit perhaps of not quite fitting in – not in the mainstream, but not to be identified with any particular section of the ‘avant-garde’. I guess his affiliations are with traditions of European modernism, rather than looking to America, and I first came across his work in my teens when I borrowed ‘Torse 3’ from Hendon Public Library and back then was puzzled but very intrigued. It was in this same library that I first came across Bob Cobbing in the shape of a little mimeo pamphlet – this would have been in the late 1950’s – featuring work by a local poetry workshop coordinated by Cobbing. He was teaching in a local Secondary School. So it was all happening in Hendon . . .
Christopher Middleton’s book will be launched at the Peter Elllis Bookshop, 18 Cecil Court, off Charing Cross Road, on 3rd June at 6pm.
And there’s a new Oystercatcher, Peter Riley’s ‘Best At Night Alone’, price £4 from Peter Hughes at 4 Coastguard Cottages, Old Hunstanton, Norfolk PE36 6EL.