First thing today, I managed to write my first poem of the coronoviral age, about my dad and his drinks cabinet, which was apt as he would have been 87 on Friday. I then noticed, on my customary Sunday long run, this time 17.5 km in exactly 90 minutes, that, rather than staying in the… Continue reading The camaraderie of runners
This is my tribute to Stuart Quine, the haiku poet, who died, aged 57, this week, from coronavirus. Others who knew Stuart better than me are far more qualified to write a full appreciation of Stuart’s qualities, so this is necessarily only a heartfelt, brief tribute, rather than a thorough obituary, of a lovely bloke who also… Continue reading Stuart Quine
My adjudication of the award is now on the Presence website.
In these days of quarantine, madness and reflection, I can thoroughly recommend ordering Belinda Zhawi’s awesome pamphlet, Small Inheritances. I’m not sure my review really does it justice. I like the pithiness of the reviews on Sphinx, and the fact that they don’t show you half the book in the way that longer reviews sometimes do. Mat… Continue reading OPOI review of Belinda Zhawi
I’ve written another Sphinx review, of Katie Griffiths’s excellent Live Canon prize-winning pamphlet My Shrink is Pregnant.
The other day I wrote an OPOI – ‘one point of interest’ – review for Sphinx, mostly focusing on the theme of ‘contemporary obsolescence’ in a stand-out poem in Emma Simon’s brilliant, prize-winning Smith|Doorstop pamphlet, The Odds. The review was published yesterday. You can read more about what an OPOI consists of here.
I first read this pamphlet in 2017, not long after it came out, and I’ve returned to it several times since, much because it seems to me a model of how a pamphlet can be an intensely pleasurable reading experience without having to be wholly or mainly dominated by one thematic concern. It contains 25… Continue reading On Julie Mellor’s Out of the Weather
Since Boxing Day or so, helped by a virus that weirded me out for about two weeks, I’ve been unusually prolific on the poem-writing front, which is really rather cheering, but also energy-sapping. As Robert Lowell wrote to Theodore Roethke in July 1963, just weeks before the latter’s death by heart attack while playing tennis at the… Continue reading Writing time
I was sad to hear today that David Walker, haiku poet and artist, had died in September, shortly after his 80th birthday. David one of a trio of Davids, with David Cobb and David Platt, who gave so much to the British Haiku Society (BHS) in its first 15 years or so. He was a… Continue reading David Walker
Today is the 50th birthday of John Barlow, who as a perfectionist editor–publisher and, moreover, as a writer of the highest-quality haiku and tanka, has done as much as anyone to give respectability and proper attention to those forms within the Anglophone poetry world. It is often the way that the individual writing achievements of… Continue reading John Barlow