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
that raspy voice at the year-end market dried persimmons Some haiku are more subtle, and require a bit more work on the part of the reader, than others; this is a good example of that. Once again, and for the last time on this blog, it’s drawn from Snapshot Press’s estimable Haiku Calendar for 2019.… Continue reading On a haiku by Beverly Acuff Momoi
Regular readers of this blog won’t be surprised to know that this post has been brewing for some time, but here goes. My boys-only grammar school was a microcosm of overwhelmingly white, Establishment England. In a Geography lesson, the deputy headteacher justified Thatcher’s sending of the Task Force to the Falklands with a rant about how his… Continue reading Writing the past (once again) through the lens of the present
Football Poets is a treasure trove of poetic musings about the beautiful game. I have a poem on the site today – ‘Magic Boots’.
midnight garden only the snowberries take on the starlight What a lovely, atmospheric haiku this is! Phillip Murrell has been writing haiku for many years and this is among his best. Like others which I have written about of late, it features in this year’s Haiku Calendar, from Snapshot Press. The conflated time and place… Continue reading On a haiku by Phillip Murrell
I’m very honoured to be judging the Martin Lucas Haiku Award for Presence this year. Presence relies heavily on income from this competition to keep going year on year, so please enter and/or tell your poet friends.