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.
My day started well this morning by finding out that eminent poet, critic and prolific reviewer Billy Mills had posted a review of The Evening Entertainment among other reviews on his always-interesting Elliptical Movements blog. Whilst I hitherto wouldn’t have agreed that my poems are quite as formulaic as Billy implies, it’s useful to hear a viewpoint which… Continue reading Review of The Evening Entertainment and other news
the old man’s hands make the shape of a pot . . . October sun I have previously remarked upon the sharp-eyed freshness of Jane McBeth’s haiku, but as Martin Lucas wrote (and I never tire of quoting), “Haiku isn’t as easy as just looking, and it isn’t as easy as it looks”. Knowing how… Continue reading On another haiku by Jane McBeth
Two of the poets whom Cahal Dallat focused on in the week in Carnlough in August were Ciaran Carson and Lucie Brock-Broido, and so I’ve been reading both lately. I was already familiar with some of Carson’s poetry, though, as noted here before, I’ve read more of his prose than his poetry, but when I… Continue reading Some recent reading
1 Every day I don the taciturn authority of a snooker referee. My clobber’s always beautiful: cufflinked shirt and Paras tie, narrowest-pinstripe three-piece suit and handstitched Oxford brogues. I could tell you about my three tours of Northern Ireland; the kills. These are deerskin-leather gloves I bear within my borough-crested cap. I loathe this poxy Vauxhall… Continue reading Three English Miniatures