Category Archives: General

Going Digital

In my day job (scholarly journals publishing) I spend a lot of time wrestling with the possibilities and challenges of digital technology. I don’t mean the basic migration of readers from print copies to online versions of the same material, but the ways in which digital technology is transforming how people read and what they publish. Continue reading

A Tremulous Thread: Basil Bunting

When I first started reading and writing poetry in the early 1990s Basil Bunting was hard to stumble across. Anthologies like The Faber Book of Modern Verse included extracts from Briggflatts, and in Croydon public library I once found a scuffed volume containing the whole thing; there was a wonderful essay in Thom Gunn’s Shelf Life; but mostly it was as if Bunting – then only eight years dead – had been airbrushed out of the picture. Continue reading

Sketching line-breaks, writing paint

Twelve years ago, the enviably-talented Nick Maitland suggested collaborating on a project: a sequence of poems (mine) and paintings (Nick’s) would co-evolve over a number of months, with drafts and sketches bouncing off one another. Half the fun would be plunging in without a clear plan and seeing where the thing took us. But we struggled to find the right starting point and nothing came of it.  Continue reading

A Tourist’s Guide to Appropriation

I’ve resisted buying Geoffrey Hill’s Broken Hierarchies, having been tipped off that Hill’s near-lookalike Santa Claus might be bringing me a copy in a couple of weeks’ time. Meanwhile the 1985 Collected Poems has again taken up residence on my bedside table (not the treasured, battered copy I carried around like a prayerbook in the mid-late ’90s, but a replacement battered copy bought second hand a couple of years ago). And so I happened to be immersed in Geoffrey Hill when I read Claire Trévien’s excellent Poetry School blog post on poetic tourism. Continue reading

Poetry Reading in Oxford, 22nd October

On Tuesday 22nd October a fantastic line-up of poets will be reading at the Jericho Tavern in Oxford. The evening has been designed to appeal not only to poetry regulars but also to people who’ve never been to a poetry reading before – so if you’re even half-tempted by the opportunity to hear some of the best contemporary poets (while enjoying a drink or two), please come along. Continue reading