Skip to main content

Brinton On Prynne

Good news, Ian Brinton's book on the major British poet, J.H. Prynne, has been published by Shearsman, that important poetry press. I should add, my (mixed) review of the recent Shearsman book, Avia, by Nathaniel Tarn, is out in the latest Wolf.

Observers of the British scene - from afar - might be puzzled at the excitement in the media, this last week, surrounding Carol Ann Duffy - a formidable and intelligent poet to be sure - and the absence of any mention of Geoffrey Hill, or Prynne, as alternate potential laureates.

While they may not have been interested, these, and other significant British poets are of equal stature and seriousness, and the British media does the nation no favours with their simplistic equation of popularity/clarity and poetic quality. Blame Orwell. Orwell, the guru of the British journalist, was on guard against all complex and opaque language, suspecting what wasn't plainly spoken as being cant or worse.

However, what he argued on behalf of prose does not necessarily make sense for poetic utterance. The project of British late modernism is ongoing, is viable, and even exciting. Just don't expect to hear about it, much, on the BBC, even during their dedicated poetry weeks ahead. In Britain, it seems, the Establishment cannot bear too much variousness - which is reality.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog


Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…


According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…


Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:

HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!