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June roundup

I thought I'd stop blogging so much, but the world keeps turning. A few quick things - I hear Tom Chivers has a book of poems out. I'd like to know more about this - can someone send me a review copy? He's such an active presence on the London scene, but I don't know his poems as well as I'd like. Want to see what he's put out there. Also, was in Selfridges the other day for their 50% off sale, and spotted Ben Wilkinson's poem on the ceiling by the Blink counter. There are poems which I selected by young poets all over the store, hope some of you spot some of them. I also wanted to say that Amazon's just delivered the two new Penguin modern classic reissues of those first two key Susan Sontag books of essays, Against Interpretation and Styles of Radical Will. They look great, and readers of Eyewear who don't know these books should get them - Sontag was, of course, one of the first to think seriously about popular culture in English - much-influenced by Barthes, but more American than that.

Also, I may (just may) be doing a Lifelines 3 for Oxfam, but we're still looking at budgets and numbers. It'll focus on the younger generations of British poets this time, if it goes ahead - maybe for 2010. Meanwhile, my interview at the Best American Poetry blog ran last weekend.

Oh, and it's pretty muggy and warm in London; can't complain, really. Meanwhile, swine flu numbers have reached a million in the USA, and 127 have died there so far. That's a death rate of - if my math is correct - .00127. Rounding up, that's more like .0013. Those are the same chances of dying in a plane crash, so still relatively safe, but I think we'll see mortality rates go up by the autumn, unfortunately. If one million have it now, exponentially, most Americans should contract it, by end of the year. On another note, I am looking forward to the latest edition of Poetry London, out soon. I've reviewed Chris McCabe, and others, for the issue, which is being launched in July at the Ledbury Poetry festival.

Finally, I have an urge to see The New World again, by Terence Mallick. I can't help thinking it's one of the best movies I ever saw, but I need to be sure. May rent it this weekend. Okay, one last thing - Murmur, by R.E.M. really is their best album, isn't it? I was listening to it today, and that jangly sincerity and yearning indieness was not much improved upon later. Oh, one last thing - if Jackson was the King, then Madonna is the Queen, of pop, yeah? She's 50 too. Hope she's with us for many years to come.
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