Skip to main content

The New Establishment

In the 1970s, there was a moment when Hamilton, Larkin, Hughes and Heaney were all still alive and knew each other - and were, arguably, the poetic establishment of these isles.  A little later, Motion, Raine, Cope and Muldoon took that position (with Heaney still there of course).  However, a seismic shift has now taken place in 2009/2010, a real changing of the guard.

For it is now that a clear new triumvirate in British poetry has emerged and been confirmed as heads above the rest of us mere mortals, in terms of gongs and honours: Duffy, Paterson, and Armitage.  These are the poets that will be - for good or ill - anthologised in most future anthologies of this period - they are this period's "key" mainstream figures; there are others, of course, but that's not the point - in the race to become household names, "national treasures", these are the ones that secured the honour.  For, observe closely - first Duffy was made Poet Laureate, then Paterson was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal, and now, in her majesty's birthday honours, yesterday, Simon Armitage was made a CBE.

In terms of who represents the new "shadow" establishment, building on the work of Graham, Bunting, Prynne, Riley, Cobbing and Mitchell, there has yet to be consensus.  I'd - off the cuff - nominate Keston Sutherland, Andrea BradyZoe Skoulding,Chris McCabe and Giles Goodland.  Arise!
2 comments

Popular posts from this blog

THE BEVERLY PRIZE SUPER SHORTLIST FINALISED!

Dr Bruce Meyer, a significant Canadian poet and writer, will be the final judge for this year's Beverly Prize For International Writing - the impressive super shortlist of 18 international poets and writers is announced below.
Any original unpublished manuscript, in English, by anyone living anywhere in the world, writing in any genre or on any topic, prose, non-fiction or poetry (even drama) is eligible, making it arguably the world's most eclectic "broad church" literary scouting prize. Last year's debut winner was Sohini Basak (her book is being launched in Bloomsbury July 5th, 2018).

The rules of the prize stipulate that any author chosen for the shortlist agrees to accept publication with Eyewear if judged to be the final winner; and may not be entered into other competitions at this final stage of adjudication.
Bruce Meyer is author of more than 60 books of poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, literary journalism, and portraiture. He was winner of the Gwendolyn…

Review of the new Simple Minds album - Walk Between Worlds

Taste is a matter of opinion - or so goes one opinion. Aesthetics, a branch of pistols at dawn, is unlikely to become unruffled and resolved any time soon, and meantime it is possible to argue, in this post-post-modern age, an age of voter rage, that political opinion trumps taste anyway. We like what we say is art. And what we say is art is what likes us.

Simple Minds - the Scottish band founded around 1977 with the pale faces and beautiful cheekbones, and perfect indie hair cuts - comes from a time before that - from a Glasgow of poverty and working-class socialism, and religiosity, in a pre-Internet time when the heights of modernity were signalled by Kraftwerk, large synthesisers, and dancing like Bowie at 3 am in a Berlin club.

To say that early Simple Minds was mannered is like accusing Joyce of being experimental. Doh. The band sought to merge the icy innovations of German music with British and American pioneers of glam and proto-punk, like Iggy Pop; their heroes were contrived,…

THE WINNER OF THE SIXTH FORTNIGHT PRIZE IS...



Wheeler Light for 'Life Jacket'.

The runner-up is: Daniel Duffy - 'President Returns To New York For Brief First Visit'

Wheeler Light currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.



Life Jacket

summer camp shirtsI couldn’t fit in then
are half my size nowI wanted to wear
smaller and smallerarticles of clothing
I shrunk to the sizethat disappeared

of an afterthoughtin a sinking ship body
too buoyant to sinktoo waterlogged for land
I becamea dot of sand