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Featured Poet: William Oxley

Eyewear is very glad to welcome English poet William Oxley (pictured) to our pages this overcast day in London.  Oxley was born in Manchester and at present he divides his time between London and South Devon.  His poems have been widely published throughout the world, in The New York Times The Scotsman, New Statesman, The London Magazine, Stand, The Independent, The Spectator and The Observer. Among his books of poetry are Collected Longer Poems (Salzburg University Press, 1994), and Reclaiming the Lyre:  New and Selected Poems (Rockingham Press, 2001). A former member of the General Council of the Poetry Society, he is consultant editor of Acumen magazine, and on the committee of the Torbay Poetry Festival. In 1995 he edited the anthology Completing The Picture for Stride.

He has co-edited the anthology Modern Poets of Europe.  In 2004, Hearing Eye published Namaste his Nepal poems, and Bluechrome published his London Visions in Spring 2005.  A study of his poetry, The Romantic Imagination, came out in 2005 from Poetry Salzburg. A fine, limited edition of his Poems Antibes, illustrated by Frances Wilson, was launched in Antibes, Côte d’Azur in December 2006. In 2008 he received the Torbay ArtsBase Award for Literature.  His latest collection is Sunlight in a Champagne Glass (Rockingham Press, 2009).  I recently read with Oxley in London, and very much enjoyed the experience - he is a man of feeling and intellect, with a strong sense of history.


The glass weeps in this window
near Waterloo Station
and coldly hisses on rails
that loop away to Surbiton

or elsewhere.  Nowhere so ugly as
in rain, bedraggled bushes of town,
buildings leaking and looking
their age, skies that are down-

cast.  But there is something numinous too,
shiningly implicatory
in the out-there of roofs and streets.
Like the mad whisper of history

it floats out and up from shapes
even of shops:  edging along walls like a cat
its creeping luminosity of
how and why and what.

 Reprinted with permission of the poet; from Sunlight in a Champagne Glass, Rockingham Press 2009
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