Skip to main content

TEN KEY MOMENTS IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE POETRY IN 2013

2013 was a very good year for poetry, and also, in some ways, a sad year.


EYEWEAR SAW EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED IN POETRY IN 2013 AND SAID IT WAS GOOD

Here are Eyewear's ten key events, publications, or poets, of the year, from an English-language - AND British blog - perspective.  I offer the headlines alone.  You can fill in the blanks.

1. GEOFFREY HILL PUBLISHES HIS COLLECTED POEMS.

2. SEAMUS HEANEY DIES.

3. HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN INVITES HUNDREDS OF POETS TO BUCKINGHAM PALACE.

4. POETRY MAGAZINE IN AMERICA GETS A NEW EDITOR DON SHARE.

5. CHARLES BERNSTEIN PUBLISHES RECALCULATING.

6. HELEN MORT SHORTLISTED FOR TS ELIOT PRIZE AND THE COSTA.

7. PATRICIA SMITH WINS THE LENORE MARSHALL POETRY PRIZE.

8. MATTHEW DICKMAN ARRIVES IN UK ON TWO LEADING MAGAZINE COVERS IN ONE MONTH.

9. DAVID SHOOK TRIES TO GET A POETRY DRONE OFF THE GROUND.

10. EMILY BERRY DEBUTS WITH FABER, WINS FORWARD.

note: other events that would have made a possible top 15 would include SALT STOPS PUBLISHING POETRY LIST; STARNINO COVER STORY IN CV2 IGNITES CONTROVERSY; DANIEL HOFFMAN DIES; STAG'S LEAP BY SHARON OLDS WINS TS ELIOT AND PULITZER PRIZE; MAURICE RIORDAN BECOMES EDITOR OF POETRY REVIEW.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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

JOHN ASHBERY HAS DIED

With the death of the poetic genius John Ashbery, whose poems, translations, and criticism made him, to my mind, the most influential American poet since TS Eliot, 21st century poetry is moving into less certain territory.

Over the past few years, we have lost most of the truly great of our era: Edwin Morgan, Gunn, Hill, Heaney and Walcott, to name just five.  There are many more, of course. This is news too sad and deep to fathom this week.  I will write more perhaps later. 

I had a letter from Ashbery on my wall, and it inspired me daily.  He gave me advice for my PhD. He said kind things about a poetry book of mine.

He was a force for good serious play in poetry, and his appeal great. So many people I know and admire are at a loss this week because of his death. It is no consolation at present to think of the many thousands of living poets, just right now. But impressively, and even oddly, poetry itself seems to keep flowing.