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MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!

EYEWEAR WISHES THE PEOPLE OF THE EARTH AS MUCH PEACE, LOVE, JOY, BALANCE, GOOD CHEER AND FOOD AND WINE, LIGHTS AND WARMTH, AND SHELTER, AND HOPE, AND FRIENDSHIP AS THEY CAN FIND THIS NIGHT, AND ALL NIGHTS TO COME, WHETHER THEY WEAR SPECTACLES OR NOT.

THERE IS ROOM FOR ALL OF US, BUT BE GENTLE WITH EACH OTHER, WE ARE IN TOUGH TIMES.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!

EYWEAR BEST POETRY BOOKS OF 2015 - DAY TWELVE

EYEWEAR BEST POETRY BOOKS OF 2015 - DAY ELEVEN

We are coming to the end of our 2015 list - today is the penultimate one - and of course we are unable to list all the many brilliant poetry collections that came out this year, but we hope that by tomorrow, and our 12th day, we will have shared a number of them with you. Think of this as a taster, a jumping off place, a gentle nudge.










EYEWEAR BEST POETRY BOOKS OF 2015 - DAY TEN

EYEWEAR'S POETRY PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR 2015 - DON SHARE

A few years ago, when I first moved to London (after a few years in Paris), it was possible to bemoan the lack of any true Trans-Atlantic poetry exchange. The vital modern link between London and Chicago (and NYC) pioneered by Pound and Eliot, and then the Faber and Alvarez initiatives that allowed Lowell, Plath and Berryman to be household American names in the UK, were a thing of the past.

True, some Cambridge experimental poets had links to Americans like Dorn, and others to Ashbery, but mainly, a distance had drifted into view, and the so-called various languages, American and English, were firmly entrenched, as "two solitudes".  Meanwhile, 21st century poetry had lost its ways.  True, we had some critics offer their guiding poetics, like Bernstein. For awhile, Roddy Lumsden and Salt did a good job of trying to sort this mess out. Eyewear in 2012 also started building bridges. But still, most Americans never read a British poem anymore, and vice versa. All this changed a …

EYEWEAR BEST POETRY BOOKS OF 2015 - DAY NINE

EYEWEAR BEST POETRY BOOKS OF 2015 - DAY EIGHT

EYEWEAR BEST POETRY BOOKS OF 2015 - DAY SEVEN

EYEWEAR BEST POETRY BOOKS OF 2015 - DAY SIX

HEART STARTER
JOHN TRANTER
PUNCHER & WATTMAN

EYEWEAR BEST POETRY BOOKS OF 2015 - DAY FIVE

CITIZEN
CLAUDIA RANKINE
PENGUIN

EYEWEAR BEST POETRY BOOKS OF 2015 - DAY FOUR

WHITE COINS
JAMES BYRNE
ARC

THE BEST FILMS OF 2015?

Reviewing the best films of 2015 from a British perspective is always slightly frustrating, as several of the big Hollywood films actually come out here in January - or just before Christmas, so we cannot say for sure if The Danish Girl, Creed, Trumbo, the new Tarantino, The Revenant, or indeed the new Star Wars* may actually be the year's best.

However, bearing in mind this is a not very definitive blog, one can still say the following TEN THINGS ABOUT TEN MOVIES IN 2015, based on what we have seen...

1. THE JAMES BOND WAS A DISAPPOINTMENT - MORE MOONRAKER THAN THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, MORE THUNDERBALL THAN GOLDFINGER. TIME FOR IDRIS AND A NEW DIRECTOR, LIKE NOLAN, SPIELBERG OR TARANTINO.

2. BROOKLYN IS A TAD TOO MADE FOR TV AND SICKLY SWEET TO BE A MASTERPIECE, BUT IS STILL A GENUINELY FUNNY AND MOVING PICTURE OF OLD-FASHIONED DELIGHTS.

3. MAD MAX'S LATEST INCARNATION IS WITHOUT DOUBT ONE OF THE GREATEST SPECTACLES EVERY PUT ONTO FILM AND ONE OF THE YEAR'S TEN BEST.

4. EVEREST H…

EYEWEAR BEST POETRY BOOKS OF 2015 - DAY THREE

ASBESTOS HEIGHTS
DAVID MCGIMPSEY
COACH HOUSE BOOKS

EYEWEAR BEST POETRY BOOKS OF 2015 - DAY TWO

EIDOLON
SANDEEP PARMAR
SHEARSMAN

EYEWEAR BEST POETRY BOOKS OF 2015 - DAY ONE

Eyewear publishes its own books, and while we could easily list our Humbert Summer by A.K. Blakemore, and Hungerpots, by Hester Knibbe translated by Jacquelyn Pope - indeed all our brilliant books from this year, we won't.

Instead, in the spirit of collegiality, we will mention a book or two every day between now and Christmas, give or take a few days, with special emphasis on British poetry, which we of course know best.

We are not going to offer, however, potted little reviews for these books. We stand behind these books and will simply list them by cover and a link.  You can Google and chase them up to see what others have said, and, hopefully, decide to read them for what is beyond their covers.

COMPLETE POEMS
R.F. LANGLEY
CARCANET

STOP THE WAR?

According to Time, The Observer, and David Cameron, "we" are at war with IS. This is debated, but if you consider the murder of 30 British tourists in Tunisia by an IS gunman provocative, and if you believe the news reports that 7 major attacks on British soil were foiled this year alone - and that one is pending any moment - you might think that IS was attacking UK interests.
At any rate, the decision facing the British Parliament this week is  - bomb Raqqa in Syria, or not. As is widely known, Labour is divided on this issue, and some Lib Dems and SNP are also unsure it is a wise move, as well as a few Tories; Canada and Australia are not currently bombing Syria, it should be noted. Russia, Turkey, and France, however are, along with the USA.

Mr Corbyn's pacifist leanings are not 'terrorist sympathising' despite what the British Prime Minister has said - it is honourable to question going to war. Furthermore, Britain could and should take far more refugees from S…

15 SONGS THAT DEFINED THE YEAR FOR EYEWEAR IN 2015

It's so typical of me to talk about myself..Adele's great song 'Hello' sums up the Selfie age, perfectly, and also Eyewear's BLOG, which has always been of the digital age - self-important, fluid, ephemeral, fashion-aware, ubiquitous, curious, seeking, innovating, changeable, and deeply trivial. Tis the season, again, of lists and we love them here but know them to be of course profoundly personal - and so what? Here are the fifteen tracks we played most this year at Eyewear HQ, and loved the most - though a few nearly got through, including songs by Madonna and Lana del Rey.... indeed, you know the year is rich beyond belief when we cannot even fit in critical darlings Julia Holter, Diiv, David Bowie, Ezra Furman, Everything Everything, Petite Meller, Peaches, Sleaford Mods,Grimes, Mark Ronson, Sia, Beck, Bob Dylan, Taylor Swift, or Deerhunter, to name just a few. 15 for 2015, get it?  Silly but it helps us to cut down the writing. And, if you made this as a list at…

BEST TV IN 2015

As befits this new age of entertainment excellence, it is possible to declare 2015 one of the best years in the past 50 for TV, film, and popular music.

No list of excellent, popular TV in English would exclude Downton Abbey, Mad Men, Homeland, The Affair, Game of Thrones, Daredevil, Halt and Catch Fire, Mr Robot, Wolf Hall, Humans, The Americans, Manhattan, Jessica Jones, True Detective (even season 2), and some guilty pleasure lists might even include Better Call Saul and the absurdly kitsch T&A throwback, Quantico.

However, in a supremely crowded field, Eyewear wishes to select two mini-series, one from America, and one from the UK, which both exemplify the very best of TV drama, especially when it comes to grips with politics and recent events.

The UK show is London Spy - not even concluded, but already, in its first three hour-long episodes starring Charlotte Rampling, Mark Gattis, Ben Whishaw and Jim Broadbent, startlingly brilliant.  This series manages to combine the stylish …

EYEWEAR PUBLISHING PRAISED IN THE TLS!

Good news in tough times. Eyewear Publishing is mentioned in a new review by poet and critic Rory Waterman in the latest issue of the TLS - it's a round-up following the Michael Marks shortlisting, discussing various pamphlets.

 Here is a brief taste:
'Eyewear Publishing, founded by Todd Swift in 2012, has quickly risen to prominence for its similarly attractive poetry volumes, and has now launched the stylish pamphlet series Eyewear 2020/ (get it?), which demonstrates much of the rich multifariousness of British poetry in 2015.' There is mention of Sam Jackson, Matt Howard and Damilola Odelola, among others.  Seek it out.

THE GOD OF CARNAGE

2015 has been a year of outrages - terrorism - a word which may have its origins, as some rather crass pundits wryly observed, in the rampant and often cruel massacres of the French revolutionary period.  The West - no stranger to cruelty to the Other and others itself at least since its settlers and explorers raped, tortured, and pillaged across the Americas - and in two World Wars the perpetrators of the worst atrocities in human history (the Holocaust, the dropping of nuclear weapons) - has finally met its match.
Civilization was once used to contrast the good with the barbaric.  The endless random killing masterminded by half-insane fanatics and fantasists, motivated by a medieval theology of incompatible Jihad, has cast itself as the new normal of barbarism. IS, the current bogeyman, though having never put forth a 9/11 style spectacular, instead went all Digital Age on our asses, chopping off heads for our apps and iPhones, smashing ancient cities for the cameras, and then pullin…

EYE SPY

The new UK Spy bill being mooted - see here - is unacceptable, and yes, will out people's private browsing habits, which are more personal and potentially embarrassing or damaging than we might care to admit, as a society.

Simply put, a large percentage of the British public uses the Internet to do one or more of the following: a) cheat on a spouse or partner; b) look at (legal) porn; c) look at (illegal) porn; d) read up about suicide or mental illness or some other illness they may wish hidden; e) illegally pirate/ download American TV shows; f) pirate music, books, movies; g) explore other odd, eccentric or very personal hobbies or obsessions.

If the government is able to collect the data exhibiting this behaviour, and if it is gathered, and then perhaps hacked, or simply used by their own unscrupulous intelligence agencies, mass harm to the society would ensue.

This is because you could easily blackmail anyone in politics or any position of authority to make them do your bidding …

THE SECRET TO PUBLISHING

I have discovered the secret to publishing success: print money.

Seriously, the success of a publishing house is directly connected to the following statement: if you publish books people want to own and read, they will buy them from you.  If they buy them from you in large amounts (over a few thousand copies) you make a profit on initial expenses, and can also cover overhead costs, marketing, salaries, design, postage, etc.

In short - if publishing as a business model is to be viable, the publishing company must produce goods/items/units/books that are in demand.

The reason poetry presses fail, struggle, and generally require state or private funding (subventions) to survive, is because they underperform at generating sales revenue.

In ugly words: poetry is something not in demand.

Despite some big selling poetry titles every year, most poetry titles will sell between 50 and 800 copies - usually around 200. Very few sell more than 2000.

A company that only produced books (or any product) t…

THE 1&1-ARVATO ONLINE HOSTING SCAM

Eyewear - no naïve wanderer in the online world - has become victim of a dreadful scam. A few years ago we bought a number of domain names from a supposedly-reputable company known as 1&1. Sadly, at the time I did not Google their reputation. It turns out they have, at least since 2010, if not earlier, been accused by hundreds, perhaps thousands, of former customers, of running a breath-taking and cynical scam.

Though they have been taken to the Trading Standards people, and often threatened with legal proceedings, this seems to have avoided major media attention - though that may change, because we at Eyewear are outraged at the intimidating way we have been treated by these unprofessionals.

To summarise, the scam works like this: when you first order the domain name and web hosting, you have to give them your credit card or PayPal details; you also, unbeknownst to yourself (because it is in illegally dense and opaque terms and conditions) agree to pay them in perpetuity - unless y…