Skip to main content


Ten years is a long time for a blog these days - any days. It may even be past its due date, as it were - but somehow, like some old dog in a cowboy flick, this blog lingers in the dust, wise, weak, and somehow sadder than sad, but there's a decency just in its continued tail wags and whimpers. Eyewear, the blog, has a claim to have made history.

It is probably one of, if not the, longest-running poetry blogs in the UK, and surely has the most number of recorded visitor hits (over two million), and a large number of posts (over 3,300) - an average of 330 a year. It is also British Library archived, and is still widely read - most weeks, a good post will get a few hundred readers - though we seldom get long chains of comments.

Eyewear has waded into most of the public and poetic and political controversies in the UK - and sometimes the USA or Canada - of the period 2005-2015. We've featured hundreds of guest reviews, guest poets, and guest essays. We have chosen hundreds of favourite songs, TV shows, films, AND books.  The aim has been to do something no one else ever really tried to do - a something that startled and confused many - and that was to run an editorially responsible blog as a kind of pseudo-glossy magazine - as if ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY had fused with THE ECONOMIST - to see if a broader audience could be found for poetry, by more often placing it in the context of politics and entertainment (including celebrity and sporting issues), surely the two most popular topics (along with sex) on the digital map these days.We often affected the pompous tones of talking heads and pundits, lampooned voice and style, and explored the ambiguity of artifice and faux expression. There was satire here, and not just on April 1 each year. And we often attacked capitalist materialism and atheism and proposed a more aesthetic-deistic model instead.

Did we succeed? Hard to say.  Poetry is still often described as dying. The world still elects conservatives and right-wingers. Wars still rage. Inhumanity, cruelty and despotism still reign, and that's just in the poetry world...

It hasn't helped sales, either of Eyewear titles, or the editor Todd Swift's collections, that's for sure - most poetry titles still sell well shy of the 1,250 mark, whereas the blog gets read by over ten thousand a week. Again, that's the world we live in.

If I am proud of a few things, it has been our openness to oddballs, mavericks, and the famous - our magpie, eclectic sensibilities; our wild invective, our wit, our humour (the posts were not all written by one hand, in one style). Mostly, I am proud to say most of what we predicted about the way that poetry would alter in relation to the online world has come true.  We live in an Eyewear world, and the new British poetry, however marginally, was shaped by the sorts of signals this blog, along with dozens of others, sent out over the past ten years, day in and often day out.

There won't be another ten years of this blog - technology, human staying power, and a fading interest in the way blogs deliver content - will see to that shift soon enough. But let's hope we do, somehow, make it to the very Eyewear year of 2020!

Here's looking at you.

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog


According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…


Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…


The Oscars - Academy Awards officially - were once huge cultural events - in 1975, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Shirley MacLaineandBob Hope co-hosted, for example - and Best Picture noms included The Conversation and Chinatown. Godfather Part 2 won. Last two years, movies titled Birdman and Spotlight won, and the hosts and those films are retrospectively minor, trifling. This year, some important, resonant films are up for consideration - including Hidden Figures and Moonlight, two favourites of this blog. Viola Davis and Denzel Washington will hopefully win for their sterling performances in Fences. However, La La Land - the most superficial and empty Best Picture contender since Gigi in 1959 (which beat Vertigo) - could smite all comers, and render this year's awards historically trivial, even idiotic.

The Oscars often opt for safe, optimistic films, or safe, pessimistic films, that are usually about white men (less often, white women) finding their path to doing the right thin…