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Showing posts from July, 2015

MY FRIEND, MARTIN PENNY, RETIRES

Martin Penny was the first, and truest, friend, I made when I arrived in London, from Paris, in 2003. Ours was an unlikely and instantly achieved connection - he was the ironic, Atheist, very English, Chelsea-supporting Oxfam manager of wry wit, indifferent to poetry (but a keen reader and collector of prose) - and I, as you may know, was the Catholic-in-waiting sincere enthusiastic poet from Canada nursing bad injuries from a car accident  - but what we shared was a love of wordplay, conversation, pushing the boundaries of taste, and lunches over coffee at a local cafĂ© (where we have had a meal together at least once a week for over ten years).

Martin is retiring, at the age 55, tomorrow, from being manager of the best bookshop in the Oxfam chain - at least for awhile - the Marylebone branch, recently poignantly downgraded to a clothing shop with some books in the back.  In its heyday, when I joined as poet-in-residence in 2004, the shop was making over a million pounds a year in sale…

LEE HARWOOD HAS DIED

Very sad news.  Lee Harwood has died.  Harwood was an important British poet, whose work bridged over to American poetics and styles, especially those of the abstract lyricists of the New York School, perhaps.

He was a gentle person, and his presence was lovely.  Had his work not fallen foul of certain critical tendencies in British poetry reception of the 60s-80s especially, which favoured a more well-made traditional poem, he would have surely been more widely enjoyed for what he truly was - one of the best, and most lyrically evocative  poets- sensuous of thought if minimal of touch - of his generation. As it was, those in the know loved his writing.

EYEWEAR SUMMER PAMPHLET LAUNCH IN BLOOMSBURY

The STYLISH Eyewear 20/20 Pamphlet series - edited by Les Robinson and designed by Edwin Smet - is now up to 16 poets - and we're launching 8 of the collections July 29th, at The Rugby Tavern, Bloomsbury, at 7-9pm, in a pub famous for being a watering hole for Plath and Hughes.

Fans of great contemporary poetry by new, emerging, and established poets cannot but find something to enjoy - and since each poet will be reading for only 5 minutes, it will be a relatively quick and fun event (plus drinks, chance to get books signed, chat, and generally mingle).

Here are the poets reading, IN NO ORDER, including a guest from Ireland, Julie Morrissy, whose work with Eyewear is out only later - she's a taste of things to come (I will be reading from Jack Little's pamphlet, he is back to Mexico now)....

GEORGE SZIRTES
JULIE MORRISSY
KEITH JARRETT
DAMILOLA ODELOLA
SAMANTHA JACKSON
SHELLEY ROCHE-JACQUES
LEILANIE STEWART
V.A. SOLA SMITH



GONE FISHIN'

ANNOUNCING THE EYEWEAR BEST NEW BRITISH & IRISH POETS SERIES AND COMPETITION

The Best New Poets: 50 Poems From Emerging Writers is a brilliant series from America, that seeks to celebrate younger poets that don't yet have a first book published yet.

Eyewear PUBLISHING is now starting a similar series for the UK and Irish poets in a similar boat, in pure and honourable homage to a great series we admire from abroad, much as Salt has the Best British Poetry series, modelled after its American influential counterpart.

THE BEST NEW BRITISH AND IRISH POETS 2016 can be submitted to now...

How does one get included? Simple. You enter our competition to be considered.

You email us between 1-3 of your best poems (no more than 100 lines please)  in a word doc, including a 50-100 word bio, to info at eyewearpublishing dot com.

You then become a micropatron for £10 as entrance fee (which also entitles you to 2 free 2015 paperback collections or pamphlets) and Eyewear's team of judges, including Todd Swift and Cate Myddleton-Evans, will select any poets's poem that …

7/7 ten years on

Eyewear was a very young blog of a few weeks, when tragedy struck London, ten years ago today in the morning.

Here is what we wrote then:

'The thing we feared most has happened: Madrid-style, multiple terrorist attacks on the London Underground and bus routes in the heart of London, timed with surgical cruelty after London's Olympic win and the start of the G8 summit. It is an unsettling time, and there have been many casualties. So far, over 33 fatalities have been reported.

It is - weatherwise and ironically (as in New York in 2001) - a warm, sunny day now, with lovely blue skies. Tens of thousands of would-be commuters are slowly walking home early. With no underground system, some mainline services closed, and few buses in Zone 1, some will be walking for hours. The streets are eerily calm, punctuated by sirens.

The people of London, accustomed to such things, are brave and will endure, but this is a sad day for all who love London and live here.'

Sadly, it ended up that mo…

WHAT WENT DOWN - FOALS - BEST TRACK OF 2015?

Eyewear doesn't usually break its protocol - we list our fave songs and tracks on a semi-regular basis, but not often would we just throw one name at you.

Here is a difference - the just-released single from the new Foals album, out August, is titled 'What Went Down' - and it heralds a mean, powerfully-driven, intense, and fully enclosed worldview - Foals are, with this song, the single most exciting rock (even hard rock) indie band in the UK.

Forget Arctic Monkeys, Royal Blood - this is a new level for 21st century rock music in England.  This is as hard as Led Zep. Has there been a British rock song this lean, pure, intelligent, resonant, and affecting this decade? We love it.  Do you?

EYEWEAR NOVEL OPTIONED FOR FILM

For Immediate Release
B7 Media secures film and television rights
to Sumia Sukkar’s acclaimed novel of Syrian conflict
The Boy from Aleppo Who Painted the War follows B7 Media’s successful BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of a modern literary masterpiece –
London, 6 July 2015:The film and television rights to The Boy from Aleppo Who Painted the War, the debut novel by Sumia Sukkar set during the outbreak of the Syrian conflict, have been acquired by B7 Media.

Independent production and distribution company B7 Media has announced it has acquired an option to develop a motion picture or television serial based on Sumia Sukkar’s acclaimed debut novel of the Syrian conflict, The Boy from Aleppo Who Painted the War.
Following B7’s critically acclaimed radio dramatisation of the novel for BBC Radio 4 in 2014, featuring Farshid Rokey, this new film adaptation will look to explore this powerful and intimate drama in a widescreen setting. Simon Moorhead (Mirrormask, Luna) and Andrew Mark Sewell (Mrs. Pal…