Skip to main content



Did you Maypole dance today in an English custom going back to at least the time of The Wicker Man?


There is always next year.

Today marked the day that the Hollywood ending promised for LCFC did not quite happen - but they played one of the most tense and watched matches of the season against a stronger-than-expected Manchester Utd side, perhaps not wanting a triumphant Foxes on their hallowed ground.  Here is hoping Leicester still becomes the 5,000-1 winners.  The 20 or so remaining bets on them to win the season, none higher than £20, could yield as much as a hundred thousand quid in a few weeks time.  Not bad work, backing utter underdogs.

While Eyewear has been away, lots has happened - we were in LA for AWP, London for the LBF, and recently had a great review for Mel Pryor in the latest Poetry Review, and another for A Public Woman by Benno Barnard, in a special collection of writings on Dutch-language writing.

Excitingly, our Squint series has brought out editions on Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, and one on Hillary Clinton is on the way.  Squints have also focussed recently on Corbyn and Adele.

We have a plethora of competitons running - the Sexton judged by Don Share for best American collection (unpublished), and the Hume, for best unpublished younger British poetry book, judged by Mark Ford.... and our 2017 Best British and Irish poets anthology is being judged by Luke Kennard, following the recent 2016 edition edited by Kelly Davio.

More to announce soon, but the best news of all, of late, is that we have been shortlisted for the coveted Saboteur Awards (thank you).  More in next post.

And yes, Ken Livingstone was deeply wrong to say what he said.  Meanwhile, Zac Goldsmith's terror-emphasis when mentioning his Muslim mayoralty campaign rival is also troubling.  Put away the race cards please. We're British.
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…