Posts

Showing posts from October, 2012

Eyewear On The Road

Image
Eyewear is on the road for the next fortnight.  Don't expect many if any posts.  Please continue to enjoy our extraordinary long tail of posts, featuring reviews, poets, and bits of controversy, though. Or maybe we'll meet up in person, along the way. In the meantime, Eyewear should add it endorses Barack Obama for President of the United States.

Richard Hugo, died 30 years ago this week

Image
Poet and teacher Richard Hugo I finally got around to reading Richard Hugo 's hugely influential, and very readable, slim volume on creative writing and poetry, The Triggering Town, the other day - oddly enough starting it around the 30th anniversary of his death, on October 22, 1982.  I have since begun to go back to his poems.  I was in a poetic dry spell, but reading him is allowing me to get started again.  I found his chapter on his wartime experience in the field in Italy particularly powerful, and it has reminded me that truths told in stylish prose can achieve the force of good poetry.

Todd Swift Central Canadian Reading Tour

In Canada the next fortnight: I will be reading from, and launching, two new collections from the past two years, which complement each other, England Is Mine (Punchy Books, Montreal, 2011) and When All My Disappointments Came At Once (Tightrope Books, Toronto, 2012).  I haven't been to Canada since 2007, so I look forward to catching up with friends, and meeting new poets and poetry readers.  Dates below. SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28 MONTREAL, QUEBEC PILOT READING SERIES 8 pm, Sparrow, Blvd. St Laurent THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1 KINGSTON, ONTARIO 7 pm, Novel Idea Bookstore SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4 HAMILTON, ONTARIO 7.30 pm, Lit Live Reading Series Homegrown Hamilton 27 King Williams Street MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5 TORONTO, ONTARIO 7.30 pm, Rower's Pub Reading Series Victory Cafe 581 Markham Street TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6 TORONTO, ONTARIO TIGHTROPE BOOKS LAUNCH 6 pm, Ben McNally Booksellers FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9 MONTREAL, QUEBEC BEST CANADIAN POETRY LAUNCH 7.30 pm, Argo Books

Poetry Focus: E.E. Nobbs

Image
Eyewear is glad to welcome E.E. Nobbs (pictured) to our pages this very autumnal London Wednesday.   In 2006, E.E. Nobbs began writing poetry after she took an on-line poetry course from Bill Greenwell (Exeter U.). She lives in Prince Edward Island, Canada's smallest province . Nerves Sliders only cost five dollars; replacing an entire zipper is over twenty. I won’t have time enough to get in touch, this week. Maybe soon. I fall off kerbsides next to schools (someday will break both wrists, a knee). Once a fusty woman with a stick accused me of lying. And stealing her apples... Oh, so you're a poet , someone's sister responded. Mine. My sister. That last email... One front wheel hung over, spinning lyrics, the edge all slick ice, a slow melt. It doesn't look like the really bad stuff , said the internal specialist. (They could be wrong.) poem by E.E. Nobbs, published online with permission of the author. 

Guest Review: Mayhew On Rees-Jones

Jessica Mayhew reviews Burying The Wren* by Deryn Rees-Jones *shortlisted today for the 2012 T.S. Eliot Prize Rees-Jones prefaces her collection with a quote from the Roethke poem ‘In a Dark Time:’ “In a dark time, the eye begins to see/ I meet my shadow in the deepening shade.” In Burying the Wren , the eye does indeed begin to see, observing the minutiae in the hugeness of grief, to the “pointillist’s dream” in a field of poppies. This first poem opens up the poet’s close gaze: ...where a seed might sing, imagining a life pushed into form, pure colour.” (Three Glances at a Field of Poppies) This poem reveals an impressionistic view of a poppy, effectively using the interplay of dark and colour. However, this third glance also unpacks the creative act, moving from imagination to form. This idea flows through the collection; in ‘A Scattering,’ we are presented with a moment in time, the scattering of the poet’s husband’s ashes. The children are suspen

Focus on MacFarlane

Image
Stewart MacFarlane, artist Stewart MacFarlane (see above) is a leading Australian artist, and one of his paintings was used for the cover design of my latest collection, from Tightrope books, being launched in Toronto November 6 at Ben McNally books, at 6 pm.  Pleasingly, he wears glasses.

Film Review: George on On The Road

Image
James A. George , Eywear 's film critic, on On The Road Perhaps more so in America than Britain, most teenagers interested in reading come across J ack Kerouac ’s beat-generation memoir-cum-fiction classic novel On The Road . As seen in the film, Kerouac famously taped several rolls of paper together and churned out his novel in a drug-induced frenzy. The film has been brewing for decades, waiting for the right team, the right screenplay and the right visionary and hence has become overripe and lost its vivacity. I am in very much in two minds about the film and rather unsure whether to condemn this film or to pass it off as a faithful if rather nostalgic adaption, neither of which are really ringing endorsements. Sal Paradise follows his wild pal Dean Moriarty, played by Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund respectively, as to cure his writer’s block. Cue a lot of drug taking, sex, jazz and driving. Director Walter Salles is no stranger to road movies, the successful

Poetry Focus: Holly Corfield Carr

Image
Holly Corfield Carr (pictured above) is a recipient of a 2012 Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors and was a finalist in the Sky Arts Ignition: Futures Fund for young artists. Eyewear is very glad to welcome her to these pages this misty, rainy London Friday, and not just because she wears glasses. She currently lives and writes in Bristol where her short fiction is appearing on billboards and digital devices as part of the pervasive soundwork, Missorts. In 2011 she was commissioned to work in collaboration with a sculptor and ceramic artist in the derelict Spode Factory in Stoke-on-Trent . She once agreed to spend the night writing in a replica of Thoreau 's cabin for the artists Tyman and Rushton but ran away from Miterdale forest after meeting with some wild pigs. She is learning to be brave.  poem published online with permission of the author.

Guest Review: Begnal On Wayworn Wooden Floors

Michael S. Begnal reviews Wayworn Wooden Floors by Mark Lavorato As many do, when a work by a writer previously unknown to me crosses my desk, I read the blurbs in order to get a sense of context.   When I was asked to review Mark Lavorato’s poetry collection, Wayworn Wooden Floors (The Porcupine’s Quill, 2012), I learned from the back cover that these “frank and thoughtful poems” would be “penned in accessible, unpretentious verse, which is as clear as it is varied in form, tone and vantage”.   What, though, does this really mean?   What is inherently valuable about poetry that is supposedly “unpretentious”?   With a number of notable exceptions ( Bukowski being one example that comes to mind), I have to admit that I’m not always that much of a fan of “accessible” poetry, anyway.   Accessibility, important when the rhetorical moment calls for it, is not an inherent virtue.   Accessibility is also subjective: what is difficult for one reader may not be for another.   Pe

Happy Hour: An Appreciation

Drinkers may be sad to know this is an appreciation of a new poetry collection from Northern Irish poet Andrew Jamison (Gallery Books, 2012) and not a toast of the pleasures of imbibing cheaply from 5-7 pm, perched on stools, scoffing greasy peanuts.  It's not a review, but a brief mention.  Reviews are fine - I publish them and write them - but sometimes, one comes across a book that one loves, and the best thing to say is, I want to share this with you friends.  Happy Hour is not a great title, to be honest.  It does the wonderful book no favours, because it implies a sort of glibness, that the book goes well beyond.  But again, perhaps it signals at some lightness of touch, that is present; to me, it confirms too easily stereotypes of the Irishman in New York, carousing - and indeed, there are poems about New York, and bars, here ( Auden was here ).  The title is not the point, though.  Jamison is one of the best younger Irish and British poets now writing, judging from this s

Plathitude

Image
Sylvia Plath is a deserved icon of 20th century poetry, so why is it so surprising that a wannabe 21st century icon, albeit of popdom, Lana del Rey , would pose as her for the October Australian Vogue ?  Well, it is a little tasteless, it seems to us at Eyewear - and oddly counterproductive for a singer-songwriter who claims to have tatooed the names of Nabokov and Whitman on her body (two men, notice, with reps as pervs - as well as genius).  How much of the del Rey mythos is false was debated - but the doom-mongering seems a courtship with death too far, once she crosses Sylvia's path.  Should we call Ms. del Rey rather Slyvia?  No honour is done to the memory of the poems, nor is a reckless homage requested or required.  This is sheer usury.  Will Lana next pose as Ezry Pound ?  For now, she is a dross-dresser. Lana, Daddy's girl?

Kingston Writing School Autumn Public Events

Kingston Writing School Public Events Autumn 2012 All events are free and open to all students and alumni of Kingston University, London. And the public. Booking a place is not necessary. Wednesday 31st October 6-8pm JG0001 Lillian Allen A performance and reading of recent and past work Lillian is a leading exponent of dub poetry, a highly politicized form of poetry that has been set to music, including jazz, reggae, rock, and more. She has spent over a decade writing, publishing, and performing her work in Canada, the U.S. and England. Wednesday 21st November 5.30pm-8pm JG0001 Julia Pascal A screening of ‘The Dybbuk’, discussion and Q & A with playwright Julia Pascal. Julia’s stage productions Theresa, The Dybbuk (inspired by S. Anski’s original), and A Dead Woman on Holiday were produced in London and on the European mainland over two decades. Moving from Europe to the US, The Yiddish Queen Lear followed after she studied the importance of Yiddish theatre and film on mainstrea

Guest Review: Sergeant on On Cigarette Papers

David Sergeant reviews On Cigarette Papers by P am Zinnemann-Hope The unusual nature of On Cigarette Papers is described in a foreword. In 1935 Pam Zinnemann-Hope’s parents – mother German, father German-Jewish – eloped from Nazi Germany to Russia, where they were imprisoned during the Stalinist purges, before escaping to England. Following their deaths Zinnemann-Hope found ‘an archive of letters, photos and objects’ left by her mother; included in these was a tiny pile of cigarette papers on which recipes had been written. These were the launching point for ‘a journey of discovery through [her] parents’ story and the wider story of [her] family.’ Some of the poems are written in her own voice; others take on the voices of her parents and grandparents, and switch between German and English. Unsurprisingly, given the drama, heartbreak and intimacy bound up with this journey, the volume is deeply felt. The poems are written in a sparsely referential, staccato style that