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Showing posts from March, 2015


As we said yesterday here at this blog, it would likely emerge that the co-pilot was hiding an illness, or had been jilted, - as it turns out, both. In this case, which is one of mass-murder/suicide, the underlying illness seems to be depression. As a poetry blog, we are broadly sympathetic to the rights of anyone (including poets) suffering from the disability that is chronic depression - and our chief editor has written eloquently before in poems and posts about depression.

Clearly, most depressed people do not commit murder - though a small but notable minority will go on to take their own lives.  Depression is often linked to a constellation of other personality disorders which might lead to mass murder, but again this is very rare. With treatment (usually medication and some form of therapy), almost all depressive conditions can be put into remission, as it were; but make no mistake, major depressive episodes can be nightmarishly debilitating, and commonly are associated with tota…

The Melita Hume Poetry Prize 2015

The Melita Hume Poetry Prize
THE MELITA HUME POETRY PRIZE is an award of £1,500 and a publishing deal with Eyewear Publishing Ltd., for the best first full collection by a young poet writing in the English language, 35 YEARS OR UNDER at the time of entry. The aim of this prize is to support younger emerging writers. This is open to any one of the requisite age, of any nationality, resident in the United Kingdom and/or Ireland.  It is free to enter. Previous winners are Caleb Klaces for Bottled Air (2012); judge Tim Dooley; Marion McCready for Tree Language (2013); judge Jon Stone; Amy Blakemore for Humbert Summer (2014); judge Emily Berry.

2015 competition
The Judge for the 2015 competition is Toby Martinez de las Rivas.His poetry collection Terror was published by Faber & Faber in 2014, and he is widely considered one of the best younger poets now writing.Toby Martinez de las Rivas was born in 1978. He grew up in Somerset, then moved to the north-east of England after studying histor…


Eyewear the blog has long considered the aviation industry less safe than it could be. Of course the safest plane is one that stays on the ground, and some risk is always involved in lifting a ton of tin 36,000 feet into the sky. However, one thing has clearly become obvious today - one of the oldest myths about flying is now outmoded and needs to be replaced.

Given that we now know the German plane was intentionally crashed into a mountainside by the young co-pilot, after he had locked the pilot out, and then gradually eased the plane into a gentle if fatal descent, we have to face a fact that is ugly: we are no longer safe to assume that pilots have our best interests at heart when we fly.

It was once said that since no pilot wanted to die, every pilot who flew us up and down was obviously reassured of the safety of the plane and route being flown. Though accidents will and do happen, we counted on the expertise and glamour of the pilots to keep us aloft.

But that is a feeble 20th cent…


Lesley Saunders reviews
by Janet Sutherland

Like HughesCrow, Sutherland’s Bone Monkey (from Shearsman) is elemental, brutal, amoral, part Jungian shadow, part Freudian id, a trickster and shape-shifter nightmarishly familiar from the old dark tales – yet wholly original, authentically uncanny, in the forms and voices he takes on between the covers of this book.On the front cover is a reproduction of an 18th century mezzotint of an écorché, a human figure stripped of skin and flesh to reveal, in this case, how the major muscles are attached to the skeleton: an apt image for the psychic flaying that the poetry enacts and exacts.

Bone Monkey is a manifest apparition, a conjured entity, both primitive and contemporary.I heard Sutherland read from the work at Lauderdale House in spring 2014, not having come across her work previously, and the hairs on the back of my neck prickled animal-like to the stalking presence she invoked. I might add that we’d had supper together in a café…


COMPOSED DURING A CHORAL RECITAL IN LONDON I have gone further out of myself
Than music allows
Setting words to music
Is a barbarism
You do not plate gold
On gold
The sheen overdoes
This voice exceeds time
Which does end
Despite oceanic claims.
I am beyond myself
In brightness
Of suntime and daynight.
Overcrowd this lucid vault
For a choir is born
Without fault
For Christ to listen to
On his return.
Which cannot happen
While time loiters
In the antechambers
Of the moon. I am a style
Happening to you
Despite your refusals
As if a god took you for
His own enjoyments
In a feathering triggerpoint
Of lit rage. Stage set
We die of plague to rise
With buboes drained
Pretty as the babe
Who all ovations bow to
In choral nazarenes of flow.
I raise a vocal range
Mountainous as Mars
To say you need no addition
When a lyric full throat
Takes on the freight
Of stars and plains and seas.



Everything must be said
Without permission
Even what isn't
So bringing that too
Into being.
Prayer makes only prayer
Happen until it stops
And angry words
Step up instead.
God is anger after speaking
In the growl of despair.
Look past love for love
In the underbrush on fire.
Animals copulating
Oscillating creatures
Gargantuan, oily, febrile,
Muscousities vibrant on floors
That mud recoils from.
The beastly replacement
For ourselves lolls
In the doorway like a pimp
Expecting flushed payments
Tonight in an hour.
Go past the manger and tree.
Spit on the tarpaulin,
The scrawny torso insolently
Naked like an erection.
Proceed to an action
Unexpected and exact.
Take only the clothes
You will be buried in.
Say precisely how you came
To this precision and
Everything else. Exposit
Until the gods come begging
For your mouth to heal. poem by Todd Swift, 2015 London


Eyewear Publishing has a major patron for 2015, who will be giving us £2,400 pounds over the year in monthly payments of £200. For that he is recognised for his generosity in each 2015 title, which he also receives free. We seek 19 more such patrons, to form the Eyewear 20/200 team. For some of you this will appear like a small fortune, but for many of you with professional careers, this could be a way of becoming actively part of a major new poetry and literary bridge between America and the UK (and beyond). Please do share this with those you think might be interested.

Our first brave and brilliant patron is Jonathan Wonham - and we are very grateful to his support. We aim to publish 15 books this year, of poetry, prose, and criticism, from emerging and well-known writers, from Australia, Holland, Mexico, Greece, the US, and many other places. No other UK small press is any more international than we are, and few can claim to now be publishing better or more intriguing poets. Based …


Recently Faber published a colourful collection by the young British poet and academic, Sam Riviere. It was his second with them, and almost as oddly titled as his first. This time, it was Kim Kardashian's Marriage. Note by the way not Wedding.  That's because Wedding is a more American phrase, and one that, if googled, would bury this title forever.

Reading the poetry book, my first response was annoyance.  Not because the book is derivative, or non-poetry, or tediously banal, etc - as some critics might claim - but because it made me wonder why they hadn't published James Franco's equally post-modern and challengingly poptastic book under their poetry imprint after all. Riviere's book, let us be clear, will divide readers in a way so predictable it is almost boring to consider.

So I won't.  Suffice it to say, the poems/ texts are intertextual discourse-borrowings from the blogs, reports, tweets, media in short, relating to Kardashian's famous wedding of lat…