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THE SWIFT REPORT 2017

I am writing this first part on the eve of New Year's Eve day - and as new remembrances come to me, I may well update it.

As the years go on, and this blog seems an interminable waste of time and fuss, and as my ego weakens its grip on me (ever too slowly to be sure) it seems less time is required to indulge my need for self-advertising.

However, I do like to briefly report in such posts on things done and experienced.

The highlight of the year is the time spent at Christmas with my family. No other part of the year is ever more meaningful, and I am always reminded how love shapes and supports my existence.

Professionally, managing to keep my small indie publishing press afloat in a bad time for retail and literary publishing, was a major success for me.

We published too many vital and important books to celebrate them all here, but two stood out for me, as being watersheds in our company's fortunes and esteem - The Monkman and Seagull Quiz Book - a good-selling end of year and pop…

MERRY CHRISTMAS... SEE YOU IN 2018

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THE BEST OF 2017...

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Year-end Best of lists are invidious, and, also, these days, ubiquitous, to the point of madness. But we have loved them for years... so...

In the spirit of austerity and limiting resource-expenditure, Eyewear, the blog, this year will focus on the TOP ONE of various categories. Note we cannot claim to have seen or read everything, including The Post, or Lady Bird, which may end up winning the Oscar in 2018.

So here goes.

(we have not included our Eyewear books; nor have we included books of poetry, that may follow in 2018)

BEST NOVEL 2017

1. The Transition - novel by Luke Kennard
Oddly overlooked by some, this brilliant mock-dystopian millennial epic was both brilliantly funny, and insightful, and the debut of one of the UK's best-known younger poets.

A great British comic novel, easily comparable in laughs per page to Lucky Jim.

BEST FILM 2017

1. Good Time 
If this was a longer list, we'd have room for Bladerunner 2049, The Levelling, Girl's Trip, Logan, Get Out andgrindhouse thri…

THE WINNER OF THE 9TH FORTNIGHT POETRY PRIZE IS...

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Kierstin Bridger!





Congratulations, she wins publication of her poem on this blog, and £140 to be paid immediately via PayPal.

There are two runners up this time, tied for second place:
P.C. Vandall for 'Wintering' and
Greer Gurland for 'That tree is empty, my son tells me'
All the rest listed below were very good poems also.
Bridger is a Colorado writer and author of 20117 Women Writing The West's Willa Award for Demimonde (Lithic Press 2016). Her full collection is All Ember (Urban Farmhouse Press). Winner of the Mark Fischer Poetry Prize, the 2015 ACC Writer’s Studio award, an Anne LaBastille Poetry residency and short-listed for the Manchester Poetry Competition in the UK, Bridger is both editor of Ridgway Alley Poems and Co-Director of Open Bard Poetry Series. She co-hosts Poetry Voice with poet Uche Ogbuji. Find her current work in December, Prairie Schooner and Painted Bride Quarterly. She earned her MFA at Pacific University. Kierstinbridger.com


WINNING POEM:


Of Arc


S…

GUEST REVIEW: PAUL S. ROWE ON BEN MAZER'S SELECTED POEMS

Possibility Glimpsed Through Windows: A Review of Ben Mazer’s Selected Poems

Ben Mazer. Selected Poems. (Ashville, NC: MadHat Press, 2017). 248 pp., with a preface by Philip Nikolayev.
A project that has been incubating since his debut collection White Cities (Barbara Matteau Editions, 1995), Ben Mazer’s Selected Poems (MadHat Press, 2017)has arrived. Spanning over twenty years of zealous creative output, this volume begins with three euphonious glimpses of Mazer’s poetic career. To read these early poems is to peer through the ornate window of some far-flung edifice to discover scenery and situations ripe with the allure of intrigue and espionage, as in the poem “The Traveller”:

In a strange country, there is only one
Who knows his true name and could turn him in.
But she, whose father too was charged with murder
And, innocent, went to the electric chair,
Believes in him, convinces him to trust.
It is the tropics where they make their tryst.
They sip refreshing drinks beside a terraced
Poo…

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN

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I was sexually harassed by an actor when I was a young teenager, after going to an audition with him, so the recent revelations about the great and the good of Hollywoodland and its outlying tar pits were hardly going to leave me cold.  Like a lot of people online at the moment, each accusation against a star, producer or TV actor, ricochets all over the place. But none of the downfalls has hurt as much as Kevin Spacey's.

I have taken flak online the past week for criticising the cynical, and to my mind, Orwellian, decision to reshoot film history and cut Spacey out of the new Ridley Scott Getty film. The Onion had a joke about the whole industry being repopulated with Christopher Plummer clones (some began to misbehave). Even to mention sadness at the news that Kevin Spacey's acting career is over was apparently tantamount to mourning the death of Satan.

However, I have a long and complicated relationship with Kevin Spacey - as an artist, not a person (having never met him in t…

The Winner of the 8th Fortnight Poetry Prize is...

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ANNA DE VAUL FOR ‘Broken Up’



RUNNER-UP: GLEN WILSON – ‘Mouths To Feed’

 THE SHORTLIST
1.DENIS BERNICKY – ‘The Moose And The Coyote’
2.ANNE CASEY – ‘Metaphoric Rise’
3.COLIN DARDIS – ‘Look Out’
4.ANNA DE VAUL – ‘Broken Up’
5.JAMES FINNEGAN – ‘Ghost Effect’
6.SEANIN HUGHES – ‘A Collection Of Small Things’
7.JOE LINES – ‘Crossing Harbour Street’
8.SHEY MARQUE – ‘Unpicking A Bird’
9.JESS NIEBERG – ‘Cherries’
10.ROCHELLE POTKAR – ‘Atonement’
11.CARRIE RADNA – ‘Studded Buddhas’
12.LAURA SEYMOUR – ‘Dry Stone Waller’
13.MADELEINE STEVENS – ‘The English Student’