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Showing posts from June, 2017


AN AMERICAN POET OF TALENT In tough times, Eyewear is continuing to grow and develop this rather special, fast-paced, 14-day turnaround poetry prize. This time the judge was Ms Rosanna Hildyard , our senior editor at Eyewear, and an Oxford graudate, who has written a new translation of Pere Ubu which we will be publishing shortly. The 4th edition of the contest opens today with our judge being Oliver Jones, a poet, editor, and author of a critical survey of Trump 's rhetoric. The shortlist is Antony Huen – ‘Ekphrasis’ Brianna Neumann – ‘Heart Murmur’ Chris Hardy – ‘Each Summer’ Danielle Lejeune – ‘Counting Seven Crows’ Ellen Kempler – ‘Elegy At The End Of A Beach Walk’ Greer Gurland – ‘It Is Easy To Forget’ JDA Winslow – ‘text3’ Jose Varghese – ‘Sex In The Time Of Air Raids’ Justin William Evans – ‘Night Prayer 3’ Lenore Hart – ‘Looking Into The Eyes Of A Woman’ Myna Wallin – ‘Blood Lines’ Paola Ferrante – ‘Homing’


One is reminded of King Lear, broken on the heath, by the immensity of human loss and suffering. London, and the UK, is reaching a summer breaking point.  As temperatures soar to 31 Celsius, murder, hate and death keeps erupting in weekly events, each unbearable for both victims, and any bystanders with a heart or soul. Last night, a terror attack on law-abiding, decent, and needless to say, blameless, Muslim British people attending a Mosque, injured many. This is awful, and this blog is not going to state the obvious here. But we did not want this event to pass without comment. This blog considers the British Muslim population of the UK to be an incredible, enriching, and valuable part of the whole intermixed splendour that is UK culture and society. Far from being a fifth-column, Muslims in the UK are - as we saw after the Grenfell Tower Fire - as compassionate or more compassionate than any other community - and their doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers, workers, drivers, arti


A week or so after a startling election, which culminated in the collapse of Ms May's hubristic intentions for a hard Brexit, and ushered in a new, smiling, roseate Corbyn , PM in waiting, The Grenfell Towers inferno has struck London, and the UK, into a state of numbed horror. In the richest borough in all of the UK, it seems impossible that a 24-storey building with hundreds of families in it could, after one fridge caught fire, become entirely engulfed in flame like a roman candle within minutes. Anyone who has seen the footage will recognise instantly that this sort of disaster just isn't supposed to happen in a wealthy, industrialised nation anymore, one with fire safety laws - but somehow, cruelly and tellingly, the poorer members of UK society were ignored, their needs shelved, their reports and messages binned, and their homes made into a death-trap. If faulty cladding or improper safety measures are the fault, as appears likely, then this will be a case of manslaughte


SUMMER IS COMIN IN WITH SOME GREAT TUNES Eyewear likes lists, and loves music. Hence our regular updated best of music lists. 2017 has been a difficult year, and a tragic one, but there is no harm in seeking some solace, some respite, some beauty or expression of concern, in song. There are many fine artists we love who do not make this list, like Blondie , Goldfrapp, Pile, Paramore, Spoon, Fleet Foxes, Sleaford Mods, Alison Moyet, Drake, Little Dragon, The National, the xx , but here are 20 popular music tracks - all available on Spotify - that have struck us as diverting, compelling, and undeniable this year. These others may well make our final list at year's end. At close to mid-year, and summer's height, however, here is the playlist we have for you, now. 1. 'All Things Pass' - The Jesus and Mary Chain As good as their best, a classic indie pop song. 2. 'Beehive' - Mark Lanegan Dark, indie, imagistic, potent, and brilliant - a classic. 3. &


HIPSTERS LOVE CORBYN Eyewear , the blog and company have had a rollercoaster love affair with Mr Jeremy Corbyn , current leader of the British Labour party. Anticipating his leadership win a few years ago, we published the first updated book on his life and ideas - which sold over 3,000 copies; several of our editors either voted for him or supported him. Then he appeared to falter. Our genuine love slackened. But now he has pulled us back in, slowly, surely, with his principled, if grizzled, brand of authentic populism. His campaign has been masterful, and, mostly, blemish-free. He has appeared strong, confident, funny, and caring. And he has been infuriatingly clear - he does not like nuclear war or killing people. Ms May , the current PM, has been a disaster.  Her strong, stable slogan is now a cruel albatross, like something the centurions slapped on the dying Christ . She has turned on her own manifesto - a bizarre first - and appeared weak in public debate, when she deig


Montana poet, Finn Anderson For our second iteration of this already-excitingly successful prize (in terms of getting entries from all levels of experience, and all over the world), we have that most pleasing of winners (arguably - a genuinely new poet, emerging from the wings for the first time, blinking in the footlights, to take their first shy bow). Indeed, this winner entered under an alias, but turns out to be Finn Anderson .  He will be paid his £140 today, almost instantly. Now here is the judge, Alexandra Payne , weighing in: Judge’s Comments: Among the poems read in the judging of this prize, many stood out for their starkly imagistic slants on reality, often transmuting somewhere into the magic and music of great poetry. None, however, with more wit, surprise and wistfully elegant tragedy than the sonnet, 'The Trampoline'.   Its mastery of form and subtle yet heartbreak-inducing rhymes transform a familiar domestic object into a perfect objective corr


SPECS PLEASE, EVERY FORTNIGHT   Every 14 days, the Fortnight Prize throws wide the net and offers up 14 shortlisted poems, one of which wins £140... here is this fortnight's shortlist... winner to be announced tomorrow... congratulations to all the many poets from around the world who entered, and especially the 14 poets here (at least one alias, I suspect).... this list judged by our managing editor, Alexandra Payne ... 1. ‘Back to the Earth’ by Amy Lundquist 2. ‘Banal Apocalypse’ by David Braziel 3. ‘Dead Dog’ by Lynda Tavakoli 4. ‘Euclid Refuted’ by Daniel Cowper 5. ‘Follow You’ by Colin Dardis 6. ‘For a Catfish’ by Ellen Kempler 7. ‘Helen Keller Meets Charlie Chaplin on a Hollywood Film Set 1919’ by Jane Lovell 8. ‘Help of the Helpless’ by Ken Evans 9. ‘Love Song for Marcello Alfredo’ by Daniela Buccilli 10. ‘My One-Year Old Niece’ by Vik Shirley 11. ‘Q&A’ by Michelle PeƱaloza 12. ‘Reading a Novel’ by Samuel Son


Eyewear's spokesperson As the now tired adage goes, a week is a long time in politics. A week ago we did not know Trump's secret weird word... and more seriously, much more seriously, the Manchester tragedy had not yet happened. But now, after several debate appearances on TV from Corbyn , the Labour leader, and astonishingly poor appearances and non-appearances from the PM May , the polls have begun to converge, like an iceberg and a stable ship. Nik Nanos , Canada's leading polling expert, predicted this a month ago. As in some ways does our Eyewear book Tactical Reading , published a week ago. Though still too early to tell - and given the ferocity and mendacity of the right-wing media here in Britain - it appears May is losing her landslide. Here are Eyewear's predictions on the possible outcomes in a week, 8th June, when the UK votes to elect a new government. MAY'S TORIES WIN A SLIM MAJORITY/MINORITY GOVERNMENT - 30% CHANCE MAY'S TORIES WIN A MAJORI