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Showing posts from September, 2017

The Winner of the 7th Fortnight Poetry Prize is....

M. J. Arlett - pictured - for the poem 'Snowfall In Pennsylvania' (below). Congratulations! She wins £140 on this UK National Poetry Day!

Arlett was born in the UK, grew up in Spain, and now lives in Texas where she is pursuing her PhD. She is an editor at the Plath Poetry Project and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in B O D Y, The Boiler, Lunch Ticket, Poet Lore, Mud Season Review, Rust + Moth, and elsewhere.

The runner up is: 'Orlando’ by Eva Griffin.

The judge, Alexandra Payne wrote:

With the autumn equinox not long behind us, the numerous winter poems among the entries this fortnight really came into their own. None, however, with more delicacy and precision than ‘Snowfall in Pennsylvania’ by M. J. Arlett.

Like an iced-over lake, or a deer that freezes then bolts, this poem exudes a peacefulness with a simultaneous undercurrent of energy. In a time when everything seems to be moving so quickly and with so little meaning, ‘Snowfall in Pennsylvania’ is a pause to i…


I do not come to mourn Heffner. He lived to 91, and had what he wanted from life. What he wanted was desperately limited, although hedonistically exciting - he had the devil's bargain, as it were - all the sex, money, fame, and influence he asked for. Why mourn the villain who makes crime pay?

His impact on Post-war Western society was akin to that of the atomic bomb, and just as destructive. His "lifestyle" - never harmless boys will be boys fun - for all its purported social-justice elements and literary collusions (with sex-creeps like Sartre), was about radically free access to a certain kind of sexual pleasure - mostly white male middle-class heterosexual freedom (though he did advocate for gay rights at some stage, likely as a cover for his own need for total access to sex objects).

What brand is better known, or more sinister, than the bunny ears, other than the swastika? His persuasive Playboy stood for the idea of a male fantasy of never having to grow up, o…


Eyewear, the blog loves to share news of great popular songs (tracks) so you can hear our playlist. We are on Spotify endlessly as we edit. We favour indie guitar bands, 80 revivalists, synth-pop, dream pop, and George Michael, as well as Ska and The Smiths. We are publishing Sarah Walk, whose work is super - but we won't list her here, as that might be considered cheating... check her out. No National, lcd soundsystem or Fleet Foxes here, or The War on Drugs, sorry.... they would all make a best of year's end Top 100, and may well do....

Here are 25 recent tracks that over the summer and last few weeks have wormed their way deep into our psyches.

1. 'Persistence' - Albin Lee Meldau
Hardly a household name, he should be. This is the sort of passionate throwback to CCR guitar rock too many hipsters have aimed for of late. He achieves something classic, catchy, and oddly poignant here.

2. 'Royal Highness' - Tom Grennan
This is pure rock pop, with a touch of Hall and O…


Wheeler Light for 'Life Jacket'.

The runner-up is: Daniel Duffy - 'President Returns To New York For Brief First Visit'

Wheeler Light currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Life Jacket

summer camp shirtsI couldn’t fit in then
are half my size nowI wanted to wear
smaller and smallerarticles of clothing
I shrunk to the sizethat disappeared

of an afterthoughtin a sinking ship body
too buoyant to sinktoo waterlogged for land
I becamea dot of sand


With the death of the poetic genius John Ashbery, whose poems, translations, and criticism made him, to my mind, the most influential American poet since TS Eliot, 21st century poetry is moving into less certain territory.

Over the past few years, we have lost most of the truly great of our era: Edwin Morgan, Gunn, Hill, Heaney and Walcott, to name just five.  There are many more, of course. This is news too sad and deep to fathom this week.  I will write more perhaps later. 

I had a letter from Ashbery on my wall, and it inspired me daily.  He gave me advice for my PhD. He said kind things about a poetry book of mine.

He was a force for good serious play in poetry, and his appeal great. So many people I know and admire are at a loss this week because of his death. It is no consolation at present to think of the many thousands of living poets, just right now. But impressively, and even oddly, poetry itself seems to keep flowing.