Surprises by post this week

What’s the only kind of postal delivery better than a poetry package?  A surprise poetry package, of course!  And this week I’ve been thrilled to receive not one but two of these.

The first to arrive:

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I haven’t been a subscriber to The North for a few years, so I’m hoping that recent issues have been gifted (and, if so, I’d like to say a big thank you to whoever’s been so kind as to do so) as opposed to sent in error…

Then this little beauty arrived from Nine Arches Press:

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I’ve coveted this collaborative guide to twenty-first century poetting by Jo Bell and Jane Commane, but I hadn’t gotten around to ordering it (I know I hadn’t – I checked back through my online book purchases); it was dispatched from NAP to my old address and arrived by mail redirection a couple of days ago.  So, again, I owe a huge thank you to a very generous someone…

 

This blog post comes to you a day earlier than planned as I’m off to the great metropolis tomorrow for the T S Eliot Prize Readings event at Royal Festival Hall, ahead of Monday’s announcement of this year’s winner.  I’ve also booked for Malika Booker’s preview event in the afternoon.  This will be my first time attending what must be one of the highlights in the poetry annual calendar. It’s also one to tick off the top of my Retirement wish list.  I’m quite excited!  And I know there’ll be lots of familiar faces in the audience, too.

A poet friend emailed me the link to a YouTube playlist of this year’s shortlisters, so I’m currently working my way through all forty video clips of the ten poets talking about their work and reading poems from their respective award-nominated collections.

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New Year, New Reading, News

The Christmas decorations have been re-packed into their boxes; all that remains of the festive goodies is the remains of a tub of Celebrations; life is returning to (what passes for) normal.

In the post-Christmas decompression chamber that is January, I look forward to those ‘happy pills’ that pop into my inbox in the form of poetry e-newsletters and notifications with links to new reading.  This week’s include:

  • The POETRY magazine newsletter’s selection of poetry, prose and audio from the January issue.  I was enjoyed ‘The Hermits,’ a poem by Karen Solie.  Since first ‘discovering’ her work a few years ago, this Canadian poet has become a firm favourite of mine.
  • The Academy of American Poets (Poets.org) newsletter: a selection of poems for the New Year, by Kim Addonizio, Naomi Shihab Nye and others.
  • The SlowPo version of my favourite MOOC (ModPo) beginning the year with a series of mini courses, discussing individual poems by Bernadette Mayer and John Ashbery, with others to follow.
  • This morning’s weekly Brain Pickings, by the indefatigable Maria Popova, which I vow I’ll explore, rather than allowing it to sit in my inbox, opened but largely unread.
  • Josephine Corcoran’s latest blog post includes a heads-up to a growing list of poet bloggers who aim to blog weekly during 2018.  I look forward to discovering new favourites.

This morning, I received some good news about one of the poems I entered for a competition.  I can’t say any more about it, just yet.  Suffice to say, I’m chuffed!

I’ve been busy diminishing my poetry TBR pile, too.  After a couple of rather unsatisfying reads (we’re individuals, with our own particular tastes, right?), Peter Sansom’s The Last Place on Earth (Carcanet, 2006) restored my faith.  My current read, the  Forward Book of Poetry, 2018, is a gripping one.  I’ve already page-marked a few favourites, including Richard Georges’ ‘Oceans’ and Ocean Vuong’s ‘Notebook Fragments.’  Next up is Pascale Petit’s Mama Amazonica – I can’t wait!

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Happy New Year, and happy poetry reading! 🙂