I do my best to keep abreast of current affairs in the small world of poetry. This week I’ve spent not a little time reading Rebecca Watts’ PN Review article and various responses to it, from Hollie McNish’s prompt and proactive one (if Watts attempted to hang her victim using the poet-in-question’s previous remarks on the quality of her own work, the latter acquitted herself well and with dignity) through Helen Mort’s (concise; bang on) to @Mslexia’s Twitter poll (overly simplistic, inciting further polarity).
(Personal opinions in brackets).
I’ve recently read a couple of collections that weren’t to my taste. And that’s fine with me. I embrace the breadth of style, form, subject and media of contemporary poetry whilst acknowledging that the world would be a boring place if we all shared the same tastes and views. But then I’m not a reviewer. Nor am I the Reviews Editor of an ‘august’ poetry journal.
Here’s a selection of collections/pamphlets I’ve enjoyed lately (in reading order only):
I purchased four of them following live readings by the respective poets; of these, I’ve enjoyed previous publications by one poet and look forward to reading further work by the other three – and although one received a rather scathing review by a popular online reviewer, I loved its lyrical poems; the other two I ordered online as soon as they were published, as I do any publication by my favourite poets.
I didn’t set out to write any more than a brief comment on this week’s furore. I am, however, intent on growing my blog, beginning with blogging weekly (on Sundays). I’m pleased, therefore, that my teeny tiny blog has attracted a few new readers and followers via the 2018 Revival Tour list of weekly bloggers, so thank you for dropping by, if you’re one of them!
Some weeks, a blog post is the only writing I manage. I am more than a little perturbed at how days turn into weeks of doing ‘nothing much’ now that a day job no longer lays claim to my time. Instead, any number of new and customary displacement activities present themselves (the subject of another post, maybe). And another curveball (life, eh).
Whether the writing’s happening or not, I remain on the lookout for suitable homes for those ‘finished’ poems not currently submitted anywhere. I’ve recently sent off two poems to a themed magazine that published one of mine a few years ago, and entered one poem for an ‘auspicious’ poetry prize (this poem has no ‘previous’; it fitted the theme). I find that I like the level playing field of poetry competitions more and more. Robin Houghton’s latest post poses some valid considerations, whether you’re a frequent or reticent entrant to poetry competitions.
Whatever you’re writing and/or reading this week, enjoy x