HAVE YOU SPONSORED ME YET?
It’s finally here…well, Friday has been and gone(I started this on Friday for a change), but The Friday Poem is here. I made some vague reference to it a couple of weeks ago, something about getting in on the ground floor, but let’s ignore that.
Here’s the closest they get to a manifesto in the first editorial on the site
“We are not aligned to any particular school or type of poetry. Long or short, old or new, lyric, narrative or dramatic, from haikus to epics, from sonnets to soliloquies, from ballads to blank verse, it’s all good. Poetry can be political, elegiac, prophetic, obscure, but it must be honest (by which we don’t mean autobiographical) and crafted. The poetry we love is arresting, felt. Submit yours. Surprise us.
We want The Friday Poem to be accessible to everyone. This means it must be free to read. It means we have made the site work for blind people and people with impaired vision, through — for example — underlined links, semantic headings (read about semantic structure here), alt text and and high contrast. It also means we welcome contributions from anyone. (It’s traditional to stick a list in here — any gender, any colour, any sexuality etc, but we just mean anyone.)“
Will you just look at that…In fact, do that now…go and look at it and subscribe, and then come back here.
Have a read of Meg Peacocke’s glorious poem. I’m not pulling bits of that out, just go back and read it again
Helen Ivory on finding and reacting to her voice. I’m pleased to see Helen is an All About Eve fan – I have fond memories of their first album (and I’m morally obliged to mention that TOTP appearance).
“Before there was an ‘online’. I just knew that it felt somehow like solid earth; somewhere I could live, even though it sounds ethereal. And then she went homeward, just one star awake . . . you can use language like this?! Two others on the album are In the Clouds, and Wild-Hearted Woman, which of course spoke to me in my crimson velvet skirts and aura of patchouli. I was different, always a bit out-of-kilter, and this song, this album, made me feel part of something bigger, and that there was something else out there. Julieanne Regan’s voice is within my range too, so of course I’ll sing along with this song — with all of their songs — at the drop of a black velvet witch hat!“
Helena Nelson’s interview. There’s much to love in every response (and question for that matter), but I will highlight this bit.
Yes, ranking poetry is highly subjective. But that doesn’t mean people can’t explain their aesthetic and their choice in considerable detail. As sometimes they do. And other readers don’t necessarily agree, any more than they did about Tracey Emin’s Bed.“
Bruno Cooke on Joelle Taylor: “Done right, poetry serves as many purposes as there are flavours of ice cream.”
Richie McCaffery of Rob Selby’s excellent The Coming Down Time
Hilary Menos on Bhanu Kapil’s How To Wash A Heart
Some fool on Will Harris’ Rendang
Emma Simon on Chris Jones’ Little Piece of Harm
All in all, Bravo to Hilary and Andie.
I think TFP (not 100% sure about The Frip yet, but it will sink in and become shorthand soon enough, I’m sure) will be with us for a long time to come. I’m looking forward to seeing the new poems arriving week by week, perhaps I may even manage to get one in there; although the famous adage of Meet us half way and submit one first applies at the moment.
I must confess that I was a bit worried when Hilary first approached me and asked me to review Rendang. I can’t put my finger on it, but it felt like the biggest review I’ve been asked to write so far, the most complex book yet, and I wondered if I was up to the task if I could find something interesting to say (and to be fair that’s the same with every review I write, and every poem, and every post here…and every sentence I say out loud, etc).
If I’m honest I was worried about engaging with the “contradictions of identity and cultural memory” mentioned in the blurb. Not because I didn’t want to or don’t feel I need to. I absolutely do, it was more a feeling of do I have anything valid to say on the matter without falling into the lazy tropes that Alyca Pirmohamed refers to here in her excellent essay at Wild Court, those adjectives like ‘urgent’, ‘important’, etc?
I think I avoided that, but I don’t think I can be the judge as to whether I had anything interesting to say. However, I found it fascinating and educational for a variety of reasons to engage with the collection as a whole by examining how the poems developed between pamphlet and collection, as well as the newer work, and how that benefits from the space and time afforded by a collection (literally and metaphorically).
I still can’t stop laughing about my moment of utter ponciness involving carcass vs carcase though…I’m glad Hilary removed that.
(NB have I mentioned how excellent Hillary’s own poetry is before? I’m sure I have, but go and look it up. I also pleased to see news of a new pamphlet via Broken Sleep…I won’t link to it as they are limited editions, and I want one.)
THE WEEK IN STATS
0K , Recovering, I think. Will know more tomorrow when I attempt a short run. If that goes well then I may allow a moment of positivity about making the “big run”
1 visit from my mum
1 trip to Brighton
1 week off work
1 child just back from a camping trip
0 x acceptance
2 poems worked on: Bullshit Bingo (now renamed ‘The Kimono Is Open’) and Half Term At Longleat.
1 poem finished: Half Term At Longleat
1 new Submissions: Acumen
31 poems currently out for submission.
66 Published poems*:
41 Poems* finished by unpublished
29 poems* in various states of undress
554 Rejected poems* Eg I’ve decided they are not good enough
2 Review* Patrick Cotter and John Killick to High Window and OPOI respectively.
3 reviews to write
2 weeks without cigarettes…
1 Days without drinking (if one glass of wine counts)
1 more week that I’m not having an affair with Eva Green
* To date, not this week. Christ!!
A cricket ball appears from nowhere
Seventh Quarry 33
Martha Sprackland : Citadel
Poetry Ireland #142
Fenland Postery Journal #4
The Natural: Tethers
Liz Phair: Whip-Smart
Loamlands: Sweet High Rise
The Long Blondes: Someone To Drive You Home
Love: Da Capo
Small Sails: Similar Anniversaries
The Cure: Anniversary
Waxahatchee: Cerulaean Salt, Ivy Tripp
Bo Ningen: Sudden Fictions
Wolf Alice: Blue Weekend
Badly Drawn Boy: One Plus One Is One
Hiss Golden Messenger: Terms of Surrender, Hallelujah Anyhow
Bill Ryder-Jones: Yawny Yawn
Fargo S2 E1-4
Mare of Easttown: E1-2
Waking The Dead S2, S3E1-2
The Masked Dancer