October! Half over already!

Pippa's TippaThis autumn is really dragging us along like puppies on a lead, isn’t it? Here in Baroque Mansions we are all – me, my alter ego, my esteemed other, my kids, everybody – sort of inundated, in both good ways and puppy-on-a-lead ways. In between juggling bills, reluctantly updating web domains, and feverishly checking lottery tickets, there’s hardly time for any sort of leisure activity… and I’ve been doing so much poet profiling and poetry reviewing (see autumn issue of Poetry Wales, and upcoming issues of Poetry London and Poetry Review) that blogging on top seems like a bit tooooo much…

Plus, Baroque Mansions has gone a bit typewriter mad, one has emerged as a bit of an overnight geek, and that’s been taking up a lot of time, frankly. More on that one after I take possession of my own little adopted Adler Tippa (from my friend Pippa) on Wednesday.

BUT you will be pleased to know that where I am falling down on the job, others are blogging heartily away. Edward Ferrari’s The Republic of Yorkshire attracted me right away by his use of the IM Fell DW Pica tentypeface for his banner; as you can see, the Baroque banner is in IM Fell French Canon, so it’s rather as if we bought the same shoes but in different colours. Also, he has a picture of James Merrill’s collected poems in his sidebar, so basically, I’m there. Check it out.

Fiona Moore is doing some storming blogging on Displacement – her discussion of the new Ten anthology and issues around race and poetry in the UK is fascinating. I love that she reviews the launch event because I wasn’t able to make it on the night, and the discussion – including a discussion of aesthetic values – sounds really fascinating, and not before its time. What do we look for in our poetry (or in any other literature, for that matter)?

Lumsden Mischief cover 176And Anthony Wilson is going from strength to strength, as they say. Not only is his own blog giving rise to a book – Lifesaving Poems is going to be published in June by Bloodaxe – he’s also doing a magnificent job as the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival blogger. The festival is in only three weeks; well, under three weeks, now, as today is Sunday.

(Also, funnily enough, I’ve just finished writing a feature for MsLexia magazine (which will appear in the next issue) on ways to think of turning a blog into a book – and poetry only gets a sort of sideways mention, but this is a brilliant development.)


The good news from the Baroque point of view is that I am going to be at Aldeburgh myself, as well, as a sort of reviewer-stroke-Penned-in-the-Margins presence, thanks to the imaginative generosity of Tom Chivers and Naomi Jaffa. That’s really exciting because the festival is Naomi’s last as Director, and the line-up looks quite frankly amazing. There are several people I’m really looking forward to hearing; off the top of my head now, not only Hannah Silva’s new PITM show, Schlock!, but also Julian Stannard, Jonathan Edwards, the US poet Paula Bohince, and Jen Hadfield (always a pleasure, and it’s been years).

Er, in other news, we’re waiting for the eldest Baroque offspring to be slightly less beset with work and wisdom teeth and do some essential back end work for us, and then I can resume my new website project, which I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned yet. Suffice to say it will be good. Once it happens. Projected launch date now, I hope, in the New Year. I’ll try and get a gold dress.


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