The Great Below and the great after

August 18, 2014

This year marks ten years since Michael Donaghy died. As it happens, this autumn his Collecteds – poems and prose – are both going to be out in paperback, at last. Almost more to the point, the first critical guide to his work (appropriately called Smith: A Reader’s Guide to Michael Donaghy) will be published by […]

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Purple prose for purple times

August 4, 2014

1980: One of the things I really wish I hadn’t lost over the years is my great-grandfather’s scrapbook. It was a large, old-fashioned tome with dark pages, on which anything that meant something to my great-grandfather had been glued. A lot of it was very boring to the teenager I was when I read it. […]

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John McCullough: blog tour guest post no. 4

August 3, 2014

John McCullough had been on the poetry scene for ten years or so and had three pamphlets published (including the Tall Lighthouse pamphlet, The Lives of Ghosts) by the time his first collection came out in 2o11.  The Frost Fairs – one of the many generation-changing first collections made possible by the Salt – won the Polari […]

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Jen the Zen: or, how we live today

August 1, 2014

Tomorrow, John McCullough’s guest post on his writing process – the final one in the series – goes up. In the meantime I came across this video of Jen Hadfield talking about her remote life as a poet in Shetland and it really resonated with me, as well as setting up a sort of base […]

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Pop-in summer poetry!

July 22, 2014

On Tuesday 29 July and 5 August I’m running two pop-up poetry workshop sessions, over the Poetry Café in Covent Garden. The workshops will be mixed level – as long as you’re self-generating and not a complete beginner, you’ll fit in. My groups are very inclusive, and are open to the whole range of poetry […]

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‘A hell of an underwriter': three insurance men with a difference

July 20, 2014

Here are three unlikely leading lights of the life insurance bizz for you: 1. The Welsh moral philosopher Richard Price,  an important Dissenting thinker of the eighteenth century,  pretty much created the modern idea of life insurance. Dr Price had been involved with, and thinking hard about, the assurance and benevolent societies for decades when he […]

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Matthew Caley: blog tour guest post no. 3

July 16, 2014

Matthew Caleyis a bit of a phenomenon in contemporary poetry: erudite and intellectual, with an iconoclastic eye turned to Paris while his feet are firmly planted in Brixton, as funny as he is highbrow (and TALL), he’s not quite like any other poet I can think of. He plays, he experiments, he smokes a lot […]

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Sad to leave Slad

July 14, 2014

Right, well if it has been a little quiet around here it is because I’ve been away for a week in a place with no signal. The week before I went was so busy that, although the servants managed to get Baroque Mansions neat as a pin and slightly degreased for the guinea-pig-sitter, not all the […]

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