Forward Prize shortlist, Day 1: Alice Oswald

August 31, 2016

Ten days till my workshop on all ten shortlisted books, I’m going to post a little something about one of the books every day. With luck that’ll amount to a fair bit of blogging, as there were some other things I wanted to write about too. Alice Oswald’s new collection is a frankly staggering piece […]

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Forward into the breach!*

August 11, 2016

There’s something going on, and it’s changing the culture of UK poetry. Okay, it’s changing the prize culture of UK poetry, but that really does have an impact on who reads what. In the three years (this year), since its new Director Susannah Herbert took over, the Forward Prize has quietly achieved a bit of a […]

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Life in the Referendum: London correspondent

June 22, 2016

Over the next few days I’m going to be doing an ad hoc series of ‘Letters from London’ for the Best American Poetry blog in New York. I gather we’re all over the news over there, but (kind of like here) nobody can really tell what’s going on. It may be that they’re just too […]

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My Top 10 Reasons for Staying in the EU

June 9, 2016

Hi guys. Sorry to do this to you. I know everyone is sick to death of this debate, but I set myself a challenge to outline my reasons for Remaining without resorting to quips about Boris, etc. Especially since I just met his dad, Stanley, at a book launch the other week. Let’s keep the […]

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Free your verse with the Free Verse Poetry Competition

May 23, 2016

Sorry – it’s not free to enter. That would be just too perfect. But it IS in a good cause, if you support the indie book fair that once a year presents thousands of small-press poetry books together under one roof, gives workshops and readings, and basically is the living spirit of poetry in action. The fair will […]

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A few lines on Elizabeth Jane Howard

May 19, 2016

I am currently reading the novels of Elizabeth Jane Howard, one after another, on the advice of Hilary Mantel in the Guardian. (Above, a different piece from the Guardian, with Howard at 90: ‘Writing is what gets me up in the morning’.) Mantel has written the introduction to a new edition of The Long View, but the article […]

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