What We're Reading – June 2016
In Issue #3's podcast, our guest Alan Kellermann recommended two books: a collection of poems that deals in dualities, and an inspirational guide to the writing of poetry. Meanwhile, Rhys suggested picking up a copy of a ‘verse novella’ by Scotland’s leading rural poet, and Richard and Adam pointed our listeners towards two poetry anthologies that are worth dipping into.
On Poetry – Glyn Maxwell
Oberon Books, 2012
Illustrated with examples from canonical poets, On Poetry is a collection of short essays and reflections from the acclaimed British poet Glyn Maxwell. A worthy addition to the Oberon Masters series, it serves as both an accessible guide to the writing of poetry, and a defence of the art.
On Poetry will be especially prized by writers and readers who wish to understand why and how poetic technique matters. These essays illustrate Maxwell's poetic philosophy: that the greatest verse arises from a harmony of mind and body, and that poetic forms originate in human necessities such as breath, heartbeat, footstep and posture.
On Poetry is available to buy from oberonbooks.com
Lucifer at the Starlite – Kim Addonizio
W. W. Norton & Company, 2011
Kim Addonizio’s fifth collection of poetry explores life’s dual nature. Good and evil. Light and dark. Suffering and joy. As one American Poets reviewer put it: “If this book is a party, then someone is shooting heroin in the bathroom, a national disaster is being watched on TV in the kitchen, and the man and woman making out in the bedroom are both married to other people.”
Whether looking outward to events on the world stage or inward at struggles with the self, the poems in this collection aim at the heart, and against the feeling that Lucifer may have already won the day.
Lucifer at the Starlite is available to buy from books.wwnorton.com
Killochries – Jim Carruth
Freight Books, 2015
A stunning epic poem (though marketed as a ‘verse novella’), Jim Carruth’s Killochries tracks the relationship between two very different men working a remote sheep farm over the course of twelve months. Spare, sharp, bold, innovative, touching – Killochries is a major achievement from one of Scotland’s most important and influential voices.
Despite being his country’s leading rural poet and having won a clutch of poetry awards, this is Jim Carruth’s first formal collection. Since our Issue #3 podcast was recorded back in December of last year, Killochries has deservedly been shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Prize.
Killochries is available to buy from freightbooks.co.uk
Another Country: Haiku Poetry From Wales
Gomer Press, 2011
Published in 2011, Another Country is the first ever Welsh national anthology of haiku poetry, and features the work of forty poets who have all contributed significantly to the development and popularity of this most ancient yet versatile of literary forms.
Concise, precise and evocative, the anthology takes you on a journey through and around the ordinary and extraordinary aspects of everyday life. Edited by three highly respected pioneers of the haiku in Wales – Ken Jones, Lynne Rees and Nigel Jenkins – it includes poems from Issue #3 guest Alan Kellermann and The Crunch’s own Rhys Owain Williams.
Another Country is available to buy from gomer.co.uk
Best British Poetry Series
Salt’s annual Best British Poetry anthology presents the finest and most engaging poems found in UK literary magazines and webzines over the past year. Each poem is accompanied by a note by the poet themselves, explaining the inspiration for the poem and why they decided to write in that form.
At a time when print journals still retain their significance and popularity, and when new sites are flourishing on the web, Salt’s anthology gives us a snapshot of current UK poetry practices by bringing together a diverse selection of poems. The 2015 offering, edited by Emily Berry (with Roddy Lumsden as series editor), is the fifth edition in the series.
Best British Poetry is available to buy from saltpublishing.com
To hear what we said about these books in the 'What We're Reading' segment of the Issue #3 podcast, go here: crunchpoetry.com/issue-3.html
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