In Issue #0's podcast, Rhys spoke a little about rediscovering one of his favourite writers – the prose poet Louis Jenkins – as a result of moving house, Richard recommended a collection of passionate and elegantly written essays from Tom Sleigh, and Adam took the opportunity to ask Richard a few questions about his debut poetry collection 'Little Man'.
North of the Cities – Louis Jenkins
Will O' The Wisp Books, 2007
The meta-fiction poems collected in North of the Cities perfectly typify the contemporary prose poem: a snapshot of everyday life laced with sardonic humour that strives for sonorous effect. But Louis Jenkins is, perhaps above all, a fantastic storyteller; "all poetry," he says, "comes down to storytelling. This is what happened. This is what it's like to be a live human being. You tell that story the best way you can."
North of the Cities is available to buy from willothewispbooks.com
Rhys wrote a longer introduction to Louis Jenkins' poetry for Everything But A Mis-Print back in 2011. You can read it here: rhysowainwilliams.com/blog/an-introduction-to-louis-jenkins
Interview with a Ghost – Tom Sleigh
Graywolf Press, 2011
In Interview with a Ghost, Tom Sleigh investigates poetry from the vantage point of his conviction that "while art and life are separable, they aren't separate." With passion and erudition, his essays explore issues of self-hood that are often assumed but not adequately confronted by contemporary poetry – namely, what it means to employ the first person in a poem, the elusive "I" with all of its freighted aesthetic and psychological implications.
The works of poets – including Anne Bradstreet, Sir Walter Raleigh, Robert Lowell, Thom Gunn, Seamus Heaney, and Frank Bidart – are examined, as are Sleigh's own poems in the contexts of his own history and sickness.
Interview with a Ghost is available to buy from graywolfpress.org
Little Man – Richard James Jones
Parthian Books, 2014
Though none of us intend for The Crunch to become a vehicle for our own egos, it seemed remiss to not ask our very own Richard James Jones about the process of writing, editing and launching his debut collection Little Man, especially as it was the book that Adam had most recently been reading.
So we did.
Published by Parthian Books towards the end of last year, Little Man was soon selected as one of the Scottish Poetry Library's recommended titles – alongside work by poets such as Carol Ann Duffy, Simon Armitage, Michael Longley and John Burnside.
Little Man is available to buy from parthianbooks.com
To hear what we said about these books in the 'What We're Reading' segment of the Issue #0 podcast, go here: crunchpoetry.com/issue-0.html