All posts tagged: Poetry Book Society

‘I have come to ask certain disrespectful questions of the tradition’; Boland on poetry’s ‘lesser-space’

‘I am an Irish poet. A woman poet. In the first category I enter the tradition of the English language at an angle. In the second, I enter my own tradition at an even more steep angle. I need to be candid about this because, of course, these two identities shape and re-shape what I have to say today. The authority of the poet – that broad and challenging theme – is really, in my case, a series of instincts and hunches. The difference in my case, is that while many poets look to the past for the story of that authority, I no longer do so. I have stopped listening to the story which grants automatic authority to the poet and automatic importance to the poem. Instead, I have come to see a suppressed narrative.’ I have often wondered at the angle that Eavan Boland speaks of in this excerpted speech from the PN Review. The speech entitled Gods Make Their Own Importance was delivered  in 1994 under the auspices of the Poetry Book Society. Eavan Boland revisited …

Sonnet, by Alice Oswald

Sonnet I can’t sleep in case a few things you said no longer apply. The matter’s endless, but definitions alter what’s ahead and you and words are like a hare and tortoise.  Aaaagh there’s no description — each a fractal  sectioned by silences, we have our own skins to feel through and fall back through — awful to make so much of something so unknown. But even I — some shower-swift commitments are all you’ll get;  I mustn’t gauge or give more than I take — which is a way to balance between misprision and belief in love both true and false, because I’m only just short of a word to be the first to trust.  by Alice Oswald  from The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile (Oxford 1996). I am adding here the Library Thing  link for  The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile by Alice Oswald. I wrote a brief polemic last week about the decision of the two poets , Alice Oswald and John Kinsella, to leave the T.S Eliot Prize, but I do hope …

T.S Eliot and the death of poetry

The image is from this BBC report. Poetry was once  important as a part of  our culture,  and as an  art.   This week , the Ted Hughes memorial-stone  made headlines , it  is sited near to T.S Eliot’s memorial-stone in Poet’s Corner  at Westminster Abbey.  I have linked the report above here. Unfortunately, T.S Eliot’s memory, and  his work for poetry has reached the headlines for entirely different reasons this week. Two poets had withdrawn from the T.S Eliot Prize , as of Wednesday the 7th of December. Alice Oswald withdrew on the 6th of December, citing her ethical refusal to accept the sponsorship of Aurum (a hedge-fund group), she was closely  followed in what amounted to an ethical boycott of the prize by John Kinsella on the following morning (7th of December). The T.S Eliot Prize was targeted for ACE funding cuts in 2011 by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition, alongside nine other poetry publishers or groups. I blogged about this at the time, but I am adding here a Guardian report on the issue. …

A poet-companion,Tess Gallagher translates Liliana Ursu.

There are two posts on this blog which link to short poems by Lilian Ursu.  The poems are from the Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation of The Sky Behind the Forest, by Liliana Ursu. The volume had two translators, Adam J Sorkin and Tess Gallagher. Interestingly, the volume does not initial the translators work beneath the text , so  it is very hard to identify which poems were translated by Gallagher. This blog is dedicated to the work of women writers, editors and translators, so I thought to examine Gallagher’s approach to the poet and to her work.  I am referring to  the  published notes on the translations throughout. Liliana Ursu is Romanian, she was born in Sibiu in 1949 and  lived in Bucharest during the Ceaucescu regime. She graduated in English at Bucharest University and taught part-time there for ten years. Ursu has published two books of short stories, six books of translation and  books of poetry. She travelled as a  visiting professor to Pennsylvania State University on a Fulbright Grant in 1992-1993. I have decided to include here a Bloodaxe page about Ursu, as well as a link to Lightwall. . …

Dispossessions: News of the Fightback against Poetry Cuts in the ACE 2011.

This morning it is reported that nine poets  are disputing the Arts Council cuts in England. Poetry is an encounter, and always surprising, so I am adding in here the links and reports on what is (imo) a most utilitarian and pedestrian set of decisions regarding funding cuts across the water. Nine leading poets call for ACE rethink on PBS cut.   From The BookSeller “Nine of the UK’s leading poets, including laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Blake Morrison and Don Paterson, have called for Arts Council England (ACE) to “urgently reconsider their decision” to withdraw funding from the Poetry Book Society (PBS). The ACE has scheduled a meeting with PBS board members for Monday [4th April]. In a letter published in today’s Times, the poets said they were “shocked that the Arts Council has decided to withdraw all funding from the Poetry Book Society, a widely respected and unique organisation that selects outstanding poetry collections for readers and libraries. The PBS also administers the T S Eliot Prize, an award for new collections of poetry in English, and has supported works in translation. …