Sunday, 30 January 2011

'poetry rocks!'

 Heartening article by Jackie Kay celebrating an apparent 'poetry renaissance' in the UK. Could it be (using Auden's terms) that this increasingly mad England under the Coalition is "hurting us into poetry" - something authentic, hand-crafted and unquantifiable "where executives would never want to tamper"?

Sunday, 23 January 2011


Marvellously sensuous/sensual new poem from David Harsent, undoubtedly one of the best living English poets; a good example of how over a long career he's developed a voice, register and rhythm very much his own and with no obvious antecedents (distant traces of both Lawrence and Hughes in this one, perhaps.)

broadcast loss

Just read that Trish Keenan of Broadcast died of pneumonia a week ago at the absurdly young age of 42. They were an important band, precursors of what has recently been called 'hypnagogic pop', and her plaintive vocals were always an integral element of their appeal.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

lost voices

Interesting programme about Afghani poetry on Radio 4 today, including poignant invective against both the Taliban fundamentalists who suppressed all creative arts during their time in power (despite the extremely rich history of poetry within Islamic culture) and the US/British forces currently stamping their neo-colonialist mark on this beleaguered, belittled country: