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Christmas reading material

I can’t tell you how great it will be to get our dining room back in order – currently it’s awash with piles of music, half-made Christmas cards, newspaper spread about the place with things drying (paint, glue), various papers to do with work but not yet actioned or filed, plus books and magazines I haven’t yet read, and laundry. OK, so the laundry will be under control today I hope. But I’ve just scooped up a bunch of reading material that I’m hoping I’ll get to enjoy a read of over Christmas.

Books to read this Xmas

I’ve been sitting on the Vanguard #1Poetry Anthology for several weeks, and a glance at the list of contributors confirms that it’s going to be a strong read.

Then there’s Josephine Corcoran’s new pamphlet, ‘The Misplaced House‘. I’m familiar with a few of the poems in this and I’m very pleased for Josephine that she’s been published by tall-lighthouse, their pamphlets are invariably excellent.

Recently arrived in the post is the BlueGate Poets Anthology 2014 which will be fun to delve into. I’m a sort of associate member of BlueGate  – I live rather a long way from their Swindon heartland, so don’t get to join in things much, but I’m there in spirit!

Also just in is the December edition of Poetry – the first issue of my new subscription, and I couldn’t resist a quick look through when it arrived, reading the introduction to the section on Larry Eigner. I’m very excited about being introduced to a wider range of contemporary poets and learning more about the US scene.

You might wonder what Thoughts on Design by Paul Rand is doing here. Not poetry, but close – Rand was a highly influential graphic designer who wrote this ‘manifesto’ in 1947, updated in 1970, and it’s still considered to be a classic. I’m halfway through this super book, illustrated throughout with Rand’s own designs, many of which are very familiar (for example logos for IBM and ABC).

More christmas reading

And that’s not all! Last week at the very jolly Brighton Christmas Extrava-Stanza, poet friend Antony offered me his copy of Frank O’Hara’s Selected Poems, having moved onto his ‘Collected’… it’s already proving to be a wonderful ‘lucky dip’ sort of book (yes I know, call me superficial!) and I’m so pleased to have this to hand. O’Hara is one of those poets whose name comes up often and I’d already had him down as a poet I wanted to read more of.

Add to the mix Allison McVety’s Lighthouses which has been sat patiently awaiting reading, Jayne Stanton’s pamphlet ‘Beyond the Tune’ and D A Prince‘s luscious-looking book Common Ground, which I have started but not had a chance to return to, that’s probably enough reading material to keep me out of mischief.

Oh, and I’m launching a new ‘regional focus’ series on this blog – starting with Leicestershire  – but that might have to wait until the New Year, as I’m in the middle of a blog tour to promote ‘Blogging for Writers’…ack!

SUBMISSIONS UPDATE: following last week’s blog post – thanks for all the discussion around this, on this blog, on Facebook and by email –  I can report two sets of rejections, both mags responding within days of the blog post …. interesting! Let’s hope it’s not toooooo long before I can report something more positive!

Published inBlogBooksInspirationPamphletsUS poetry

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  1. Happy reading over Christmas, Robin. And I hope the laundry is flying high on the line now!

  2. Hi Robin, I feel exhausted just reading your post – you are incredibly busy! It was a lovely surprise to see my pamphlet in your line-up, thank you very much 🙂 I hope you soon have a chance to catch up with the reading – I like your choices – and I’m so looking forward to your regional focus series. Josephine x

  3. jaynestanton jaynestanton

    Hi, Robin. Yes, Josephine’s ‘The Misplaced House’ is amongst my Christmas holiday Must Reads. Also several poetry magazines (they arrive like buses!), the Forward Book of Poetry, Liz Berry’s ‘Black Country’ and lots more! Thanks for including Beyond the Tune in your photo call 🙂 Happy reading!

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Robin Houghton 2021