I’m trying to fight a sense of overwhelm at the moment even though it’s all good things that are overwhelming me. Keeping my weekly work commitments going and doing all the reading and cogitating required for my course, which this term is a whistle-stop tour of the English Lit canon (week 3: Virgil & Ovid, Week 4: Chaucer and Dante, etc), plus thinking up a topic for my first essay. Finishing up the updated version of my 2018 ‘Guide’ – see below – I KNOW, why do that now? But there you are, it’s done. And of course the Planet Poetry podcast (see below) about to launch on the apparently auspicious date of October 21. Help!
Although I have the latest issues of Poetry, The Poetry Review and The Frogmore Papers to read, sadly they have been scarcely opened. At the moment I’m tackling Chaucer’s ‘The House of Fame’ – now that’s a great title! – my first bit of Middle English untangling since school, where I think we spent an entire year reading just the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales. Then there’s Dante’s De Vulgari Eloquentia which I need to be ‘ready to discuss’ on Monday morning. Gawds.
Before the madness really set in I did enjoy Rachel Long‘s My Darling from the Lions (Picador), which is up for the Forward Prize I think. I struggled a bit with Shine, Darling (Oxford Road Books) by Ella Frears, also up for the Forwards and now also on the TS Eliot shortlist, so maybe I should give it another go. Lovely to see Sasha Dugdale on that list too – I haven’t read her latest collection but I really enjoyed Joy (Carcanet 2017).
It’s been two years since the first edition, which sold out rather quickly, so I felt the time was right for an update. If you didn’t buy it the first time, or missed out, now’s your chance.
If you do have the 2018 book and are wondering whether its worth getting the new one, I can tell you that much of the content is the same, BUT
- I’ve consulted more magazine editors and have included their insights
- I’ve updated and expanded the magazine profiles (some have gone, others are in) and the resources section
- The layout and organisation is (I think) improved and clearer
The cover price is £6 including UK postage – see this page for all the info about what’s in it, and to buy. Publication date is November 1st but you can preorder now.
If you’d like it sent to an address outside the UK, or would like to order more than one copy, do drop me a line first and I can confirm what the postage will be. Many thanks.
It’s here… well, the trailer is up, Episode One to follow very soon… Planet Poetry is a wee project from myself and Telltale poet pal Peter Kenny. We’re on a learning curve figuring out stuff like ‘why does Robin sound like she recorded this in the bathroom’ and ‘what the heck is that whining sound and how to we nix it’. But the main thing is, we’ve managed to pin down some fascinating poets for a chat, and that plus Peter’s and my musings on things poetical means we’re hoping each episode is an entertaining 40 mins or so. I hope you are enticed to have the odd listen, or even subscribe!
It’s a bit frightening, putting our voices out there, but we’re having fun doing it (so far!)