Friday, March 21, 2014

A Round Up of Things

I feel duty-bound to promote Nick Mulvey, whose music is sophisticated and has something to say. Here's an acoustic performance of my favourite song of his from last year. I especially love the lyric:

and the very thing that you're afraid of
that leaves you clean but unclear
is the very dirt that you're made of
and that's nothing to fear

though it's one of those songs where every part is your favourite.

(click to follow the link)

I also had the privilege of seeing Carrie Etter launch her third book Imagined Sons at the Yorkshire Grey on Tuesday.

(click on the image to purchase the book)

It's a collection of prose poems and catechisms (a repeated question with different answers) which imagines various meetings with the son she gave up for adoption in her teens. I particularly admire its rigorous form which seems perfectly able to channel the poems while eluding self-pity. It's a fantastic collection, and one which has special meaning for me as I know Carrie very well and was with her when she began writing most of these pieces.

Another recommendation is May-Lan Tan's Things to Make and Break from CB Editions.

(click on the image to purchase the book)

It's a collection that reminds you how great short stories can be (and has already received a rave review from the Guardian). It immediately reminded me of T.C.Boyle's collection After the Plague, the last story of which describes a man who falls in love with a household of women he watches on a 24hr internet channel. The fantasy is more vivid than real life. Eventually he approaches the real house to cross that barrier.

May-Lan is interested in identity, and Kim Novak's pinned-up hair in Vertigo flashed across my vision a couple of times as I read her stories of twins pursuing the same lover, or close friends divided by irrational jealousy after the casual confession of one with a newly-elevated status. Things are made and broken. May-Lan says she enjoys the idea of a book which tells you how to make things, and how to break them. She is also a poet, but these stories will be enough to get on with for now.


I'm looking forward to reading at Goldsmiths with fellow alumni May-Lan Tan, Rosie Rowell and Jeremy Worman,  Wednesday 26th March 5pm RHB 137

I've a couple of new poems up -

Visual Verse

The Lake

Ink Sweat and Tears

and CALM - The Campaign against Living Miserably, which exists to prevent male suicide in the UK.

and I've my first poem forthcoming in North magazine, called 'Classroom.'

I had a good time too at the Shuffle on 23rd February, reading alongside Claire Booker, Malika Booker, Mehmet Izbudek, Michael Scott and Rachel Smith. Thanks to Jill Abram for hosting.


Lastly, here's a recording of a couple of poems from my launch at Keats House:

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