After picking up books at the Scottish Poetry Library a few days ago, I now have a lot to read. I’ve read John Ash’s new collection, The Parthian Stations and really liked it, but I plan to read it again. I am considering whether to write a review of it, and also which magazines would be interested in publishing such a review.
I’ve recently received a copy of Payday Loans by Jee Leong Koh, a chapbook containing 30 sonnets, which I’ve just started. The poems are dense, precise and unsparing in their candour. I’d say they are informed far more by modernism than by “new formalism”, although their formal skill is self-evident.
I’ve done a couple of exchanges. First with Andrew Shields, who sent me a beautiful package – two books inside an engraved box. One book contains photographs by a guy called Caudio Moser, and the other contains poems in both English and German by Andrew. It’s a work of art as much as a book set. Andrew also included another book of translations he’s done of contemporary German poet Dieter M. Graf. I have sent off a package in return.
The second exchange was with Martin Parker, whose chapbook, Pick’n’Mix, looks very entertaining. Many of the poems are funny, but others show a darker side, some combine comedy and tragedy.