Friday, June 15, 2012

Best Living British Poets #98

#98 Miss B. Field

Miss B. Field, sensationally stripped of the T.S. Eliot Award in 1977 on a technicality because, in the words of a letter published in The Lonesome Echo and signed by 83 leading poets, “she ain’t no human being,” nevertheless continued her meteoric rise to poetic superstardom by winning the Ted Hughes Award. Given her status as a field, she is unable to read or write. Nevertheless she has overcome such challenges as might have defeated those of lesser ambition. Field conjures poems as structures of grass and wind, cowpats, weeds and flowers, punctuated by lost sheep and broken fences. She has no collections. “My life is a poem in progress,” she told The Economist. “My new collaboration with Ruby Rabbit is my most politically charged work to date satirising the house-building industry. Who needs words when you have grass?”

[photo from StevenM_61's photostream, used under a Creative Commons License.]

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fleck, Magma 53 and Two Readings

The sun has sneaked out from the heavy cloud which has made June feel autumnal so far in Edinburgh, and already I feel positive about the day. I am definitely not suited for this country’s climate. Anyway, a few recent happenings...

First of all, my pamphlet, Fleck and the Bank has been out now for about a month and seems generally to be getting a good response from readers – thanks to all of you! It’s available from the Salt shop or from me. I have just installed a ‘Buy Now’ button (PayPal or card) below the image of the pamphlet’s cover near the top right of this blog, and also one for my The Opposite of Cabbage full collection. I hope someone will soon be the first to try it! Tell you what – for the first ever button order of the pamphlet, I will send a free copy of the collection. First come, first served...

Secondly, Magma 53, edited by Kona Macphee and I, has been published and is available from the Magma website. The launch at the Troubadour Cafe, London, on 4th June, was a fantastic occasion, and the first of two photo-enriched reports on it will be going up at the Magma blog very soon, hopefully later today. We are delighted with how the issue turned out – from the poems, reviews and articles to Hugh McEwen’s excellent cover and M J F Chance's illustrations.

Thirdly, and finally, I am doing two readings in the next week. I’m reading tonight, Wednesday 13th June from 8pm at ‘Verse Hearse’, Rio Cafe, Hyndland St, Glasgow (near Kelvin Hall underground station), along with the uniquely creative nic-e-melville (expect plenty of high-quality cut ‘n’ paste and Tippex), followed by an open mic. Then, I’m reading next week, Tuesday 19th June, at the Fruitmarket Gallery, 45 Market Street, Edinburgh (at the back entrance of Waverley Station) from 7pm, along with Chris Emery and Andrew Philip (£4). [Unfortunately, we've had to cancel this reading. Apologies for this. We hope to reschedule it for a later date] This will be the Scottish launch of Chris's new book, The Departure, which is well worth getting hold of.