Saturday, 25 December 2010

handlist of late 20th century poets (part 2)

Handlist of late 20th century poets
(born after circa 1950) (NB my project stops in 1997 so there is a cut-off there)

John Seed (1950), Marxist poet and social historian from Durham writing in a pristine neo-Objectivist style based on Oppen. History Labour Night (1984); Interior in the Open Air (1993); Pictures From Mayhew: London 1850 (2005); That Barrikins: Pictures from Mayhew 2 (2007).

In the midst of danger distance
Thinking ourselves
What the language tells us
Isn't there out of danger
A kind of half whisper
Breathing death in every place the
Face of London
Mask of a mask through a linen sheet
The dead-cart's night-errand
Spreading from that house to
Other houses
By the visible unwary conversing
Strangers dangerous
Rich and poor together
And people have it that know it not
(from 'Decision and Visibility')

Robert Hampson (1950?), from Liverpool, wrote the classic Objectivist/ documentary history of the town, Seaport (latest edition 2010); Assembled Fugitives is a selected poems 1973-98; Explaining the Colours (2010). Associated with the London School of the 1970s, co-edited Alembic.

Tony Lopez (1950?) mainly a performance artist in the 70s, also has a long term interest in bird watching - maybe the two merge from time to time? Wrote volumes in the process oriented style - 'Change' was one of the major long poems of the 70s. Moved to a more discursive style, peaked with Stress Management (1994). False Memory [1996] shows either typical overuse of a rhythm over several volumes or else having the key to relating politics to domestic circumstance. see http://angelexhaust.blogspot.com/2010/03/long-poem-of-1970s-feature-of-1970s-was.html

But what if all those incomplete adventures—
All those expeditions set up with the fetish
Of gleaming equipment: metal, leather, ropes,
Straps and fine boots, crampons and ice axes—
What if the whole project
Of fractured narratives, of pulp-novel collage,
Of technical idioms stripped of context
Is finally an alibi for moral collapse?
I don't mean relaxed sexual arrangements
Or even bathhouse promiscuity
But walking out on dependents,
Selling personal loyalty, integrity,
For the next fix of junk or fame.
What if the art itself is a fabrication
Of actual and terrible guilt; touched up
With sprayed-on essence of faded photo
Like a jungle-ad for choc-ice,
Snap-on Raj for upmarket snack-food
Or high camp in a panama hat?
(from ‘Northern Lights’ from Stress Management)

Adrian Clarke (1950?), long-term presence in the London avant garde scene. involved in performance poetry. edited Angel Exhaust, and edits AND and the Writers Forum series. Shadow Sector (1988). Spectral Investments (1991); Obscure Disasters (1993) are part of a trilogy called 'Ghost Measures', which consists throughout of lines of four words, with certain exceptions which are of eight words each. The preset line-model is a row of blanks, hence ghost measures, cf. also the spectre in 'spectral investments' (i.e. cultural or emotional investments). The effect of these insistent and asyntactic incisions in continuous verbal material is like a beatbox:

politics occulted pronomial freeze
frames narrative ellipsis exit
to clarify the door
slammed contextual by default
in Armorica the analogue
absolute magnitude bibliographic in
another perspective a closed
system speeds up to
proliferate the factual summary
at the event horizon

(from OD, 3); Doing the Thing; Possession, poems 1996-2006. His poetry is noticeable for its pace and can be described as dromoscopic (as described by Paul Virilio), to intensely exciting effect. It is somewhat in the manner of Raworth. Obliterating the rational tier of syntax allows a large-scale picture of contemporary politics and society to emerge in the fascinating emptiness.

Frank Kuppner (1951), labyrinthine and anti-realist poet from Glasgow. early poems emerging in 1983 saw the start of the new ludic current, sealed with his awesome debut volume of 1984, improvisations on the illustration to a history of Chinese painting. A Bad Day for the Sung Dynasty was one of the classics of the new playful and hedonistic poetry which emerged, in the aftermath of over-politicisation, in the early 1980s. Has been seen as the ideal game to while away the time while you're unemployed due to a right-wing government dogma. Influenced by Edwin Morgan.

5
Observe the casements behind which lamps are shining.
It looks as if the whole city is preoccupied
On this gloomy, nondescript autumnal evening.
Why is a confused humanity wasting so much light?

6
The man slumped, dreaming, in the small pavilion
Is the same man as the one climbing the mountain path towards him.
In a minute or so, he shall pass by very close.
Although not quite close enough for recognition.

7
The scholars have gathered in a clearing in the wood.
Nervously at first, but with ever-growing enthusiasm,
They begin to discuss the insoluble problems of existence.
Soon, the forest resounds to their obscene drinking songs.

(from Second Best Moments in Chinese History)


Ralph Hawkins (1951?) Welsh poet and founder of the Essex School. edited Ochre magazine in the 70s. Early on wrote hippy pastoral poetry embodying leisure and calm: Word from the One, soft in the brain, more and more, But It May Be So. Wrote off-brand Chinese poems like so many others. Pasted up concrete and collage assemblies with Cobbing (Gloria, Pool). late work is indescribable but by far the best: The Coiling Dragon, The Scarlet Bird, The White Tiger, A Blue & Misted Shroud, The Moon the Chief Hairdresser (highlights), Gone to Marzipan.

I have not learned from experience
I have followed neither the line of fortune nor the line of desire
I have studied the imprint left upon the mattress
I have attained the possession of a shadow
I have yearned for the coming synthesis
I am unwilling to compromise with the dialectic
I reject the mechanical softening of contradiction
We could just kiss and kiss and kiss?You could give up and live your life (!)
I take no pleasure in what the world cares for
I have built a house of osmanthus wood
I have planted an orchard of orange and pumelo
I will cross that gate when I open it
(from The Coiling Dragon The Scarlet Bird The White Tiger A Blue & Misted Shroud )

Jeremy Reed (1951-)uncontrollably prolific poet whose first pamphlet came out in 1972. represents the dominance of the 'intimacy' tradition in English poetry, permanently regarding small personal feelings as more real than anything else, and raising the feelings of bedrooms and small gigs to heroic dimensions. Has published some 30 books, more than I could track down (maybe 40?). It took four people to put his selected poems together (not finished yet). His masterpiece is presumably 'Stratton Elegy', from 1978 (printed in Black Russian. Outtake from the Airmen's Club, 2011).

a damaged mind rolled on a black marble
into an incandescent yellow flue:
the burn-back registers on my ticket
to the escalator, to fuming gaps
between the circuit of blood-stained mummies,
crooking like geese in pursuit, and the dolls,
(their features twisted), who pursued you through
the subways, wound up with aggressive teeth

67
pincering your ankles. They have returned
to feed other psychoses, to spit white lead
into the pineal. There is no space
living or dead we can retreat into
or realize with impunity
[...]
Homunculi
Floating above the Circus, no torsos,
but frog-like flippers attached to a skull
too magnified for microcosmic space.
A ka-prism through violet through orange,
and when recognized in the temporal,
it was something husking its wings at Kew,
an insect flisking on a leaf of eyes.

(from 'Stratton Elegy')

Maggie O’Sullivan (1951-) star of the London avant garde scene. writes ecstatic nature poetry in a radically primeval and non-discursive style. evacuation of syntax makes for dense, pounding, stresses, in discontinuous, constant, peaks. Interested in concrete poetry and incantations. Influenced by Barrie MacSweeney (the Odes period). Alto. London Poems 1975-84 (2009) collects earlier work. Body of Work (2006) collects pamphlets from the 1980s. Withdrew to Yorkshire and signed on at the same job centre as Michael Haslam. Seems to have written little since leaving London. House of the Shaman (1993). Palace of Reptiles (2003).


Robert Minhinnick (1952-) Most gifted poet of his generation within the Anglo-Welsh tradition. The selected poems virtually defines that line of realist and communalist writing with its sociological accuracy. Edited Poetry Wales (dates?). Developed remarkably during the 1990s and left or re-invented that tradition. Moved roughly from 'communalist' to 'rustbelt poet' to 'magic realism' and thus became the heir to Dylan Thomas. He realised he could be a world poet and not just the best Anglo-Welsh poet. One of the most important poets now writing. Selected Poems (1999); After the Hurricane (2002); King Driftwood (2008).

Robert Saxton (1952) from Nottingham. poet with an awesome inventiveness of language. seems to be preoccupied with puzzling ornate formal schemes. has no preference for themes and seems willing to dissolve into language itself. Hard to compare to anyone else but verbal games are an ancient pastime of mankind. The poems are singular and varied. The Promise Clinic (1994); Manganese (2003); Local Honey (2007). Saxton is a 'throw forward' from an era of virtuosi in rhyme. The burden, I think, is one of freedom: the unlikeliness of anyone finding so many rhymes points to an unimaginable complexity of unused possibilities which is, in itself, beautiful and soothing. The corollary, that the poem is not restricted by the urgency of unambiguous and 'significant’ experiences, is also a message about freedom: that biographical experience is not so tyrannical and unambiguous as a wave of biographical poets had it. That is, freedom again.
There is a value of rhyme which is not to do with jingling ornament but with statistics and probability. The various clauses of the mathematics which underlie language and the language faculty.


Alison Brackenbury (1953), Dreams of Power and Other Poems (1981), Breaking Ground and other poems (1984), Christmas and other Poems (1988), 1829 and other poems (1995), Bricks and Ballads (2004). impressive lyric poet of a conservative bent.

David Greenslade (1953), Welsh nationalist writing in English and occasionally in Welsh. Burning Down the Dosbarth (1992) was the only work in English published by the series of Y beirdd answyddogol. inspired by conceptual art to work in projects where fixed rules generate unique outcomes. Creosote (1996); Each Broken Object (2000), Zeus Amoeba (2009), Dark Fairground (2009).

Nigel Wheale (1953-) lives in Orkney. one of the Cambridge school, at a moment in the mid 70s when things were getting more politicised and less pastoral. Writes from a Left critique of the power order and with an interest in popular culture as something opposed to that. Has written about postmodernist culture and at one stage wrote high-tech postmodernist poems. Raw Skies. New and Selected Poems (2006).

In the high-tensity gallery case
gold foil leaves on an ancient alexandrine lover's crown
shiver to the skip of a far-down seismic beat.

Lean stealth-swallows vector thru haze
hanging at edge of the waves' teeth
on the slide, on the slip
snorting volatile chaparral oils,
keyed-up on air tone
over degrading quartzite earth,
updraughting on subalpine bliss
gifted from the color-blushed peaks above,
delicate as faded frescoes gracing a by-passed Diner.
(from 'Arroyo Real')



Jo Shapcott (1953), writes vivid poems with a prudently exact deployment of fantasy and surrealism. represents a new atmosphere in the mainstream of poetry in the 1980s, a decisive break with certain inhibitions. Phrase Book; Her Book: Poems 1988-98; Tender Axes.

Kevin Nolan (1953-), prominent member of the Cambridge poetry world who began publishing poetry in the late 90s. Loving Little Orlick (2006) is his one full-length book. An extraordinary development from 1960s Prynne.

it is the poetry of mourning
yet to come, the fold in generation we give our name
by gravity of certain apple boughs, milk and soil in
catalytic looping, to make ends new and never meet,
last resting place each second skin, each silhouette
on a filthy bench our almond, our stranger
My almond and my stranger—
since there is no shade where we end, even broad daylight
asks a whiteness to burn by its steady archive: I heard you
once speak the green months, in joy to the immanence
each wild psalm failed, whose will was light and one
with the terminal exstase of the counterlife, and
never paled or trimmed but signed at the very lip
I hear now, bloodline
of the phoenix flamed,
the entire bit-thing,
radial eternity
(from 'Broca's Fold')

Graham Hartill, (1954?) English poet who has lived in Wales for many years. Began with an interest in landscape art and moved into poetry. Was part of the Cardiff offshoot of the English Intelligencer school of interest in geography, landscape, and mythology. An interest in Chinese poetry was a side-effect of this. Ruan Ji's Island and Tu Fu in the Cities (1993); Cennau’s Bell (2005), a large selection of poems 1980-2001; A Winged Head (2007).

Ian Duhig (1954), from Leeds, a poet with a deep affinity for punk and quite unabraded radical ideals whose rare command of sophistication and cultural erudition produced some astonishing poetry. The Bradford Count (1991)is his major work. The Mersey Goldfish followed. His third book The Lammas Hireling (2003) showed a new admiration for folk styles which chased out literary interest almost altogether. The wish to be Shane McGowan needed more restraint.

It is the Night of Power and the puppeteers
are playing Karaguez, Martyr to Chastity.
Nubian grooms are breaking cameleopards.
Janissaries line their cloaks with lynx.

Sultan Mahmoud shows off his new French wife
on a caique drawn by jewelled fish.
They fan the Bosphorus like a wedding train
with an escort of heartbroken gulls.

The pirates came down upon Baltimore
like gulls to romp a bucket of fish-heads.
A traitor's black cross marked us on their maps;
they laid another black cross upon us.

(from 'The Irish Slave')

John Muckle (1954) Fire Writing and Other Poems, (2005) a searing set of social realist poems which does not fit in with anything else and is neglected because it is so isolated. Muckle studied at the University of Essex and met a number of poets later known as the Essex School. Ralph Hawkins was a significant figure in this group. He was a writer of prose fiction until circa 2003 but was in touch with advanced poetry. He devised and managed the 1988 anthology the new british poetry, co-ordinating various section editors, and completed this shortly before leaving Paladin. This anthology ended the 'exile' phase of Underground poetry.

Peter Philpott (1954-) part of the Underground scene of the 1970s and edited Great Works magazine. Published Some Action Upon the World and Nine Men’s Morris at this time. After a break, related perhaps to the political disarray of those in power and out of it, made a breakthrough into major poetry after 2000. The long elegiac and narrative poems in Textual Possessions (2003) and Are We not Drawn (2009) are astonishingly ambitious and complete, incorporating debate about poetry with contemplation of the sea and the mysteries of biology.

Moniza Alvi (1954-) debuted with The Country at My Shoulder (1993); Carrying My Wife (2000) collects earlier volumes. Drawing on ’magic realism’ modes of dealing with exotic geography. Influenced by Jo Shapcott, adapting her surrealism to the ‘double reality‘ of being of dual Pakistani and English culture.

Hilary Llewellyn-Williams, fond of deep subjectivity and New Age themes. The 1990 volume The Tree Calendar and the 1997 work Book of Shadows, which narrates scenes from the life of Giordano Bruno of Nola, are included in a collected volume, Hummadruz (2001). While the writing is unusually clear; it is like a brocaded quilt, warm and rich and saturated. Bright colours, rippling patterns. Symmetrically placed decorative elements, long sequences.

Robert Sheppard (1955) part of the London School in the 80s and like them wrote in an asyntactic manner which allowed for brief blazes of energy. Had a rock sensibility. Putting short emphatic poems together at monumental length ('Twentieth Century Blues') has not struck everyone as a good idea. The energy can lead to repetition and a lack of nuance. Followed Allen Fisher's work of the 1970s in presenting the modules as units that can be linked together in different ways, allegedly to different effects. The indeterminacy is seen as politically progressive. Has written propaganda for the spectrum slice of poetry he believes in (The Poetry of Saying, 2005).

Jamie McKendrick (1955), brilliantly gifted poet who is one of the arguments in favour of the (revived) mainstream. sophisticated and entertaining, a master of the affable spoken tone. Kiosk on the Brink; Sky Nails: Selected Poems.

Kelvin Corcoran (1956), major figure of the middle generation that followed Prynne and Fisher. Radically critical poet seeing paradoxes and self-betrayals in public life, informed by Adorno. Has been linked with the Essex School. Lyric Lyric (1993); New and Selected poems (2004); Backward Turning Sea (2008). interview in DSMT.

David Dabydeen, (1957) Comes from the Indian ('East Indian') population group in Guyana but has lived here for many years. An academic specialising in the sociology of Caribbean writing who has published a significant body of poems (Coolie Odyssey [1988], Turner [1994]).

John Goodby (1958), from Birmingham. generally seen as part of a school of far Left/ satirically oriented poets in Leeds, with Ian Duhig. Marginal politics led to a special view of history. Was one of the primary anti-thatcherite poets. Moved towards the avant garde. Illennium (2010) is probably his best work. Has lived in Ireland and Wales for long periods, and wrote a standard work on modern Irish poetry. Translated Heine's 'A Winter's Tale' and Pasolini's "Gramsci's Ashes". A Birmingham Yank (1998); uncaged sea (2008); Wine Night White (2010). Early appearance in 'Faber Poetry Introduction 8', 1993.

The vodka jelly arrived without you at the party. Pity.
It was blue! Though I would retaliate—
A sonnet one more than a baker’s dozen
undesigning gifts on your supernal grinning candour
(Yeah. Eye candy, you smoking dog!) The Westbourne
Concealed in rotten smoaks
In Frenzy, blondes wearing antique underwear
are vividly hidden, self-referentially strangeled in it.
Zephyrs, Zodiacs & Avengers cruise London streets
in sunlight, a tsunami of booze & sparklers. Was I 13 then?
(from 'Illennium')

Michael Ayres (1958), prolific and advanced poet specialising in the impact of the visual-technological. Poems 1987-92. Later work is too expansive in the tradition of extended dance mixes, luxuriating in variations (am, 2003?).

We meet almost every day now
in buildings of paper, by broken columns,
in streets of ambiguous proportions:
we meet in Fake Tombstone
where the saloon doors swing on their tarot hinges
and the origami thesis of a colt trots by
in a dust of print which covers the ground like ash
and which old tortoise eyes have secreted
dreaming their journals of tears:
we meet in a folded city and a closed town
topped by a papier-mâché acropolis.
(from 'Marshal')


Robert Crawford (1959) Christian poet, part of Informationist group in 1980s, which largely meant followers of Morgan. Sharawaggi (1990, in collaboration with W.N. Herbert) is a classic of writing in Scots and of Informationism. also functions as a literary manager not loved by all avant garde poets in Scotland. Writes avant garde poetry which escapes destructive attention from other managers because of his status as professor and Elder of the Kirk. Spirit Machines (1999).

I love my home, its lares et penates
Of broken shoe buckles, balls of green wool,
Needles, its improvisatory architecture
Feeding my work with interruptions, turns
Snatched, forty-winked; stashed seed pearls in a dish
Radiate homely, incarnational light

Sometimes the green walls glimmer, elverish,
Phosphorescent, spectrally alive,
Razorfish splay galvanized medium's fingers
Seeking burnished heads of polyps and carrageen
Brocaded with plankton, muzzled by antlered snails,
Vulval, brasslit, flecked and veined and washed

Dinner-suited Auchterlonian clubmen
Fill the fishtank windows of the R & A;
(from ‘Impossibility’)


David Kennedy (1959) published President of the Earth, new and selected poems, dating from the mid-1980s onward according to the jacket. I enjoyed this, a reception of the New York School. The book also includes a kind of avant-garde pastoral, based on programmed repetition and recombination of inherited lines, which is less effective.


***

Simon Smith (1961) part of the wave of 'avant garde neoclassicism' impacted by the huge retrospectives of the English avant garde put out by Allardyce, Barnett in the 1980s. Debuted with Night Shift (1991). masterpiece is 15 Exits (2001). Later work is more influenced by the New York School (Mercury; Reverdy Road). interview in DSMT.

then one fine day everything exactly
as you've guessed —the
sound Byzantine,
an average weekender on patrol greedy for the stuff
teethes prior to the feast. My love is a child and a bawd
pulled the knife on me.
Documentaries stoke up a fever till my pockets sag. The cabinet
crammed, trompe d'œil adding to torment,
but no formal suffering I've practiced
my survival technique for the day, deep, deep blue cleared of hinderance.
At Yalta you might, inventing countries nobody ever heard of. Idle hours
the weight a bluish hue,
sideburns dove-grey dash about the real economy, a price on your head,
ditched judgments of yesteryear
packed with solar
energy, askance to the gift I regret, the next of kin 50s style
slumped in a pink easy chair.
It reads like a book but rejects the flavour.
Maybe I'll learn Welsh. Albeit the loops are mine.
(from 'Fourth Hymn to Venus')

W.N. Herbert (1961) began with Dundee Doldrums, written entirely in the 'unfashionable' dialect of Dundee. This was ferocious satirical realism rooted in everyday experience in Dundee. Part of the Informationist group (with Crawford, Price, McCarey). Was probably at a peak in the 80s. A widespread view is that the pressure of producing endless new work to fulfil the terms of grants and so on led to a dropping-off. He began writing entirely in English. He also decided he could write comic verse and that he had similarities to the gay, colloquial and brilliantly cultured, New York poet Frank O'Hara. Not everyone agreed with this and the books written in this direction are not widely admired. Forked Tongue (1994) shows his full vigour.

I was James Young Geddes, Whitmanic in Dundee,
calling vengeance down on Cox and Baxter,
inventing Glendale as their apogee,
the terrible Jute-Lord, revealing to my public
his crab-like face, he who could be
man and factory at once;
a mausoleum-like amalgam, mounting the slopes
of the Law Hill, flexing his stalk-eyed clock-towers,
'Lit up at night, the discs flare like angry eyes
in watchful supervision, impressing on the minds
of the workers the necessity of improving
the hours and minutes purchased
by Glendale & Co.'
I did not flinch as he ate my fellows whole

(from 'Ticka Ticka Glendale', and quoting James Young Geddes)


DS Marriott, (1963) from Gedling, a borough on the edge of Nottingham. now lives in California. Family of West Indian origin, raised as a Catholic. Did a doctoral study on Prynne and began with work very deeply in the line of Prynne. Associated with the 'avant garde neoclassicism' wave of the late 1980s, which went back to the highest points of the Cambridge School and dismissed what had come in between. This can be seen as an expression of belief in the decay of the avant garde. More recent work, since the late 90s, has been more straightforward and more political and angry. Incognegro shows this later period. The Ship Called Lubek collects early work. The Lubek was the first English ship known to have carried slaves and was owned by Queen Elizabeth I.

Both mud and light
archetypal transparency, carved into
tapestries & bronze vantage. Humour
laid in stone-rush, & ritual light
gilding earthly stone. Then we move
on: Strasbourg worldly, tempered by
analogy & foliage, knowing this to
be the last act. There, ripened deed
tithed to bewilderment & profound
investiture. A song of Dowland teemed
over substance, fathered time-fear.
Then to leave: furred to a cold
seasoning, scoped to an impure centre.

(from 'In Darkness')

Tim Atkins. (1963-) author of unfailingly ingenious and self-aware and pleasurable poems. Books include Folklore. To Repel Ghosts. Horace. A Thousand Sonnets. In 'Horace' a Latin phrase about 'many winters' comes out in the English version as 'Johnny and Edgar' (Winters), so "Edgar & Johnny/ cling to the raider's spunk/ more splendid than the Starkeys'/ thin pamphlets & halitosis/ on the neck of/ translations". The debris of European culture litter a theme park with convenient cafes. Unlike anything else, or can be seen as a development of the New York School.

I was the boss of the poem when I was in it but what will all this mean in 10, 15 ears? Now that I'm here I'm not sure. But I wanted a bite. Is there nowhere? I wonder. Every little line falls out of me like fats. Pressing my mouth sounds. Pretending I'm still in. Projectile vomiting. Projective verse. I want to build a big thing that can throw everything in & when it is then I'll tell you. But what's left? Reading this. If I had started to quote what I stole from the reading I might as well have put on a dress. For us in any language. There's a reason to see how it invades the body and takes it but for the first time there are times. When I have been so much inside. That great intellect. Always in stories. What if we set up a restaurant & stopped worrying? Hose, pen, dialect. This was written with my nose. I wanted to end up happy but the saddest line is one that begins. First thought worst thought. If you ever die, never do it to hide.

(from 'To Repel Ghosts')

Elisabeth Bletsoe (1963), comes from Dorset. Was part of a group of writers in Cardiff in the 1990s who were interested in performance and in writing about landscape and myth. Early books are now collected in Pharmacopeia (2010). Moved back to England and works in a museum. Expert in herbs. Landscape From a Dream collects her classic later work, combining a radical interpretation of landscape (mainly in Dorset) with the psychological unity and dramatic unfolding of performance work. Is one of the greatest readers of poetry. interview in DSMT.

To orient: to bring into clearly understood relations, to determine how one stands. Quincunxial signs I thread along by; A's magic well, church, folly, trendle, sky-notch. Beak through stone, the one who tracks me, and the other for whom I wait. High Stoy, Dogbury Hill wave a fringe of dark, concentrate the toxin rape-fields, xanthin & arsenic yellow. One field flares and then another, under the wheel of cloud. Drunk on rare pollens I would dance on this floor of lights, finger-hoops of earth spraying, apricot-coloured and friable. Serrated with pig-huts, dry as a kex. To study the architectonics of hog-weed. To unpack the poppy-bud of its outraged silk, corolla visibly hurt to the end of its days.

I torce the necks of wounded gamebirds,
shock of come-apart cervicals, reflex
wingjumps, (feeling)
a pulse not my heart,
the once-complete potential in
soft declensions of egg-buds
(from 'Cross-in-hand')


Giles Goodland (1964), undertakes systematic poems which take on the underlying complexity of the universe, in a radically anti-personal way. Simultaneously exploits the complexity of data storage systems as ’givens’ and the power of generating language arbitrarily. One of few poets to face up to the complexity of modern knowledge and not regress within the 'personality envelope’. "Towards the end I got broadband and found it easier to simply paste my research from various databases straight into the poem.": in campaigns like this, Goodland seems to be taking on the idea of the ego as a data editing agent, highly mobile and 'trapped' in a universe of data stores. Everyone sees it something like this but 'personal poetry' has usually not caught up. Littoral (1996?), A Spy in the House of Years (2001), Capital (2006), What the Things Sang (2009). interview here: http://intercapillaryspace.blogspot.com/2006/11/collage-capital-interview-with-giles.html

The poetry of David Rushmer (1965) represents an unusual state of mind, and all seems to start from that point. Can be taken as a discovery of something underlying usual states of mind. Unclear if the source is personal experience or a dogma advocated by various French avant garde writers. Presents its theses in a crystalline way even if they are less than credible. spine: works (1989), Absence (1989), sand writings (1990)

Sarah Law similar to Llewellyn-Williams but within a Christian framework. Ascension Notes (2009); Perihelion (2006). language is highly coloured, too much for some people. Gothic, even. Fulfils the main theme of the era, that secularism is too hard and 'theological' religion has to be personalised and fitted into the feelings and longings of the individual. Decorative and expressive rather than logical.

Richard Price, member of Informationist school. Perfume and Petrol.

Alice Oswald (1966) nature poet representing a revival of the mainstream during the 1990s. Dart (2002) was a fascinating poem-documentary about the river.

Niall Quinn, Nick Macias, and Nic Laight, the group represented in the astounding debut However Introduced to the Soles (1995); wild and extreme avant garde poets. The collective volume seemed equally capable of bringing the whole poetry world to a halt and of being instantly suppressed from official memory. It lacks discursive meaning but is perfect on the planes of intuition and revolt. May not represent the Welsh avant garde as Laight is English and Quinn Irish. Why were they in Wales? Who knows. Form-up zone was probably Bridgend.

Extracting up,
he denial Earth,
Evolved stage
stage white upside embryo,
through venture emerald in mountain
paper mouthed, my so opened,
Daddy, makes of for serving,
in composer, me angel arms baby chain,
one crystal dream, on we, just recipes within,
womb always work,
cutting shower ahead,
here, that alive,
Daffodils, the from eyes,
The, & all, scrape earth,
in composers table,
may standing, born child,
serving all, head in ease,
(NS Macias from 'Red')


Vittoria Vaughan, (1970-) intuitive Jungian poet whose only volume is The Mummery Preserver. see http://pinko.org/13.html for a review

open to light, shadows spin
and whirr resonantly, as tongue
unhooks pendulum motes and
claws beamed clepsydra,

drive springs and spring-drives rhythmically,
forcing fusee's final jolting breath.
everything rests, a spell
girds ticking again,

- flea's incisors, wing of bat, chrysalis grains -,
chattering pinions are covertly silenced,
finally, anchor escapement disintegrates,
abracadabra: all disappears.

only a face is left: alabaster,
glass and paper

(from 'The Clocks of Kitezh')

Paul Holman His poetry is indefinable but is laconic, occultist, and attached to the line of revolutionary and subversive yearnings. The Memory of the Drift (one volume published 2007 as 'Books I-IV') is a still continuing long-term project.

too severe to accept
some woodland king
for his model.
In delirium
the yellow waste bag
became an animal
and delicate red bird life
crackled in the harsh air
of the isolation ward.
Of course I am no better
than a déclassé market trader.
Horus: This wine is corked  

Deryn Rees-Jones, (1968-) noted dweller in the 'third zone' which is neither mainstream nor avant garde. did a major 'recuperative' anthology of women’s poetry, Modern Women Poets, of much use to historians. The Memory Tray (1994); Signs Around a Dead Body (1998), Quiver (2004).

Peter Manson (1970?) from Glasgow. More or less encompasses the Scottish avant garde. edited (with Robin Purves) Object Permanence, the only avant garde Scottish magazine. His poetry is hard to define but is laconic, obscure, and attracted to Mallarme (whom he has translated). Birth Windows (1999). For the Good of Liars (2006). Between Cup and Lip (2008).

The walls' burden, Erato, appended
as who will speak, linear gold
Collapse thought down to the sixty
words you own, dumb in impaction
An epitaph's outflow in beeswax,
the twice-reddened wick
--
speechcraft(from ‘Widows and Orphans (rhetorical fragment)’)

Sean Bonney (1973?) spent his early career in Manchester and Nottingham but benefited later from contact with the London scene around Writers Forum. stands for the continuing strength and integrity of English radicalism, the surviving hopes for a better social order. Blade Pitch Control Unit, is a definitive collection of his work to that point. Document (2009). The Commons (2011). Has benefited from the legacy both of Blake and of anarchism. interview in 'DSMT'.

Helen Macdonald (1973?) already a poetic prodigy as an undergraduate. had a greater natural gift than anyone around her. A volume finally came out in 2001, Shaler’s Fish. Interested professionally in ornithology, but apparently interested in everything. Has not shared the interests of her contemporaries and has appeared detached from the need to write poetry.

Pleat the grounds they have scripted
as such, plus plumage, quiet lunches
on the hotel lawns slipping forward
'til we sense some dutiful square
and stop, pulling the whole rueful shore
to a ha ha, a net around practical ankles
ah, how the hay smokes
into papaverous skies
as we address the heights of the C20th
in a poplin shirt, all declamatory and tired
with a suit that seals to rest these soft
& perfect metals. The organization
owes everything; is fit to tweak
a neuralgic scene reading Auden
beneath a naked sheet in stormy cupolas
where the coupled latch and larchlap twitter
breaks sleet print through the cigarette
dries trays of warm roses & vocable ash
as hands permitting a multiple
sleepless walk for the uninked signatory
(from 'Tuist')

Daniel Lane, pupil of John James and author of entrancing lyric poetry of the evanescent moment. Stuff Culture and Wrecks in Ultra-Sound both came out in 1995.  

skipping along the happy surface
so you have it now to hand and
written down in your feather gloves
to bias nature's first penetrating
self-sustaining auto-erotic rule/that begins
absorbing the soft metallic impression
formed here as the imperfected gossamer of your
dress as a leaf drifts from a bird's nest and
the bird that also sweetly falls here
silent as the blown up image reflects
in damp light shows him howling while he recalls
how each job centres on escape pods little
beans flung across empty tables
(from 'Acetatae')

Khaled Hakim mainly known for partly improvised performance pieces, his published work is not extensive. Moved from the Birmingham arts scene to work at the Film Makers’ Co-Op in Camden, and his contribution to poetry was to re-introduce modern styles of narrative into it. As a performer, was provocative and specialised in exposing the audience’s inhibitions and cultural investments. Not everyone found this funny but it was certainly exciting. Family came from Sylhet. Associated with the magazines Equofinality and Angel Exhaust.

Deep personal unhappness is not a good start. How abowt mild malaize. Subsuming ideologs rancid little fuckups.
Deep personal conviction is never enow to make a curry. What we need is a job. Its nobody elses falt.
But also 'I' az an incomprehensible large part of th known univers. Everytime I look it fills it.
Cries fall from the page, iniquitus structures seep into prosody
poetry attracts the suffering fool, wile others program interactiv softwaer I am red
Now then wher are we. I have got somwere & Im no further than i started
We analyze from fundamental to randomness becuze its convenient. But in an infinitly extendable univers any point is an arbitrary set of relacions we alwayz find ourselvs in th midle of
but somwhere in this vector between Halesowen and Cradley Heath transendent meaning: sucsess
Wat we cal our lives arbitrary convencions establishd for owr habitual modes of perception—my producers let me down. Ive forgoten how old i am. Im overqualified az a secretary. Its too interesting to get an erection. Im living w/ my mom. I see haf an howr of daylite. Its dificult for relacions not to form in hyperspacial axes all concevable structurs
my life, as the saying gos, is compozd of thez tetrahedrons cubes octahedrons dodecahedrons icosahedrons rotated.
Do yu understand me too wel. Do yu understand me too wel. Ye fuckin dont yknow.
I got my langwage from TB Pawlicki. In the spirit of a raving sawcer paranoiack & dispassionat ironist of the new phyzics.
 
(from 'Letter from the Takeaway (2)')

Robert Smith In the 1990s, I saw a lot of his poems in typescript and published quite a few in Angel Exhaust. No book has followed and I think he has left not only poetry but academic life. The poems, each ten lines long, called sonnets, were quite exemplary, vivid and dream-like.

SKYBLUE LYRE BLACK THROAT
the box vibrates
& earthquakes out
into a wooden rose.
The wreaths are set,
wire twisted
round a martyr
head that hums
from heavenly crack
eyes slit upward.

Rob MacKenzie, a physicist by trade, of a Hebridean family and slightly resentful at being brought up English-speaking. Lived in Cambridge during the 90s and took part in the student poetry scene of the time. The poetry is advanced and hard to describe, the bilingual bits being the easiest to recognise. Off Ardglas (1997) is his only book.

that all meaning is solitary;
that the principal link is homophonic;
that plastic language's best found in word-lists;
that e-spell-checks save time best spent in dictionaries;
that effaced poetry is graphic art
that the temporal privileges painting
that painting poetry is more than writing it in anything but a prandial sense
that my response to my existence is necessarily dislocated, dismembered, effaced and solitary
that ((an)) analysis is privileged

(from '17 Points of Disagreement with Stephen Rodefer' from Invisible Reader)

Karlien van den Beukel, is the author so far of one brilliant book, Pitch Lake.

How I wept when it appeared
I was unequipped
to be an interpenetrative twin.

Yes, I have nothing
against the lamé underpantaloons of dawn
thrown over the Backs
whilst
taking the matitudinal interpluvium
in winsome
losesomeness.

This seems to be a critique of the Cambridge school, the ‘interpenetrative elite’. It argues some inside no knowledge, we think.

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