Saturday, 30 July 2011

Poetry Shopping List (2010)

updated 2010

Andrew Duncan

The present list began with an evening in the pub with Simon Smith and Harry Gilonis in around 1995. I think the point of making a list was to stomp on people who claimed that modern poetry does not exist in Britain and was just a fantasy of scatterbrained theorists. This is a version updated in 2010. The list has to be here as an exhibit because, finally, all the argument is about these primary texts and all the evidence needed is in them.
I have not listed pamphlets since they are too short and scratty; I can recommend just about all the Equipage pamphlets. Also, I have been selective in listing volumes by a single writer; also republication in the form of Collected Poems makes the list chronologically less satisfactory. I regret the omission of people who have written a few good poems, but not enough to fill a volume. There is really a lot of excellent poetry not on this list. It reflects the limits of my reading; I would be most interested to receive lists of additions. The start point is where Wolfgang Gortschacher places the start of a revival in British poetry, and allows us to include three important books. (Normally, poets who were established in 1960 have been excluded.) The stopping point is where my research project stopped (to avoid overload). It's only fair to point out that Gilonis (especially) and Smith were horrified by my choices and wouldn't sign up to the final list. I think Harry wanted to include Bill Griffiths. You can send in sugestions to this website but please spare me egomania, bad taste, and general idiocy.

1959 Christopher Logue, Songs; Peter Redgrove, The Collector; Geoffrey Hill, For the Unfallen
1960 Ted Hughes, Lupercal; Ian Hamilton Finlay, The dancers inherit the party
1961 Francis Berry, Morant Bay; Peter Redgrove, The nature of cold weather; Roy Fisher, City
1962 Christopher Middleton, torse 3
1963 Rosemary Tonks, Notes on caf├ęs and bedrooms; Adrian Mitchell, Poems; Peter Redgrove, At the white monument
1964 David Wevill, Birth of a Shark
1965 Kathleen Raine, The Hollow Hill; George Barker, The True Confession of George Barker; Christopher Middleton, nonsequences
1966 Basil Bunting, Briggflatts; Peter Redgrove, The Force; Francis Berry, Ghosts of Greenland
1967 Rosemary Tonks, Iliad of Broken Sentences; David Wevill, A Christ of the Ice-Floes; John James, Mmm...ah yes; Ken Smith, The Pity; John Riley, Ancient and Modern; Andrew Crozier, Loved litter of time spent; Ted Hughes, Wodwo; Tom Raworth, the relation ship
1968 Alan Ross, Poems 1942-67; J.H. Prynne, Kitchen Poems; Edwin Morgan, The Second Life; Geoffrey Hill, King Log; Tom Raworth, the big green day; Barry MacSweeney, The boy from the green cabaret writes of his mother
1969 J.H. Prynne, The White Stones; Roy Fisher, Collected Poems 1968; George Mackay Brown, The Year of the Whale; David Jones, The Tribune's Visitation; Charles Tomlinson, Way of a World; D.M. Black, The Educators; Christopher Logue, New Numbers; John James, The Small Henderson Room; Christopher Middleton, Our Flowers and Nice Bones; Andrew Crozier, Walking on Grass; Spike Hawkins, the lost fire brigade

The classic anthology is Edward Lucie-Smith's British poetry since 1945, first published in 1970; later editions are of no value. Contemporary Scottish Verse 1959-69, ed. MacCaig and Scott; The Lilting House, ed. Stephens, Williams (Welsh); for the non-traditional poetry of the decade, John Matthias' anthology in TriQuarterly #21 (1971), Contemporary British Poetry, remains classic; A Group Anthology, edited Lucie-Smith and Philip Hobsbaum (1963). Love Love Love, edited Pete Roche (1967).

the 1970s
1970 W.S. Graham, Malcolm Mooney's Land; Emyr Humphreys, Ancestor Worship; Ted Hughes, Crow; John Riley, What Reason Was
1971 Norman MacCaig, Selected Poems; George Mackay Brown, Fishermen with Ploughs; Geoffrey Hill, Mercian Hymns; Roy Fisher, Matrix, The Cut Pages; J.H. Prynne, Brass; Paul Evans, February; Barry MacSweeney, Our Mutual Scarlet Boulevard
1972 Ken Smith, Work, Distances. Poems; Paul Gogarty, Snap Box

1973 Adrian Stokes, Selected Poems (in a Penguin Modern Poets); Anthony Thwaite, Inscriptions; Gerard Casey, South Wales Echo; Edwin Morgan, From Glasgow to Saturn, The Whittrick; Peter Redgrove and Penelope Shuttle, The Hermaphrodite Album; JP Ward, From alphabet to logos; David Chaloner, Chocolate Sauce; David Wevill, Where the Arrow Falls
1974 David Jones, The Sleeping Lord; Anthony Thwaite, New Confessions; J.H. Prynne, Wound Response; Allen Fisher, Place (four volumes, 1974-81)
1975 Glyn Jones, Selected poems; F.T.Prince, Drypoints of the Hasidim; Peter Redgrove, Sons of my Skin (selected poems 1954-74); John James, Striking the Pavilion of Zero; Allen Fisher, Long shout to kernewek; Iain Sinclair, Lud Heat; Ulli Freer, Rooms (1975-82; never collected in volume form);
1976 Flora Garry, Bennygoak and Other Poems; George Mackay Brown, Winterfold; Peter Levi, Collected poems 1955-75; Colin Simms, No Northwestern Passage; B. Catling, Pleiades in Nine; Jeremy Reed, The Isthmus of Samuel Greenberg
1977 W.S.Graham, Implements in Their Places; Edwin Morgan, The New Divan; Ted Hughes, Gaudete; Judith Kazantzis, minefield; Martin Thom, The Bloodshed the Shaking House
1978 Geoffrey Hill, Tenebrae; Ted Hughes, Cave Birds; Roy Fisher, The thing about Joe Sullivan; Ken Smith, Fox Running; Peter Abbs, For Man and Islands; Philip Jenkins, On the Beach with Eugene Boudin; Andrew Crozier, High Zero; Alexander Hutchison, Deep Tap Tree; Jeffrey Wainwright, Heart's Desire; Barry MacSweeney, Black Torch, (part 1), Odes; Paul Brown, Meetings and Pursuits; John Ash, Casino; Tony Lopez, The English Disease; Change; Brian Marley, Springtime in the Rockies
1979 W.S.Graham, Collected Poems 1942-77; George Mackay Brown, Wreck of the Archangel; Ted Hughes, Remains of Elmet, Moortown; Iain Sinclair, Suicide Bridge; Paul Evans, The Manual for the Perfect Organization of Tourneys; Paul Gogarty, The Accident Adventure; Jeremy Reed, Saints and Psychotics

The 1980s
1980 Anthony Thwaite, Victorian Voices; Harry Guest, Elegies; Penelope Shuttle, The Orchard Upstairs
1981 David Jones (d.1974), The Roman Quarry; Adrian Stokes (d.1972) With All The Views; Christopher Logue, Ode to the Dodo (poems 1953-78), War Music; Peter Redgrove, The Apple Broadcast; David Chaloner, Hotel Zingo; Philip Jenkins, Cairo; Jeremy Reed, Bleecker Street

1982 J.H. Prynne, Poems (i.e. collected poems); Ken Smith, The Poet Reclining (selected poems 1962-80); Peter Didsbury, The Butchers of Hull; Paul Brown, Masker; John Hartley Williams, Hidden Identities; John Ash, The Goodbyes
1983 Roland Mathias, Burning Brambles: selected poems 1944-79; Peter Yates, Petal and Thorn; George Mackay Brown, Voyages; Asa Benveniste, Lay Out the Life Line, Roll out the Corse (poems 1965-85); Ted Hughes, The River; Harry Guest, Lost and Found: poems 1976-82; John James, Berlin Return
1984 Anthony Thwaite, Poems 1953-83; David Harsent, Mister Punch; Gavin Selerie, Azimuth; John Seed, History Labour Night; Frank Kuppner, A bad day for the Sung Dynasty
1985 Andrew Crozier, All Where Each Is (Collected Poems); Allen Fisher, Brixton Fractals, Unpolished Mirrors (part of Place); John Ash, The Branching Stairs; Barry MacSweeney, Ranter; Denise Riley, Dry Air; Maggie O'Sullivan, A Natural History in 3 incomplete parts; Kelvin Corcoran, Robin Hood in the Middle Ages
1986 Christopher Middleton, Two Horse Wagon Going By; Roy Fisher, A Furnace; Michael Haslam, Continual Song; Maggie O'Sullivan, From the Handbook of That & Furriery, Divisions of Labour, States of Emergency; John Wilkinson, Proud Flesh; Kelvin Corcoran, The Red and Yellow Book
1987 Alastair Mackie, Ingaitherins; Colin Simms, Eyes Own Ideas; Peter Finch, Selected Poems; Tom Lowenstein, Filibustering in Samsara; Peter Didsbury, The classical farm; John Ash, Disbelief; Frank Kuppner, The Intelligent Contemplation of Naked Women
1988 Edwin Morgan, Themes on a Variation; Tom Raworth, Tottering State (selected poems 1963-87); Maggie O'Sullivan, Unofficial Word; Kelvin Corcoran, Qiryat Sepher
1989 Christopher Middleton, Selected Writings; Ted Hughes, Wolfwatching; Peter Levi, Shadow and Bone; Iain Sinclair, Flesh Eggs and Scalp Metal; David Chaloner, Trans; Allen Fisher, Stepping Out; Frank Kuppner, Ridiculous! Absurd! Disgusting!; Kelvin Corcoran, TCL

Anthologies include: Purple and Green (anthology, no editor, Rivelin Grapheme, 1985, 33 women poets); Angels of Fire, ed. Paskin, Silver, Ramsay (1986). A Various Art, ed. Andrew Crozier and Tim Longville (1987; this is effectively the Grosseteste Review Sampler; most of it was written before 1980); The New British Poetry (Paladin anthology, 1988, includes everyone important with the exception of about 12 or 15 names); Four Fife Poets: Fower Brigs ti a Kinrik (1988).

1990 Edwin Morgan, Collected Poems 1949-87; Alexander Hutchison, The Mooncalf; Robert Sheppard, Daylight Robbery; Robert Crawford and W.N. Herbert, Sharawaggi; Hilary Llewellyn-Williams, The Book of Shadows
1991 John James, Dreaming Flesh; D.M. Black, Collected poems 1964-87; Isobel Thrilling, Spectrum Shift; Tim Fletcher, Firesong (n.d.), Derivatives; Peter Finch, Make; Ulli Freer, Stepping Space; B. Catling, Soundings (accounts of performance acts), The stumbling block, its index; John Ash, The Burnt Pages; Mimi Khalvati, In White Ink; Ian Duhig, The Bradford Count; W.N. Herbert, Dundee Doldrums; Nicholas Johnson, Listening to the Stones

1992 future exiles (selected poems by Allen Fisher and B. Catling); the tempers of hazard (for Barry MacSweeney, Selected Poems); Tom Raworth, Catacoustics; Wendy Mulford, The Bay of Naples; David Barnett, Fretwork; Pauline Stainer, Sighting the Slave-Ship; John Seed, Interior in the open air; Jo Shapcott, Phrase Book; Robert Crawford, Talkies; Andrew Lawson, Human Capital
1993 F.T. Prince, Collected Poems; Tom Rawling, Names of the Sea-trout; Tom Raworth, Eternal Sections; David Chaloner, The Edge; Ulli Freer, Sand Poles; Denise Riley, Mop mop georgette; Maggie O'Sullivan, In the House of the Shaman; Graham Hartill, Ruan Ji's Island and Tu Fu in the Cities; Jamie McKendrick, Kiosk on the Brink; Robert Sheppard, Flashlight Sonata; Caroline Bergvall, Oh strange passage
1994 Charles Madge, Of Love, Time, and Places: Selected Poems; Roy Fisher, Birmingham River; R.F. Langley, Twelve Poems; David Barnett, All the Year Round; Pauline Stainer, The Ice-pilot Speaks; Allen Fisher, Scram; Nigel Wheale, Phrasing the Light; Tony Lopez, Stress Management; Vicki Feaver, The Handless Maiden; Kelvin Corcoran, Lyric Lyric; Moniza Alvi, The Country at My Shoulder; Michael Ayres, Poems 1987-92; W.N. Herbert, Forked Tongue; David Dabydeen, Turner; Deryn Rees-Jones, The Memory Tray

1995 Alan Ross, After Pusan; Elizabeth Bartlett, Two Women Dancing; James Berry, Hot Earth Cold Earth; Colin Simms, In Afghanistan, For Basil Bunting; Allen Fisher, Dispossession and Cure, Civic Crimes, Breadboard; Judith Kazantzis, Selected Poems 1977-92; Michael Haslam, A Whole Bauble; Grace Lake, Bernache nonnette; B. Catling, The Blindings; Ian Duhig, The Mersey Goldfish; Alison Brackenbury, 1829; Niall Quinn, Nick Macias, and Nic Laight, However Introduced to the Soles; David Greenslade, Burning Down the Dosbarth; Tim Atkins, Folklore 1-25
1996 George Mackay Brown, Following a Lark; Christopher Middleton, intimate chronicles; Christopher Logue, Selected Poems; Roy Fisher, The Dow Low Drop: new and selected poems; Geoffrey Hill, Canaan; John James, Schlegel eats a bagel; Chris Bendon, Jewry; Robert Hampson, Seaport; Rod Mengham, Unsung: New and Selected Poems; Robert Crawford, Masculinity; W.N.Herbert, Cabaret McGonagall; David Greenslade, Creosote; Vittoria Vaughan, The Mummery Preserver; Andy Brown, The Sleep Switch

1997 Tom Raworth, Clean and Well-Lit, Selected Poems 1987-95; Barry MacSweeney, The Book of Demons; Grace Lake, Parasol 1 Parasol 2 Parasol Avenue; Tondo aquatique; Peter Finch, Antibodies; Useful; Alison Fell, Dreams Like Heretics: new and selected poems; Alexander Hutchison, Epitaph for a Butcher; Frank Kuppner, Second Best Poems from Chinese History; Kevin Nolan, Alar; Tony Lopez, False Memory; Gavin Selerie, Roxy; John Hartley Williams, Canada; Mimi Khalvati, Entries on Light; Kelvin Corcoran, Melanie's Book; Rob MacKenzie, Off Ardglas; Karlien van den Beukel, Pitch Lake; Helen Macdonald, Safety Catch; David Rees, The London; Ian Taylor, Ruins

Anthologies include Floating Capital: 15 London Poets, ed. Robert Sheppard and Adrian Clarke (1991); The New Makars, ed. Tom Hubbard (1991) is a convenient overview of some little-known poetry in Scots; Dream State: The New Scottish Poets, ed. Donnie O'Rourke (1993); Ten British Poets, ed. Paul Green (1994); Contraflow on the Superhighway, an Informationist Primer, edited Herbert and Price (1995); A State of Independence, ed. Tony Frazer (1997); Conductors of Chaos, edited Iain Sinclair (1996); Welsh issue of Modern Poetry in Translation, ed. Dafydd Johnson; Out of Everywhere, edited Maggie O'Sullivan (1997)