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Blog entries on '16 November 2006'

Thursday 16 November 2006

Arvon International Poetry Competition shortlist

The shortlist for this year's Arvon International Poetry Competition has been announced. The shortlisted poets are (in alphabetical order): Valerie Clarke; Claudia Daventry; Sian Hughes; Ruth Padel; Rodney Pybus and Siriol Troup. The announcement of the final winning and commended poets will be announced on the 1st December 2006. (Rodney is a good friend of RSB, so I hope he wins!)

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Thursday 16 November 2006

Elizabeth Bishop Celebration

To celebrate the (UK) publication of Edgar Allan Poe & the Juke-Box: Uncollected Poems, Drafts and Fragments, edited by Alice Quinn (Carcanet), there will be an Elizabeth Bishop Celebration on Friday 24th November (in Manchester Central Library, Committee Room 2nd floor 1-2pm -- the event is free).


Michael Schmidt will talk about Bishop and her work, there will be audio recordings of Bishop reading, and Manchester writers (like me!), students and fans of her work will contribute by reading some of her poems aloud to the gathered masses.


I was recently sent Art and Memory in the Work of Elizabeth Bishop by Jonathan Ellis (Ashgate), but I've not had a chance to look at it. The publisher reckons:


Jonathan Ellis offers evidence for a redirection in Bishop studies toward a more thorough scrutiny of the links between Bishop's art and life. The book is less concerned with the details of what actually happened to Bishop than with the ways in which she refracted key events into writing: both personal, unpublished material as well as stories, poems, and paintings. Thus, Ellis challenges Bishop's reputation as either a strictly impersonal or personal writer and repositions her poetry between the Modernists on the one hand and the Confessionals on the other.

Although Elizabeth Bishop was born and died in Massachusetts, she lived a life more bohemian and varied than that of almost all of her contemporaries, a fact masked by the tendency of biographers and critics to focus on Bishop's life in the United States. Drawing on published works and unpublished material overlooked by many critics, Ellis gives equal attention to the influence of Bishop's Canadian upbringing on her art and to the shifts in her aesthetic and personal tastes that took place during Bishop's residence in Brazil during the 1950s and 1960s. By bringing together the whole of Bishop's work, this book opens a welcome new direction in Bishop studies specifically, and in the study of women poets generally.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Thursday 16 November 2006

Peter Nicholson's 3QD articles

The Australian writer Peter Nicholson has now handily gathered together a page of links to all his Poetry and Culture columns (written for the excellent Three Quarks Daily).

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Serendipoetry

Memorial Tablet

Squire nagged and bullied till I went to fight,
(Under Lord Derby’s Scheme). I died in hell—
(They called it Passchendaele). My wound was slight,
And I was hobbling back; and then a shell
Burst slick upon the duck-boards: so I fell
Into the bottomless mud, and lost the light.

At sermon-time, while Squire is in his pew,
He gives my gilded name a thoughtful stare:
For, though low down upon the list, I’m there;
‘In proud and glorious memory’... that’s my due.
Two bleeding years I fought in France, for Squire:
I suffered anguish that he’s never guessed.
Once I came home on leave: and then went west...
What greater glory could a man desire?

-- Siegfried Sassoon
Collected Poems (Faber and Faber)

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Word of the Day

The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or two

Pre-order Anu Garg's new book: The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two: The Hidden Lives and Strange Origins of Common and Not-So-Common Words (ISBN 9780452288614), published by Penguin more …

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October's Books of the Month

The New Spirit of Capitalism The New Spirit of Capitalism
Luc Boltanski; Eve Chiapello
Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM
Steve Lake, Paul Griffiths

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