Follow by Email

Monday, February 28, 2005

Editorial to the third series: Robert Sheppard

Pages:

a blogzine of investigative, exploratory, avant-garde, innovative poetry and poetics edited by Robert Sheppard

I founded Pages in1987 as a “quick hit of the New British poetry as it happens”, as Ken Edwards put it: 2 sheets of A4 folded to give 8 pages (numbered successively) of poetry, originally published monthly. During this time it published writers as well known as Robert Creeley, Tom Raworth, Bob Cobbing, Allen Fisher, David Miller, but also gave a showing to then lesser-known writers, such as James Keery, Rupert Loydell, Michael Ayres, and many more. The first series ended at Page 218.

In April 1994 the second series began: this time A4 (again with spartan production values). Each issue was to have focussed on a single author. Although it didn’t quite turn out like that (and it took a long time to complete its run, until May 1998, in fact) all twelve were featured, usually with text, an essay, and a commentary on the text by another: Adrian Clarke, Peter Middleton, Hazel Smith, cris cheek, Ken Edwards, John Wilkinson, Maggie 0’Sullivan, Virginia Firnberg, Alan Halsey, Ulli Freer, Gilbert Adair and Rod Mengham. They were picked as a group of established, but not much written about, writers. This series made sure that was no longer the case. The first series ended at Page 445.

This third series picks up on a long-standing small press tradition, that of utilising available technology and subverting it – if that isn’t putting it too dramatically -­­- to the needs to editing, and to work with its disadvantages and limitations: in this case, the blog format. Perhaps the fourth series might be a proper website, with graphics and audio links, and whatever the technology affords, but Pages has always been fairly spartan in its presentation, and I see this as a tradition. I will also continue the tradition of numbering each posting as though it were a page, as I did with Pages. The technology has outstripped my nomenclature, even the metaphorical use of ‘pages’ on the net.

Since 1998 when I reached the end of the second series I have been busy on a number of projects, completing and exceeding my creative endeavour Twentieth Century Blues, and also finishing a critical work called The Poetry of Saying, an account of British poetry since 1950, in which Pages has its small part to play, it's worth saying. I have also been submerged in the world of creative writing teaching. I feel the need to get back to being involved in the field of cultural production a bit more, and on my own terms. Thus Pages will be more intermittent, more personal, this series, although I hope to post something every month. I'm hoping to combine work by well-known and lesser known writers. I also hope its previous reputation will mean that a humble blog might be looked at by those interested in this area of work, though I doubt whether I’ll reach the splendid 250,000 hits that Ron Silliman has clocked up at Silliman's Blog. Do have a look if you haven't seen it; at http://ronsilliman.blogspot.com

Most of the contributions will be commissioned, but I will preserve the facility a blog offers for the posting of comments by readers.

Copyright of all works remains with the authors. This notice covers all subsequent postings on this site.

It seems appropriate to include the ‘Afterword’ that I wrote to the last series of Pages, if only to get myself back in the swing of ita all..

15th February 2005

Afterword to Pages, Second Series


Pages first appeared in July 1987 and has lived up to its simple name as a spartan magazine of exuberant work. The debates it has fostered have been taken up elsewhere and it has been a pleasure to be able to contribute to them. In particular, as I say above, the term "linguistically innovative poetry" spread, after having been coined by Gilbert Adair in the March 1988 issue of Pages, as a way of describing the kinds of poetry we then believed had been "operating since 1977" in "fragmentation and incoherence". The result had been a "public invisibility of the poetry" and "ditto of a theorising discourse" in Adair's words. The argument that all good poetry is linguistically innovative doesn't invalidate its particularity, but suggests that, like many such terms, its meaning is its use. Yet, as I said in the previous article, it has been used to speak of British Poetry Revival work as well as American language poetry in a way beyond Gilbert's use: a buzzword for a fuzzy set of poets outside his temporal and cultural determinants.

The conditions Adair identified as the post 1977 situation of the poetry - eg "decreasing publishing opportunities; wide gaps in continuations of public ... discussions; a one-way 'dialogue' with oppositions that largely expunge us, ... movement in a less visible, less real poetic community" - contrasts with Eric Mottram's celebratory survey of the earlier "British Poetry Revival 1960-1975", which catalogues reputations, achievements and opportunities. (See Hampson and Barry New British Poetries.) Yet this carries an appendix, dated 1978, which makes sorry reading: the story (again!) of the end of the Poetry Society Era. This was the "fragmented and incoherent" backdrop to the despair of the early 1980s, one matched by Allen Fisher's identification in his 1985 introduction to his Necessary Business essay of those wound-licking years as "a period of entrenchment and awe ... speaking in a considerably small room" (Spanner 25, p. 163).

The increasing willingness of poets since the mid 80s to operate theoretically, in terms of poetics and other theory, was a welcome change that seems not yet historical enough to assess. Magazines like Fragmente and Parataxis, and, earlier, Reality Studios, which lightened the dark years, promoted the "public discussion" of which Adair lamented the absence. The resurgence of poetry organising and publishing has been encouraging. (It is interesting to note that Wolfgang Gortschacher's Little Magazine Profiles broadly agrees with this chronology.)

Pages has had its place to play in this, and the second series, with its structured approach to 12 selected poets, proved an opportunity to explore empirically what "linguistically innovative" might mean. I had no idea it would take this long to reach the end of the process, and I would like to thank all the poets, critics, and readers who have made the whole thing possible. During this long time, conferences, discussions and publications have pushed arguments along. Possibly the very term "linguistically innovative" (which Adair never proffered as a Proper Noun anyway) has worn itself out. As I attempt to define it against the earlier British Poetry Revival work and American language poetry (see my "Negative Definitions" which appeared in Sulfur 42, 1998). I look with some hope to the day when it might be superseded, not necessarily by another cumbersome term, but with poetic work which will feel as fresh as the work Pages turned its attention to about a decade ago. There is evidence that this work is there, and it awaits its journals and publications. Reality Street's "Four Pack" series is showing the way.

Robert Sheppard 29 March 1998

Page 446

15 comments:

jon said...

I am trying to find roll roofing people and found your blog while searching. I totally agree with that...

TheMarketerStore said...

Nice Blog,
Read an article I found on: doorway page. It kind of relates to your blog i think.

SEO said...

Nice Blog,
Read an article I found on: cloaker. It kind of relates to your blog i think.

122272 said...

Nice blog you have here! If you get a chance you may want to visit this bad company feel like making love site, it's a very nice site.

cash at home said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a jae seo site. It pretty

much covers jae seo related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

brian said...

The best place I have found for chevrolet truck part is chevrolet truck part

brian said...

Great post. Check out best tropical fish

healthyblogger said...

It’s 11:00 in the morning and your energy is waning. Minutes seem to tick by like hours and your mind feels foggy. You’ve still got six more hours to look alert and act productive and get over test anxiety, so how do you cope with the afternoon blahs? Follow these six tips!

1. If you have a job that involves sitting at a desk all day or staring at a computer screen, take five minutes to stand up or lean back, close your eyes and stretch, especially in your shoulder and leg areas. Being seated all the time can make your whole body feel stiff and sleepy. A good stretch session helps limber up your body and gets the blood flowing again.

2. Avoid the tempting lure of caffeine or sugar-laden foods such as coffee, tea or chocolate. Caffeine may perk up your energy levels temporarily, but it also has a bad habit of leaving you sluggish after the effect has worn off. Instead, choose whole grain foods, fruits and vegetables to give your body the fuel it really wants! Eating healthier will boost your mood, elevate your alertness, change test anxiety and make you feel better all day long.

3. Along with healthier foods, take a quick 10-15 minute walk during your lunch break. Just a few minutes will give you a burst of energy that refreshes you and makes you feel more alert – while burning off your lunch calories in the process!

4. Sometimes, afternoon slumps can be your body’s way of telling you that it needs something. You may be feeling tired if your blood sugar is low (which happens especially after the effect of those caffeine and high sugar foods has worn off!). Packing a low calorie snack like graham crackers, granola, fruit or vegetable slices can give your body a boost and keep you from feeling hungry in the late afternoon and caving in to the urge to devour the entire contents of the vending machine after work!

5. Drowsiness is often a sign that you’re not getting enough water. Drinking more water throughout the day not only helps keep you awake, but also keeps you from feeling those hunger pangs that inevitably creep up in mid-morning. Taking a large sports bottle that you can drink from throughout the day is a great way to get your recommended eight glasses a day as well!

6. If afternoon fatigue is a recurring problem, it may be a side effect of medications you are taking. Allergy pills are well known culprits, as are some blood pressure and anxiety/depression medicines. Don’t try to circumvent these effects with caffeine, otherwise you’ll overload your body with stimulants while it’s already trying to deal with drowsiness, and you’ll feel mentally and physically exhausted. Instead, try a short 15-20 minute catnap. You’ll be surprised how refresh you’ll feel when you wake up! (Don’t try this at work though – I know it’s tempting!)

If you follow these tips on a regular basis, you’ll not only make it through the afternoon blahs, but you’ll also feel better physically and mentally, sleep better at night, and wake up rejuvenated and re-energized the next morning. Make it a GREAT day! test anxiety

Greg said...

This blog is great! If you get a chance you may want to visit this help with Search Engine Optimization
site, it's

pretty awesome, too!

usersanonimos said...

Great blog it really nice. To learn more about blogger visit
blog submitter The best blog submitter

Pat Martin said...

Bravo for a well versed post. If you would like to market your blog visit my website for free training on topics such as free web design template and free web design template

Kim said...

Would you like to know more about our free article submission site. It is a great free article submission resource.

James Baker said...

Hi, Fellow!I like your blog!
I just came across your blog and wanted to
drop you a note telling you how impressed I was with
the information you have posted here.
I have a job portal
site. It pretty much covers job portal related subjects.
Come and check it out if you get time :-)
Best regards!

Scott A. Edwards said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! You really are very talented and deserve an honest compliment, congradulations! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a making money using the internet site/blog. It successfully covers making money using the internet related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time, Scott.

maverick said...

Hello,
Without much luck, I was searching for blogs about Business & Industrial when I happened across yours. It's a cool blog. Evidently you like telling it like it is! I have a really great ebay website that is easy to use that you may like. If you get a chance, check it out www.licensedbrandsclub.com.