Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ten Years of Pages: One Post a Year

This is the Museum of Musical Instruments in Brussels where Veryon Weston performed on the Lutheal piano with Jennifer Cobbing and where Van Valckenborch claims, despite not having existed, to have witnessed the same (see 2014 choice number two below).

Here are posts (one a year) to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Pages. Each is a little something I've missed so far in my last two retrospective posts:

2015 so far: It was great to 'rediscover' the two Looking North poems from 1987, which Patricia and I published as a Ship of Fools booklet at the time, with her paintings. (The text was written using the same photographs of Hackney, where we lived, that Patricia used to make the images). It was a shame that one of the two had to go from History or Sleep, my selected poems. Here's the de-selected poem:

2014: This year I virtually lived (ho, ho) on my blog, thinking through the implications of poetic form for a critical work, but I particularly like this post about writing about poetry and jazz (there's a lot here about an abandoned critical work on the strange and manifold relationships between poetry and jazz):

Since it was a bumper year I'm going to pick a second, related post, on Veryan Weston, Patricia Farrell and Jennifer (Pike) Cobbing: oh, and the Weston-Cobbing show that the fictional poet Rene Van Valckenborch witnessed and wrote about! See image above.

2013: It was good to exhibit (or re-exhibit) some of the prints Pete Clarke made using some poems and (increasingly) in collaboration with myself. Here's some from the Edge Hill exhibition:

2012: Pages from 'Poet' presents an abandoned conceptual piece (or was it a satire on such?), then called 'Poet' and later called 'Plunderhead', after a character I have now moved to another work (where he becomes a very naughty boy), 'Wiped Weblogs', my 'Empty Diaries 2001-14' sequence. I like the photos. I've no idea why they are so huge but I like the fact you can read all the titles of the books (some named in the text itself) and also the array of images above my desk (at the time of the photographs, a January evidenced by the Kylie Calendar). I must alos have been assembling the books to write my critical book on form. The books are still there.

2011: A year dominated by my innovative sonnet posts, but this one about my trip to, and reading at, Amsterdam is a favourite, for its photos (memories) of reading with Richard Parker, Louis Armand, Jeff Hilson and Jane Lewty.

2010: Another lean year, with a squeezing in of the Rene Van Valckenborch 'twitterodes' at the end of the year one a day (I don't think I knew how to 'schedule' them then, so I must have literally posted one a day.) Here's one of my favourite photographs of Brussels (which I couldn't find for my other re-posts of these) with its twitterode. I'm picking it because only one person has ever looked at it, according to the useful 'stats' that the blog acquired at some point around 2010, in fact.

2009: These selected posts haven't acknowledged my role as a Firminist, that is: as a member of the dedicated band of mostly Merseyside-based enthusiasts for the works of Malcolm Lowry. This acknowledges the first of our now annual meetings (with photos and links) which we hold around the Day of the Dead, although we have plans for 2015, bigger plans for 2016, but our biggest plans yet are for 2017, the anniversary of both Lowry's death in 1957 and the publication of Under the Volcano a decade before. My piece 'Malcolm Lowry's land', appears in the book published in 2009 (and it is now a footnote to Words Out of Time, whose proofs I am currently reading for publication by Knives, Forks and Spoons).

2008: This year was (for the sake of a focussed set of guest posts) a lean one so there are only a few to choose from. However, the one by Tom Jenks is a good read. I didn't really know Tom then. Certainly I couldn't have foreseen I would be lucky enough to be co-supervising his PhD, nor that we would together be building the Luxembourgish poet Georg Bleinstein together and exchanging sausage gags. (Remember Tom: it's never too early in the day for a sausage!). Here it is.

2007: Not a bumper year, but this forgotten post surprised me. I called it a 'response to the Partly Writing 2006,' but added: 'I don't think, [ it] ever saw the light of day. I had wanted to include it as part of my inaugural, but cut it, and then recently I sent it to Susan Schultz for her collection of Rumsfeldisms. So here it is, crossing with a poetics of September 12.' It worries away at questions of 'borrowing' and 'transformation', issues that resurface in a more advanced way when I consider conceptual writing. I'd forgotten all about this post until now. So's everybody else.

2006: The launch of Hymns to the God in which My Typewriter Believes

Scott Thurston and I read above the Fly in the Loaf. Peter Griffiths took wonderful photographs (and he still does) and I offer an account of this Liverpool event. It's an early 'set list' post, in effect.

2005: Jeff Hilson's Bird Bird

One of our best poets here with a substantial showing and a photo from the Poetry Buzz (Lawrence Upton and Rob Holloway are also visible in the photo.)

Other posts celebrating a decade of blogging are: