Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I’m just back from a reading (and conference) in Amsterdam on Thursday 19th May at the ABC Treehouse in Voetboogstraat.

Part of the ‘Poetry and the Unpoetic Conference at the University of Amsterdam, I read with Jeff Hilson (reading from In the Assarts, his stunning collection), Jane Lewty (reading unpublished work including a great sequence about the Hilsborough Disaster), Louis Armand (reading from his new collection Letters from Ausland, which I enjoyed greatly), and Richard Parker reading a shuffled pile of new sonnets, which was excellent).

(Pictures above: Amsterdam, me impersonating a picture of myself on Jacket magazine (photo: Peter Barry, incidentally, the cause of my Jacket appearance!), Richard, Louis, Jane and Jeff.

I read both from Warrant Error and from Berlin Bursts (the latter I’m launching at a Shearsman reading soon), including this sonnet from the former:

for Patricia

The young couples in the crushed Amsterdam bar
dance to Barry White in the old-fashioned way

Later, aloft on Belgian beer, I murmur that I
love you, but then slip away, like the dancers,
into the night, knocking over bicycles chained
to bollards, and singing; into my reverie so far
in which we sit again drinking under the wooden ape

Almost human it grins at us both with more teeth
than the accordion it fumbles. This is all times
becoming a new time which is a now time
becoming all, a swoon through cracks in the paving

where vanished children crouch over hidden play.
Next day, a narrow canal house lips at its reflection;
we stand in front of it to stand for ourselves

Louis was alos carrying VLAK 2 / MAY 2011

edited by Louis Armand, Edmund Berrigan, Carol Watts, Ali Alizadeh, Stephan Delbos,
Jane Lewty, David Vichnar

ISSN 1804-512X

424 pages of new writing & visual art,

VLAK 2 is available from the Litteraria Pragensia Books website at:

(It includes a sequence by my fictional poet Rene Van Valckenborch as well as work by Louis and Jane).

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Poetry Beyond Text

Pete Clarke and I are just back from a day trip to Edinburgh to see the Poetry Beyond Text project opening at the Scottish Poetry Library. We have some work in this exhibition, and there is plenty of good work to see, online if you can’t get there. Check out the Guy Begbie-Lawrence Upton collaboration for something quite different.

Also check out the review of Berlin Bursts on Stride