Friday, November 20, 2015

A Festschrift for Tony Frazer

A Festschrift for Tony Frazer is now online here

Who he? A Shearsman of sorts! (See here.)

Tony Frazer is one of the great poetry publishers of our time. 'This website,' the editors say, 'is a tribute to him on his 64th birthday. It contains more than 200 contributions from poets whose writing he has published since 1981 under his imprints Shearsman Books and Shearsman Magazine, as well as from friends and well-wishers. Together, these present a unique collective tribute not only to Tony’s achievement as the publisher of more than 300 writers, but as a friend, as a man. In its variety and richness, this unusual anthology bears witness to the far-sightedness, adventurousness, eclecticism and dedication of Tony’s vision for poetry and his tireless pursuit of the new, the original and the excellent.'

Read Richard Berengarten's editorial here

My contribution is a fictional poem by a fictional poet who writes a real homage to a real poet who was translated by Tony Frazer. (He is a good translator, a fact not mentioned in the above, but I’m sure other contributors in this huge labyrinth of praise have noted the fact.)  

So: my (or Sophie Poppmeier’s poem for Lutz Seiler, ‘Book One, Poem Three’) is here.

It will take a long time to read all of this website, but a first surf (nobody uses that metaphor anymore, do they?) reveals a poem by Scott Thurston about generosity, here. Everybody uses that word of Tony. Kelvin Corcoran gets it right, when he says: 

To begin with, it’s very hard to wrest work from his hands despite how busy he might be - surrounded by piles of manuscripts, books to proof, books to post and books to read. Then you discover how quickly he works.  Next you’re floored by the realisation that uniquely for a publisher he does exactly what he says he will do. Tony’s unstinting generosity, good sense and boundless energy shines brightly in a dim world. 

Read the rest of his piece here. As I say: 'We must honour this extraordinary and extraordinarily generous man.' (See all the short tributes here.)
Patricia Farrell’s visual tribute alerts us to the other media (image and video) also represented, here.

It is great to see two wily and incisive poems by Roy Fisher here, and sad but gratifying to read Lee Harwood’s prose tribute, one of the last things he must have written, here.

Robert Sheppard 

PS It must be trhe season of festschrifts. See here