Thursday, January 12, 2023

Lee Harwood New Collected Poems launched and on sale now

The New Collected Poems of Lee Harwood is NOW available. HERE:  Lee Harwood - New Collected Poems (


We launched it, a cast of thousands. Like all Shearsman launches, it was held in the Swedenborg Centre in Central London. In this case, on 10th January, 2023…

Kelvin Corcoran invited a number of poets and publishers and poetry friends to read their favourite Harwood poem(s) – I was going to add ‘from the book’, though there are some poems in the book that nobody had seen!). (See here for more on that: Pages: Lee Harwood New Collected Poems (2023) Some of the new things we found to put in it ( Indeed, I told the audience about the new goodies we'd found as Kelvin and I edited the volume and the restoration of poems had Lee removed (at various points, as we discovered.)

It was a well-attended affair with lots of people I hadn't seen for years, even decades. Michael Zand (one of those I'd not seen for years) said it was the kind of event that people definitely will remember for a long time. Our readers were 

Andy Brown

Ian Davidson

Carrie Etter

Rafe Harwood

Ric Hool

Maria JastrzÄ™bska 

Tony Lopez

John Muckle

Frances Presley (also reading a poem chosen by

Gavin Selerie who couldn't be present)

Elaine Randell

Peter Robinson

Iain Sinclair

Frank Skinner

Simon Smith (and)

Janet Sutherland

Each reader brought something unique to the poems. Iain Sinclair commented on the charm of the reading by Lee's son, Rafe, so it seems appropriate to represent the evening with a photo of him reading. (If you are wondering, the Frank Skinner is the comedian, but he is also a poetry podcaster, and read Lee's 'One, Two, Three' well.) Thank you, all of you. Your spirit of generosity was palpable.   

Iain also made an interesting remark. He said he keeps Lee's books in Hastings, because they read differently  - the poems themselves change, beside the sea. I so want this to be true, but is this possible?  

If you would like to hear Lee read his own poems, this link includes a load of Harwood audio/video for you to enjoy: Pages: Lee Harwood New Collected Poems: the best audio and video recordings (

Here's a Harwood hub-post, that links to the many Harwood materials on this blog, including a review of the 2004 Collected Poems which this new book replaces: Pages: Lee Harwood: 4 Poems (and a note on them) in Abandoned Playground, ahead of NEW COLLECTED POEMS edited Corcoran and Sheppard (

A view of the book from the back! It's around 800 pages long by the way, a veritable brick of a volume.


Locating Robert Sheppard: email:  website: Follow on Twitter: Robert Sheppard (@microbius) / Twitter  latest blogpost:


Monday, January 02, 2023

Cliff Yates at 70 : my parts in this celebration of his poetry and poetics (links to it)

It doesn’t seem possible that Cliff Yates is 70! All that tiggerish classroom energy, all that boundless enthusiasm for the moment of poetry, all that unquenchable curiosity for life, seem so much the possession of youth that I have to pause and count the years.

Alan Baker and Andrew Taylor have now edited this tribute to him, CLIFF YATES @ 70, (see their preface here: Preface | Cliff Yates @ 70 (

with many poets offering their praise and their best wishes, from Poetry and Poetics stalwarts from Edge Hill, like Andrew himself, to Scott Thurston, Matt Fallaize and Angela Keaton, through to the big wide world poets, like Nick Power, Matt Welton and Kelvin Corcoran, and other names, like Pam Thompson that are new to me. Even his children are here, both writers in their own rights. A lot of the poems address Cliff directly, which seems right. A lot of us have attempted to write what Ian McMillan, in his tribute, calls a ‘Yatesy’ poem. There's also a video of Cliff reading (that wasn't there when I first blogged this!) Have a look at the tributes here:


I was asked to contribute and I produced one of my birthday ‘Burnt Journal’ poems for him, one which I feel pretty pleased with:

I was also asked to write an introduction, which I did. I was pretty pleased with that too. I think I got it right (I won’t repeat my assessment of Cliff’s work, because you may read that here:

Introduction by Robert Sheppard | Cliff Yates @ 70 (

(These links keep changing as more posts are added, so if they don't work, use the one to the site :

Cliff was one of the first poetry people I met when Patricia and I moved up to the North West in 1996 (oh yes, she’s here too, or at least I think she is, she's written Cliff a poem as though she were a Bulgarian), and I had seen some of his poems in magazines. Little was I to know that he would become one of the important members of the original Poetry and Poetics Research Group at Edge Hill University, which sounds a dull body, but we gave readings (Tate Gallery no less) and made a CD and generally helped each other as writers to become more like themselves.

Of course, Cliff was also a famous teacher of poetry well before I met him. Read about that here:

A few choice words from the guru | English and creative writing | The Guardian

Keep up with Cliff’s news. There’s a new Selected and New Poems on the way, for starters! :  Cliff Yates – poet & tutor (

He also appears on this blog a few times too, with regards to the PPRG here:

And with regard to his own poetry and poetics:

Pages: 25 Edge Hill Poets: Cliff Yates (

 He even reviewed my The Poetry of Saying

AND he provided me with the word ‘provocation’ to focus my thoughts about writerly poetics, circa 2007.

Cliff and I are definitely due another meeting in Birmingham soon I hope.

I wrote that sentence this morning. This afternoon I came back from a walk to find an answerphone message for Patricia and me. From Cliff! He says he wants to say thanks and he wants to ‘catch up’. Yes, indeed, as Sy Oliver used to sing.


Locating Robert Sheppard: email:  website: Follow on Twitter: Robert Sheppard (@microbius) / Twitter  latest blogpost: Or you can phone me, like Cliff did.