Arduity: Recent Negotiations / Speculations

Eileen Tabios interviewd by John Bloomberg Rissman. In which this remarkable poet talks about being 'transcolonial', about writing in poetry rather than any particular national language and the possibilities for writing poetry at a time of such environmental and political catastrophe. Also, an example of her work which requires much more readerly attention on this side of the Atlantic.

Purdey Lord Kreiden: An introduction to Michael Thomas Taren as the master of the universe. Which contains a remarkably crafted overview of this young American's work, some of which may be fictional, most of which may border on the indelicate. This is a recommendation rather than a warning

John Matthias and I have now completed the Annotated Trigons Project. The aim of this was to see how web resources could best be utilised to augment and contextualise contemporary work. We've managed to convey a range of helpful information using a variety of different media.

Three articles

Purdey Lord Kreiden and her poems. This is disturbing and dark stuff, qualities which I'm particularly fond of but only if they're done well- the intention to disturb is not enough. This work is characterised by a confident use of language and phrasing that I don't often come across. There's also a surreal element that injects another layer of disconcertment. I'm going to try and provide here an entirely provisional and tentative overview of the work which may serve as a helpful introduction to those who aren't yet familiar with this material.

Geoffrey Hill, Mysticism and Gabriel Marcel. Hill's Collected, Broken Hierarchies was published last year. We speculate as to whether the apparently mystical thread in the Expostulations on the Volcano can be traced back to earlier references to the work of Marcel.

Reading John Bloomberg-Rissman's In The House of the Hangman #1791. In which there is some wrestling with and interrogation of the nature of the poem, yet another fully engaged part of this monumentally monstrous sequence.

Poetic Allegory, The Dark Conceit. In which we think about this 'standing for something else' device and look at Homer, Spenser, and Keston Sutherland to try and understand how this thing is done and the piffalls involved. We also consider the overeading problem where things are claimed to be allegorical by critics and readers but aren't. During antiquity there was a deeply held view that The Iliad contained many 'hidden' truths even though this intention on Homer's part appears to be non-existent.

Simon Jarvis, These Greeks and Poetry as Initiation In which we expound on Dionysus Crucified with specific attention to Eripides' Bacchae, the proximity of joy to pain and wonder if some of us read poetry in order to be 'initiated'. This is in advance of paying equally speculative

Paul Celan's notes for his Meridian Address. In which we re-consider and extend our views of the Breath and Breath and Breathturn sections. We come up with some further, perhaps relevant examples of the work and draw even more tentative and provisional conclusions.

John Matthias' Pages pt 1 in which we give considereation to John's technical brilliance, intellignece and humanity. We are also prompted to think about the late fifties and early sixties: Kruschev; the space race, the Governor General of New Zealand, JFK. And some hats.

A tentative introduction to Emily Dickinson in which we try very hard to produce a speculative and provisional introduction to this work which shouldn't work but (mostly) does. We're still struggling to get to grips with most of this inherent weirdness but it does appear that this will be well worth the effort. I'm always a little wary of the 'unique' describing word but I can't think of anyone who has written work like this. Ever.

Introduction to Langland, Hoccleve and the Gawain poet featuring most things Middle English, the difficulties therein. We think about the language, the means of production and distribution as well as the historical context. Has some excerpts which try to demonstrate that some late medieval concerns are still with us today. Being once a social worker, we've used prejudice re mental health problems and the 'wastours' who won't work. We also decide that we don't care much for the debates about the Alliterative Revival.

Jonty Tiplady's Cine-Poems. In which we applaud this daring and important venture in creating something genuinely innovative with a combination of text, moving image and audio to create a unique and provocative effect carried out with Jonty's exceptional dexterity and skill.

David Jones, Christian Modernist (?) and the Shape of the Poem. In which we ask some questions about the relationship between how a poem looks, what it says and how it sounds.

Reading J H PrynneIn getting involved with Prynne's incredible body of work, readers will find that giving very close attention to words and phrases needs to go hand in hand with keeping a close eye on the apparent contexts. There are often several of these which makes things more absorbing / tricky. This isn't 'open' material whereby anything goes: it is important to recognise that Prynne is working within the poetic tradition.