Reponse to Guardian Article of 2nd October

Great article do read

Angela Topping

The original article seems to perceive a division between contemporary poetry (free verse) and older poetry(rhythm and rhyme) that just doesn’t exist. There is no poet I know who does not have their favourites from the past. I myself would not want to live without Emily Dickinson, John Donne, John Clare, Keats, Blake and Edna St Vincent Millais. Performance poetry relies on rhythm and rhyme for some of its impact. Page poets see themselves as writing out of a tradition too, but taking it new places, as we have to. Shakespeare and his contemporaries experimented in their time, as we do in ours, as poetry, like all art forms, does not stand still. I wrote both formal verse and free verse depending on what the poem tells me when it starts to arrive. The gap between page poets and performance poets is diminshing too, as page poets can now actually…

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Applauding between Poems

This is well worth reading and a custom that should be encouraged to help both new and experienced poets

Angela Topping

When I first started giving readings of my work, in the late 80s, poets were asked to read for 45 minutes, in most cases, if they were headlining, with a Q&A session to follow. People listened attentively, the poet made a few comments sometimes between poems, things that were interesting, things that were not in the poem itself.
These days it’s much more likely to be given a headline slot of up to 30 minutes, and sometimes, when reading with other poets, ten minutes may be all that is given. This isn’t a bad thing; it makes for poetry events which include a lot more variety, especially when the readers are professional in sticking to their time slots. There is also a proliferation of open mic spots and even whole events dedicated to open mics. Again, no bad things, especially with so many people writing these days, who all need…

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Friday Poem – Metamorphic

Friday Poem – Metamorphic

Seren Books Blog

This week’s poem is from Zoë Skoulding’s 2013 collection, The Museum of Disappearing Sounds.

The disappearing sounds of Zoë Skoulding’s collection may be either in the rich sonic environments that the poems observe, or in the resonance of words themselves, which exist in traces of speech and breath.

‘The Man in the Moone’ takes its title from a 17th century work of science fiction in which lunar inhabitants can communicate their thoughts via music alone. But rather than aspiring to reach beyond language, these poems focus on the spaces that words occupy, looking at how ‘a sentence reverses itself between two pairs of eyes’ or noting ‘the distance drifted by a word shaken loose from border controls’.

Skoulding’s characteristically inventive approach to form emerges in a fractured sonnet sequence based on the coincidences of room numbers. Repeated actions build haunting interior spaces which the reader is invited to…

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Lost & Found

Lost & Found

Seren Books Blog

Recent years have been fantastic for Wales in the literary world. 2014 saw the centenary of Dylan Thomas, this year we’re celebrating the centenary of Alun Lewis, and next year, 2016, marks the centenary of Roald Dahl.

This year in particular has been a big year for the publishing world as a whole. As well as our centenary celebrations for WW2 writer Alun Lewis, 2015 marks 150 years since the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and has even seen the publication of Harper Lee’s second novel, Go Set A Watchman, 55 years after the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird.

But Go Set A Watchman isn’t the only “lost” novel to be published this year. This year at Seren we’re publishing Morlais, a novel by Alun Lewis that was thought lost until last year.

Morlais cover

Following in the footsteps of Richard Llewellyn’s How Green Was My Valley,

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