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Monthly Archives: May 2012

All The Colours Fade

In an interview with Robert Robertson (author of Eisenstein on the Audiovisual, 2009) James Wilson suggested that ‘the whole art form of cinema is one of symbolism’ and went on to comment on the director’s theories of montage. After reading those lines in Images of the Afterlife in Cinema (Duchy of Lambeth 2011, ISBN 978-0-9558525-2-7) it comes as no surprise to open this startling and impressive new volume from James Wilson, All the Colours Fade (Hippocrene Society 2012, ISBN 13: 978-0-9826971-2-2), and be confronted by the atmospheric and the visual:

‘It starts with a rendez-vous in the desert. He said he had an offer that was too good not to be heard. Arriving in a cloud of dust and a retinue that vanished into thin air, he was suddenly standing next to me in the wilderness, beaming an unholy smile.’

This volume contains short stories and prose poems which are filtered through the prism of the seminal band The Stone Roses. Taking their cues from imagery inspired by both music and lyrics, the pieces in this collection explore a personal palimpsest of influences, memories and dreams. There is an infectious and compelling tone to these pieces where the inspiration is both Camus and Maupassant. And there is a lightness of touch that belongs to Ariel: ‘I spin around the island and in an instant I am back.’

All the Colours Fade is available now from Amazon at £5.62 post free.

An Andrew Crozier Reader

An Andrew Crozier Reader

Edited by Ian Brinton and published by Carcanet, this 276 page Reader presents considerable and pertinent commentary to accompany Andrew Crozier’s poems, critical prose and interviews. Attention is given to seminal moments in Crozier’s career, such as his involvement with Charles Olson, Carl Rakosi, George Oppen, J.H. Prynne, John James, Roy Fisher and his editing of The English Intelligencer, Wivenhoe Park Review and the Ferry Press.  The contextualization of Andrew Crozier’s poems is long overdue and this book serves to make available a substantial body of work that continues to excite and beguile. Close readings of Crozier’s poetry will greatly benefit from this splendid offering.

César Vallejo: The Complete Poems

César Vallejo: The Complete Poems



In Montemora 4 Clayton Eshleman wrote about his 1968 translations of César Vallejo:

‘I had worked on the translation for six years, which involved doing ten drafts of the ninety-four poems, and probably because I had worked so hard on it, I accepted one reviewer’s judgement that it was a definitive translation. When I look back on this now, I think I must have been hoping that it was definitive i.e., that I would not have to re-do it, while some part of me feared that what I had done was only a step in the right direction.’

That step was an interesting start and this new translation by Michael Smith and Valentino Gianuzzi reveals what a more extended journey was still to go before a definitive volume could appear. This new volume from Shearsman Books is simply fantastic and as John Muckle puts it on the blurb at the back of this seven-hundred page book ‘these translations find a voice for Vallejo’s knottiness, spookiness, and complexity of feeling.’


Shearsman in London on May 8th

At the last of this season’s Shearsman readings at Swedenborg Hall Paul A. Green and Laurie Duggan read from their recently published volumes, The Gestaltbunker (Selected Poems 1965-2010) and The Pursuit of Happiness. Paul’s reading was edgy and exciting and promoted the aptness of the blurb comment about his briefings on nuclear apocalypse, global meltdown and ‘intensifying torsion of language.’ Gesticulating and shouting ‘Horus Promo’ Paul made words jump: this boy with a nose job keeps rapping / swing into hi-fi with hot wire-tapping / We heard it through the grapevine 

Laurie Duggan took us along ‘The London Road’: westward, / hands pull rope around a sheaf of / what? / wheat? asparagus? / Lamb’s Conduit / FOUNDED 1843 / old hinges of a / former door /painted over

Laurie’s dry wit, delivered as though the words had taken him by surprise, was caught in his short ‘Bin ends’:

       A salute to the Cambridge Marxists

If you’re not at the High Table / you’re not in the room

Robert Vas Dias was in the audience and I reminded him of the review of Paul Blackburn’s Journals he wrote for Peter Hodgkiss’s  Poetry Information 17, 1977, in which he had commented on the American poet’s method of taking a road ( ‘a direction and follow it where it leads’) where details are accumulated not for their own sake but ‘to reveal the state of mind’.

Both these books are available on the Shearsman website

Michael Heller’s Collected Poems 1965-2010

Michael Heller’s Collected Poems 1965-2010

Collected Poems: Michael Heller Nighboat Books; Distributed by UPNE (

From his early spare poems written in Spain to the recent ruminative work exploring language, tradition (often Jewish and diasporic) and the self, this book collects four decades of Michael Heller’s “tone perfect poems” as George Oppen described them. Enriched with the detailed landscapes of the phenomenal world and mind, This Constellation Is A Name confirms Michael Heller’s place at the forefront of contemporary American poetry.

An article on Michael Heller’s work including his seminal book on the Objectivists, Conviction’s Net of Branches, his essays in Uncertain Poetries and his edition of Carl Rakosi, Man and Poet will appear in Tears in the Fence 56.

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