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Tag Archives: D.S. Marriott

Anthony Barnett & Barnacles

On Monday 24th September Anthony Barnett gave a reading at the Poetry Library, Royal Festival Hall as a contribution to the launch of illustrator Mary Kuper’s new book Barnacles & Dames, an anthology of etymologies, poetry and images. Other poets included in the book are Brodsky, Joyce, Armitage, Muldoon, Adcock, Stevenson, Scupham, Padel and Kaufman.

Anthony read his poem ‘In All Weathers’ which had originally appeared in his collection Carp and Rubato, Invisible Books 1995. The poem is, of course, republished in his recent magnum opus Poems & (Tears in the Fence in association with AB).

As well as reading this major piece Anthony also read J.H. Prynne’s ‘Es Lebe Der König’ which he had published in The Literary Supplement, Writings 1, Nothing doing (formally in London) 1973. This poem by Prynne had originally been published in Peter Riley’s Collection 7 in 1970 before appearing in the Ferry Press publication, Brass.

The reading included the first stanza of ‘At Chartres’ from D.S. Marriott’s Incognegro (Salt 2006) and the first section of Barnett’s own translation of Zanzotto’s ‘Vocative Case’ which can be found in his recently published collected Translations (Tears in the Fence in association with AB) before concluding with the short piece ‘Remembrance’ from Antonyms & Others.


It is with dismay that I think about writing another poem

along these lines. My imperious whore, my visited muse.

I suffer vertigo and nausea in a labyrinth of cleansed dirt.

Anthony Barnett has a regular column in Tears in the Fence and a review of his recent publications can be found in the current issue of The Poetry Review.

Blue Bus at The Lamb

The sixty-fourth Blue Bus poetry reading took place last night upstairs at The Lamb in Lamb’s Conduit: a joyous evening! D.S. Marriott read first and I was immersed in a richness of language that left me haunted. As well as reading some new work that is as yet unpublished he took us back to the Shearsman publications, Hoodoo Voodoo (2008) and The Bloods (2011). It was Romana Huk who raised this idea of spectres in Marriott’s work when she did the introduction to the 2008 collection:


‘In a sense, all of Marriott’s books are about spooks and specters—‘haunted life, as his last book of prose names them.’


Robert Sheppard’s most recent book is The Only Life, a collection of three stories about poets, which is published by Knives Forks and Spoons. They also publish his The Given, a piece of ‘autrebiography’, a mode of writing he has been extending in recent months. Berlin Bursts came out from Shearsman last year and A Translated Man will appear soon from there as well. Last night’s reading was sharp, witty and reminiscent of a high-performance steam-roller.


Sarah Kelly presented some astonishingly powerful pieces of poetry which seemed to merge the art world of Cy Twombly with the fragmentary history of the Lascaux cave paintings. They were moving and transient as she prepares to return to South America and as Charles Olson wrote of Twombly in 1952:

‘honor &elegance are here once more present in the act of paint’.


A great evening of word-hammering!


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