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Tag Archives: Ian Heames

Nine Plays by Will Stuart

Nine Plays by Will Stuart

Edited with an Introduction by Ian Heames & with

an Afterword by J.H. Prynne  (Face Press, Cambridge 2014)

 

After reading these fascinating pieces of dramatic realisation one comes across Jeremy Prynne’s concluding comments:

 

‘This suite of recently composed performance scripts is instructively hard to categorise’.

 

Hooray, I thought, no box to simply pack these into then! And the opening sentence of that Afterword took me back to re-read Ian Heames’s Introduction which in a way set the scene in a very appropriate manner:

 

‘A book of plays in which characters can stand on-stage not really playing their parts casts the familiar role of a general introduction in an awkward light. In the context of the work that follows, the usual range of opening manoeuvres would be a dress-rehearsal for the wrong occasion.’

 

Of course Samuel Beckett’s ghost haunts the wings of this display and the merging of lyrical intensity with a breath-taking awareness of what constitutes loss is a hallmark of much of the writing here:

 

‘The past. What is it? What is the past? The past, what is it? What is the past? The past is a present. It is a no-longer-useable present. Gone and forgotten. Gone and not forgotten.’

 

Prynne’s comments are instructive as they direct us to another haunting presence:

 

‘The emotional carapace overall that encloses precarious life is assembled from off-the-peg elysian fancies that are profoundly tested e.g. against the lyrical reticence of Thomas Hardy, poet: in the more distant background lurk parody dinosaurs dressed up as a light blend of Harold Beckett and Samuel Pinter; not to mention Lucian and Ovid in deeper shade.’

 

A fascinating volume…get it…

http://face-press.org/nine-plays.html

 

Ian Brinton 9th June 2014

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Ian Heames’ Out Of Villon

Ian Heames’ Out Of Villon

Last Saturday at the Free Verse poetry book fair in Conway Hall I ran into Ian Heames who was manning a stall alongside Justin Katko. Katko’s press, Critical Documents (http://plantarchy.us), has published some very important material over the past couple of years including J.H. Prynne’s Kazoo Dreamboats, Josh Stanley’s Contra Night Escha Black, Ryan Dobran’s Ding Ding as well as work by Ian Heames such as Gloss To Carriers.

 

There is a lyrical energy weaving its way through Ian Heames’s poems and I was much struck by small pamphlet poem Out Of Villon which has been published by cucpress (cucpress.tumblr.com). Here I found myself reading echoes of Robert Browning filtered through Basil Bunting and Stephen Rodefer:

 

This evening, select, extant

Dictating these discrepant lays

All day by the bell of Sorbonne

 

That predicted angel who has none hour sounds

 

At the time, I felt Lady Memory

To begin again in the metro

 

By doing this I’m drinking wine

By force

 

My asperity is a lyre.

 

This poem is dated December 1st 2009 and was published in 2011. Look out for it; it is a haunting poem which won’t quite leave you alone. Ian Heames has also edited an interesting little magazine, No Prizes, issue 2 of which appeared earlier this year. It contains work by Bill Fuller and Sean Bonney as well as Jeremy Prynne’s thoughts on Peter Larkin which had been delivered at the inaugural event of the un-American Activities reading series in May of this year in Cambridge.

 

Ian Brinton

 

 

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