Thursday, 3 January 2019


I spent much of yesterday trying to put my next collection, due from Bloodaxe in 2020, into order. Not sure what to call it yet. 'Fresh Out of the Sky' is a possibility as it is the working title of the twenty-five poems about early experiences of England. Then there is a group of poems about music, some about contemporary uncertainties and some 'songs' that are essentially apprehensions about this or that thing.

As to form, there is a preponderance of terza rima, cinquains, and haiku sets.

I like to shape a book in what seems the best possible way in terms of narrative continuity or dramatic movement so it is a cumulative experience or at least one whose shape is perceived at some point as a shape. That is an area of meaning to me. It is what makes a book a book rather than a gathering.


Michael Carrino sent me a link to an article* that discusses the idea of fully thematic collections, what the author calls 'project' books. The article sets 'mind' against 'heart'.

Well, no-one is going to argue against 'heart' so that battle is won before it has started. It's a little like calling certain kinds of poetry 'academic'. Label applied: job done.

These are all false dichotomies. Hearts have minds and minds have hearts. One feels what one thinks and one thinks what one feels.

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