1. Ira Lightman
I'm currently making my way through three of his books: Duetcetera, from Shearsman, with its dual columns "conversing" with each other: sometimes you can read across, sometimes they seem to be arguing with one another, sometimes they're complementing each other. He includes some translations and I've just downloaded Trancelations (ubu editions) to read more. Mustard Tart As Lemon (Red Squirrel) seem to be a gathering together of poems that didn't fit into previous series; and Phone In The Roll: which reads like it's cut up from phone messages and other forms of communication. They all show a conceptual poet who isn't afraid of including both personal and spiritual perspectives into his work: and they repay rereading.
2. Amy De'ath
A lovely little pamphet from Salt, which promises much more, Eric & Enide is ellipitical in a way that seems finally to be starting to reach through into more prominence in British poetry. She can be political in a subtle way, and there's a sense of ideas bouncing against one another in this collection. She has a new pamphlet which I must get hold of, from Oystercatcher.
3. Stephen Emmerson
His book from Department Press, Telegraphic Transcriptions, is rather like listening to a whole host of voices at once. There are passages taken form medical literature, passages that seem like episodes of psychosis, passages of strange disparate voices coming in from all directions, and I'm still only part way through it: I have to take it a little at a time or if becomes overwhelming. Stephen is going to be someone to look for in the future, I feel: he has ambitions for his poetry that go beyond merely producing a group of stand-alone poems. He wants to write long, in series, with each poem referencing other poems, itself and the outside world, working on several voices not just one.
BEST SONGS OF 2017 SO FAR, part one
2 days ago