Thank you to those who sent messages wishing my book well on the day of its release.
The day was strangely typical, though as far as poetry goes, I exchanged a spare copy of Seeing Stars for Identity Parade which I'm taking on holiday on Sunday along with The Best American Poetry 2004 (ed. ,Lyn Hejinian). I'm also packing the latest issue of Poetry Review and Louis Simpson's collection There You Are - both of which arrived in the post while I was out.
Louis Simpson has been one of my favourite poets for many years and I was pleased to see Bloodaxe reviving interest in his work by publishing a selected collection earlier this year.
The first poem I read of his, appropriately enough, was in Paris, about 20 years ago. Perhaps it was in Hall's anthology. I loved it immediately and knew that was how I wanted to write. Strangely enough, I didn't make any effort to get hold of his individual books until about a year ago.
This past year I have ordered and read everything he published, with the exception of his last individual volume There You Are. I hope the renewed interest in his work is an indication that readers and poets are once more prepared to appreciate verse that strives for Chekovian simplicity - with all the subtlety and nuance that provides.
I look forward to reading the review of the Bloodaxe book in Poetry Review, and only wish I'd had a chance to write it myself.