Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Poem: Summer Fete



The summer's a washout so enjoy a day out with my poem 'Summer Fete' which was published in the last issue of New Walk Magazine and was reproduced last month on Declan Ryan's blog daysofroses. And yes, I couldn't find the circumflex key!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Featured Poet: Patricia Ace



This week I am really pleased to bring you an award-winning poem by Patricia Ace. So far Patricia's work is most extensively gathered in her HappenStance pamphlet First Blood, and her poem 'Neighbours' was the stand-out poem for me in the latest issue of Poetry News.

Sixteen

You weren’t the best-looking boy at school;
not the brightest or the funniest or in the First Fifteen.
You hated cliques. I’m not sure I even remember your name,
though it could have been Alex.. I remember plump lips,
long lashes my friends would have killed for;
a shock of black hair, gelled and spiked.
And I remember that windy September afternoon
we bunked off from Games and hid in the woods,
smoking and talking beneath the susurrus of turning leaves
until conversation lulled and you looked at me.
Roughly you pinned me against the trunk of the tree,
so close I could smell its sap, its bark biting my back
through my thin school blouse, streaking the white with green.
The surprise as your flesh sprang against my thigh,
your mouth covering mine as though saving my life.


(First published in Orbis #153)

Patricia Ace has been writing and publishing poetry for 20 years after she was encouraged in her writing by Philip Hobsbaum at Glasgow University. Her poems have been commended and placed in several national poetry competitions, including those run by Mslexia and Aesthetica magazines. Patricia’s pamphlet First Blood was published by HappenStance Press in 2006. In 2009 she was awarded a Distinction from Glasgow University for her Mlitt Creative Writing. Recent poems are appearing in The Shop, The Rialto, Gutter, Poetry News and the North. Her poem ‘Papa Joe’ won the Plough Poetry Prize in January this year and ‘Sixteen’ is currently featured, alongside her portrait, in photographer Chris Park’s exhibition, Dualism: Portraits & Poems at venues across central Scotland. Patricia lives in Crieff, Perthshire, with her partner and teenage daughter where she works as a yoga teacher.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Montale's 'Il Balcone'




This week I'm really pleased to be able to reproduce Ben Wilkinson's version of Eugenio Montale's short lyric 'Il Balcone'. The poem is a favourite of mine and one which I've tried translating before, though never as well as this.

The Balcony

after Eugenio Montale

Remember those nights I’d linger below
as you stood in the stars and we’d talk
of leaving, as if auditioning for the part
of Romeo and fluffing my lines as usual?

Now on the opposite side I lean smoking
and think on that handful of chances.
The latticework of some distant tower block
a chessboard that’s cleared after stalemate.

Somewhere beyond a long flight’s expanses
you spark a Zippo and light one up. Here
it starts raining as I hang in the moment,
turn towards this window’s squaring of dark.


© Ben Wilkinson, reproduced by permission of the poet

Ben Wilkinson was born in Stafford, Staffordshire in 1985. He read English and Philosophy at the University of Sheffield, and was awarded an MA in Writing from Sheffield Hallam University. His pamphlet of poems, The Sparks, was published as part of tall-lighthouse’s Pilot series. He regularly reviews new poetry for the Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement, and he was shortlisted for the Picador Poetry Prize. He lives and works in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Matthew Stewart's 'Inventing Truth'



Extranjero

Ten years on and perfection's lost
its distant lustre. My accent

seeps away. Every few minutes
I let some vowels tug me back home,

back towards the cadence of who
I am or was or was and am.


'Inventing Truth' is available from HappenStance Press. Matthew Stewart also blogs at Rogue Strands.