Saturday, 29 December 2012

Reading List 2012


The Haiku Anthology, ed. Cor Van Den Heuvel (contd; reread)
The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, & Issa, ed. Robert Hass
Not In These Shoes, Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch (reread)
The Dog in the Sky, Helen Ivory
A Halfway House, Neil Powell
Selected Poems, Christopher Reid
Katerina Brac, Christopher Reid (reread)
Black Cat Bone, John Burnside


Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney, ed. Dennis O’Driscoll
View with A Grain of Sand: Selected Poems, Wislawa Szymborska (reread)
Zone Journals, Charles Wright (reread)
The Water Table, Philip Gross
For and After, Christopher Reid
Death of a Naturalist, Seamus Heaney (reread)
Door into the Dark, Seamus Heaney (reread)
Wintering Out, Seamus Heaney (reread)
North, Seamus Heaney (reread)
Field Work, Seamus Heaney (reread)
Station Island, Seamus Heaney (reread)
The Haw Lantern, Seamus Heaney (reread)
Seeing Things, Seamus Heaney (reread)


Seeing Things, Seamus Heaney (contd; reread)
The Spirit Level, Seamus Heaney (reread)
Electric Light, Seamus Heaney (reread)
District and Circle, Seamus Heaney (reread)
Human Chain, Seamus Heaney (reread)
Domestic Violence, Eavan Boland
Second Space, Czeslaw Milosz
Black Cat Bone, John Burnside (reread)
The Really Short Poems, A. R. Ammons
This, Czeslaw Milosz
The Monster Loves His Labyrinth: Notebooks, Charles Simic
Poetry Review (Spring 2012), ed. Fiona Sampson 


The Monster Loves His Labyrinth: Notebooks, Charles Simic (re-read)
Sidereal, Rachael Boast (x2)
The Dark Film, Paul Farley (x2)
Nights in the Iron Hotel, Michael Hofmann


Nothing Special: Living Zen, Charlotte Joko Beck
Small Hours, Lachlan Mackinnon
Poems: Eugenio Montale, ed. Harry Thomas, trans. various (re-read)
Notebooks, Anton Chekhov
Acrimony, Michael Hofmann (re-read)
Corona, Corona, Michael Hofmann (re-read)
Approximately Nowhere, Michael Hofmann (re-read)
The Eternal Ones of the Dreams: Selected Poems 1990-2010, James Tate


Modern European Poetry, ed. & trans. various (Bantam)
The Second Life of Art: Selected Essays of Eugenio Montale, ed. & trans. J. Galassi
Satires and Epistles, Horace and Persius, trans. Niall Rudd
The Faber Book of 20th-Century Italian Poems, ed. Jamie McKendrick, trans. various (re-read)
Selected Poems, Franco Fortini, trans. Paul Lawton
130 Poems, Jean Follain, trans. Christopher Middleton (x2)
Selected Poems, Attilio Bertolucci, trans. Charles Tomlinson
Poetry Review (Summer 2012), ed. George Szirtes


Songbook: The Selected Poems of Umberto Saba, trans. Leonard Nathan
Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry, Robert Hass
Yet There Is Music: 1939-1948, Vladimir Holan, trans. Josef Tomas (unreadable)
130 Poems, Jean Follain, trans. Christopher Middleton (re-read)
The Haiku Anthology, ed. Cor Van Den Heuvel (re-read)
The Shuttered Eye, Julia Copus


The World’s Two Smallest Humans, Julia Copus
The Haiku Anthology, ed. Cor Van Den Heuvel (contd; re-read)
Grace, Esther Morgan
In the Flesh, Adam O’Riordan
Portrait of my Lover as a Horse, Selima Hill
Collected Poems, R. F. Langley
Farmers Cross, Bernard O’Donoghue
Six Children, Mark Ford
What the Water Gave Me, Pascale Petit
Taller When Prone, Les Murray
Maggot, Paul Muldoon


Across the Land and the Water: Selected Poems, 1964-2001, W. G. Sebald
The Faber Book of 20th Century German Poems, ed. The Hofmeister
Lucky Day, Richard Price
Passing Through: The Later Poems: New and Selected, Stanley Kunitz
The Best American Poetry 1990, ed. Jorie Graham


New and Selected Poems, Michael Ryan
PLACE, Jorie Graham
Poetry Review (Autumn 2012), ed. Charles Boyle
Out There, Jamie McKendrick
November, Sean O’Brien
How Snow Falls, Craig Raine
The Best American Poetry 2009, ed. David Wagoner


They Came to See a Poet: Selected Poems, Tadeusz Rozewicz, trans. A. Czerniaweski
Straw for the Fire: from the Notebooks of Theodore Roethke, ed. David Wagoner
The Snow Watcher, Chase Twichell
Experience: A Memoir, Martin Amis


Collected Poems, Jane Kenyon (re-read)
The Best American Poetry 1995, ed. Richard Howard
Astonishment, Anne Stevenson
Poetry Review (Winter 2012), ed. Bernardine Evaristo 

Sunday, 21 October 2012

New Next Generation Poet

At the age of just five, Arlo Giovanni Butler (A.G., as his friends call him) is the youngest of the New Next Generation Poets. Butler won the National Poetry Competition while many of his contemporaries were still struggling with phonemes and secured a publisher for his first collection before finishing prep school.

After graduating from UEA at the age of eight, he relocated to East London where he established the capital's premier spoken word club night which attracts edgy outsiders, hip mainstreamers and not a few bebrogued hangers-on who, when their friends aren't looking, will passionately explain that poetry is cool because it is 'free from the logic of capital'. Comparisons with the New York School of poets aren't entirely undeserved since, in the words of another commentator, 'they sometimes seem only interested in each other.'

Once active online, Butler explains he stopped engaging with social networking systems after winning the T.S.Eliot prize for his second collection because his life was becoming 'info-saturated'. He hopes, however, that fans of his work will tolerate his recent excursus into musical composition, working in collaboration with the American minimalist maestro Steve Reich whose post-tonal style Butler says he fell in love with the first time he heard it inside his mother's womb.

Ladbrokes has given the young wordsmith odds of 10/1 to win the Nobel prize for literature before his twenty-first birthday. His third collection is due out from Faber on Monday.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Reviews of 'Spring Journal'

Two more reviews: David Morley in the current issue of Poetry Review (ed. Charles Boyle) and Matthew Stewart at Rogue Strands.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

'Waiting for the Sky to Fall' Reviewed

Really pleased to discover my first collection with Waterloo Press 'Waiting for the Sky to Fall' has received another enthusiastic review, this time by Steve Spence in Stride Magazine (click to link). Copies are still available from the Waterloo Press website.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Quote for the Day: Seidel

'I will say that learning how to write has to do in part with learning how to accede to yourself and your object, instead of writing what you think you ought to write, or what at that point in time the world thinks poetry is about. Or what you think you ought to be about. The moment comes, if it ever comes, when you have enough strength to give way, to give in to being who you are, to give in to your themes. Giving in to your obsessions, giving in to the things that you will be writing about over and over. And sometimes the things you’ll be writing about over and over are things that some people don’t find very nice.'

Frederick Seidel, Paris Review Interview No. 95

Monday, 9 July 2012

Thanks to Peter Daniels for the second review of my pamphlet 'Spring Journal' in the latest issue of 'The Bow-Wow Shop'.

Before reading that, though, you should head over to Christian Ward's blog to read some really enjoyable poems.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Thanks to Claire Trevien for drawing my attention to Angela Topping's review of my Rack Press pamphlet 'Spring Journal' which has now been published online in Sabotage Reviews.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Bloomsday Poem

Ok, so you're all Joyced out but I've just remembered this I wrote after I last read 'Ulysses' in 2001 when I was living in the North Laines in Brighton. It's absolute rubbish, I know, and deservedly unpublished, but I like it for the fact that it shows I was willing to experiment a little with the style of poetry I was writing back then, and I share it in the spirit of celebrating all things - high and low - Joycean.

Just Nipping Out

Rain in the air. Face. Cobbles wet.
Who’s that? Hannah? No.
Girl at school, left bike in her garage.
Brother friends with her brother,
listened to ska music together.

Three saffron rice for price of two.
Poor quality olive oil.
Wouldn’t sell their best, would they.
Perugina. Perugia. Bought selected
William Blake there. Simple in Italian.

Closed. That aloof young guy
unpacking boxes, putting books out.
O well. Bit cloudy for sunglasses.
Great rack. Tight T-shirt.
Wonder about her boyfriend.

Could buy body lotion for Jane.
What was it: camomile or aloe vera?
Home soon. Bread shop closing.
Always nervous entering this one.
Unwelcoming. Overprice their poetry.

Belonged to dead people mostly.
Stand here till rain passes.
Thought Rutger Kopland was Danish.
Big feet. Should’ve brought coat.
Eased up. Doesn’t matter anyway.

Watch out! One-way street. Twat.
Nothing much up here. Probably is.
Walking faster now. Blue door.
Currant buns under grill.
Smell of toasted cinnamon. Umber.

16 June, 2001

©2012 Dan Wyke

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Jubilee Poem

The First Taste of Freedom

For background there’s unbroken blue sky
draped with red, white and blue bunting.
A trestle table stretches the length
of the cul-de-sac, which is unusual,

but somehow fits in with the adults
hobbling, legs tied, on the playing field.
We’re all suntanned and freckled,
except Jeffrey, who’s darker,

and whose parents have stayed at home.
We haven’t even heard of heavy traffic,
but we know the rest of the world
is celebrating the Jubilee.

He takes a piece of cake out of the flag,
chews it, and pretends to be sick.
Someone’s mum shouts, Don’t do that!
He splurts, It tastes of shit, the Union Jack.

From 'Waiting for the Sky to Fall', Waterloo Press, 2010.

©2012 Dan Wyke

Saturday, 28 April 2012


The Carol Ann Duffy-led project 'Sixty Years in Poems' in which poets recall a year in verse, published in yesterday's online Guardian (always with 'the leading poets'), reminded me of this piece of juvenilia written years ago obviously with the help of a history book to commemorate my birth-year.


Vietnam; Cambodia;
Paris Peace – premature;
Picasso dies; Auden after;
Greek Coup; Yom Kippur.

Oil Crisis; Cod War;
Gary Glitter; The Exorcist;
Jimmy Osmond; Roger Moore;
Princess Anne weds Cpt. Phillips.

Joe Bugner; Watergate;
Gulag Archipelago; I.R.A.;
Edward Heath; V.A.T.;
Allende shot by Pinochet.

Ulster Strike; Mainland Bomb;
Internment; Dad’s sperm;
Daniel – Elton John;
Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em.

©2012 Dan Wyke

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

List of UK Poetry Magazines Accepting Email Submissions

Well, it's a start. I'll add others as and when I hear about them. Check back from time to time and please send me the names of any literary/poetry magazines and journals that accept email submissions that you know about.

Many magazines still prefer postal submissions and will get pretty pissed off if you email them so check before.

Some magazines on the list that accept email contributions also operate submission windows.




New Walk Magazine

New Welsh Review

Other Poetry


The Wolf

Agenda (trial period)


The Cadaverine (under 30)

If you're submitting to U.S. journals, Blogalicious has an extensive list that accepts online submissions.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012


Here's something I wrote after visiting Dungeness on 8th February last year to mark the Centenary of Elizabeth Bishop's birth.


I think the people live here because the stone has managed to flower, and the way the land and sea and sky form a continuum vaster than the eye can encompass, must allow them to see themselves and each other more clearly. If one were Elizabeth Bishop, one would probably think of the line ‘awful but cheerful’.

Scattered over the treeless pebbly flat are dozens of hammered-together temporary-looking bungalows, shell-coloured, hugging the ground, with washing-lines flapping bright loads, and the odd stoved-in, upturned hull.

Perhaps as a gesture of solidarity, there are no walls or fences or boundary marks of any sort: only patches of strange, tenacious flora growing against the odds in shingle stretching from door to door: sea kale and sea cabbage, dwarf broom and dwarf hawthorn, twisted and stunted by the unrelenting wind.

Above the steep shore ridge, bony fishing-boats blister, waiting for the waves below to cease white-cresting in every direction. Around them, the litter from previous expeditions: smacked- off fish heads, crab legs, scraped-empty crustaceans, broken winches, frayed rope, yards of tar-sticky net, punctured buoys, unpaired shoes, a disemboweled mattress, a gaping fridge digesting cartons printed in another language.

Under the stern of the Emma Jayne, a charred hollow of black and red pebbles shows how the earliest rising fisherman thought to warm himself and his crew. Further along, yellow toy diggers attempt to redistribute ever-accumulating deposits of long shore-drift in a Sisyphean cycle of toil. Sometimes a matchstick couple can be seen bending their will against the sky-line, oversize gulls wheeling hungrily overhead in the bruised light.

On the hazy horizon the ominously mute power station, the size of a small city, steams in its warm emissions. From there, long, drooping cables radiate like the lines of a railway junction, throbbing above the reedy, disused gravel pits.

Silence has descended on everyone here like radioactive fallout: a contagious reticence. After a short stay you feel it enter and explode softly like a depth charge, its disturbance travelling outward with you when you go: alive and sometimes flourishing, like the beautiful outbursts of lichen rooted in the scarred rocks.

©2012 Dan Wyke

Monday, 16 January 2012

Haiku: Unopened Letters

Unopened letters
on the floor in the hallway
all afternoon.


A cold wind is scattering
the cherry blossom –
young newlyweds.


Black knickers
flat in the dirt
in the middle of the road.


running all over
a pile of dogshit.



on a pile of dogshit.


on our bedroom ceiling
all summer.


Unable to remember
the word for squid
in Italian.


Cold night –
the warmth of my wife’s
sleeping body.


bare branch
two crows


Lonely night –
enjoying the sound
of my own farts.


Glimpsed from a train,
an old woman
in a blue dressing gown.


Winter sunlight,
long shadows
in the graveyard.


Keeping me awake
at night –


gulls gather
on the shoreline.


Even on my sickbed
I am full of gratitude
for the way.


Forgetting about the haiku
I can’t remember,
two more occur.


Old-looking homeless guy
having a smoke
on a sunny bench.


A young woman
looks down at her breasts
while talking on the phone.


The puttanesca sauce burns
to the bottom of the pan –
reading haiku.


A crow shuffles along
the branch to make room
for another crow.


The anniversary
of my mother’s death –
first whiff of spring.


Brushing my teeth
hard and fast –
regretting something I said.


Pissing in the night,
through the open window.


Go back to sleep, little bird!


out of a window –


Pink dawn –
who doesn’t
feel torn?


Overheard on a train:

Blue sky,
white fields –
the cold!


Moonlight slanting through
slatted blinds,
cat moon-bathing on the bed.

©2012 Dan Wyke

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Haiku: Christmas Presents

Here is a selection of haiku written over the holiday period, including the ground-breaking 'dogging haiku' that was deemed too risque for publication by the British Haiku Society.

Christmas Presents

Cold dawn…
a car engine starting
sends gulls screeching.


with the same face as me
seconds before we hit it


How lonely
outside the furniture shop
our old sofa.


late home
the moon
the evening star


Dawn stillness…
a heron practicing yoga
by the river


Finishing the address,
my father tears a page
out of his notebook.


December cremation:
my grandmother’s ashes
settle on the windscreen.


My daughter
plucks a pink rose
from the wreath.


My wife walks
across our bedroom,
unties her nightgown.


Up before everyone –
catching the first haiku
of the day


Winter dawn…
the postman’s red fingers
squeezing envelopes.


Christmas Eve:
Mrs Claus on all fours
in the Asda car park.


Christmas presents:
stripy socks;
a different outlook.


Boxing Day walk –
a strip of light
along the horizon.


Saying goodbye
to my brother –
his straight back.


Visiting relations;
the Christmas tree unlit
in our front room.


New Year’s Day –
same face
in the mirror.


January –
how dark the front room
without a Christmas tree.


Rain at the windows…
sharing the room
with silence.


I drill another hole
for the smell
of burnt wood.


cutting out one by one –
July evening.


As the sun goes in
swimmers appear
in the water.


hire car
beach-towels on the window shelf
the heat

©2012 Dan Wyke