|In this newsletter…PN Review 260Gladstone’s Residency ShortlistPolari Prize ShortlistJason Allen-Paisant InterviewBook LaunchesCaribbean Reading Room|
Red Data List of Threatened British Fungi: Mainly Smuts
Smut, lie down with me in annual meadow grass that tickles
our pelts. Smut, be barley covered and reeking of beer,
a bearberry redleaf prim on each pinkish part. Smut, with your bedstraw hair,
bestow no interloper a bird’s eye view. My promise, a primrose
with its fairy caretaker that no bog asphodel, no bone-breaker
will I brook, smut. As a chick weeds out a worm, I will weed out
all burrowing doubts, all jealousies, all winter green looks
on our love, smut, which would shrivel us, smut. Smut, be not false.
This oat-grass ring, I twine about your finger, smut.
Think of me when a foxtail, smut, lifts to expose a gland,
stinking of March violets, to deceive you, smut.
They’d have you frogbit, smut, back in the pond where you
were spawned, mounted and belly grasped. Glaucus sedge creeps
in damp ditches, smut. Weep for such green hell bore away
with earth’s daughter, smut. Loose your hair. See how sedge flowers in spikelets,
smut, and love always pricks. Lie down with me in meadow grass that tickles
our pelts. Revel in mudwort, smut. I could call you close to Limosella, smut,
cloaked in tiny white stars, a northern bilberry redleaf prim on each pinkish part.
Passion marks us, smut, with a purple small-reed stripe, smut.
My rare spring sedge, smut, tender as fresh shoots.
My reed canary-grass, smut, sensitive to noxious airs. Saxifrage smut,
I cannot help but repeat saxifrage smut, the brassy instrument of you played.
Sing of prickly yuletide, sea holly smut. They are small spored
with their white beaks, sedge smut, poking and prodding and stinking, smut.
They are not sweet – they confuse carnal with vernal, smut.
Damn the white beak-sedge, smut, worn by quacks as if we were plague, smut,
with their aromatic herbs, smut. What rare pathogens we are, smut.
What gall smut, to detest our dark teliospores. Yellow toadflax
on them all, the cowards that croak. Yellow toadflax on them all, smut.
By Lisa Kelly in PN Review 260.
PN Review 260
Edited by Michael Schmidt & John McAuliffe
The July-August 2021 issue
Major account by Poet of Europe Sinead Morrissey of her experiences in Gdansk, with reflections on the Belfast troubles among which she grew up
Sujata Bhatt breaks a long poetic silence with a suite of new poems
Rory Waterman and Poetry London editor Andre Naffis-Sahely converse, and sparks fly
Caitlion Stobie’s amazing tribute to Tony Harrison’s V, a new poem entitled W, bridges the gap between his politics and ours
New to PN Review this issue: Padraig Regan, Jordi Sarsanedas, and Kare Caoimhe Arthur
Read a section of the Editorial from PNR 260 below, and the rest here.On 14 June 1986 – just over a quarter of a century ago – the Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges died in Geneva. He is a figure who has haunted PN Review since it took its first steps as Poetry Nation I. He remains with us, his poems and fictions reviving their more than enigmatic ironies.A sonnet from 1964 entitled ‘Un Poeta del Siglo XIII’ (‘A Poet of the Thirteenth Century’) sees the poet looking through the crumpled drafts of his poem. It is about to become the very first, as yet unrecognised, sonnet. In his drafts Borges’ poet has mixed quatrains and tercets, not yet quite regular. He labours on a further draft, then hesitates:‘Acaso le ha llegado
del porvenir y de su horror sagrado
un rumor de remotos ruiseñores.’Perhaps he has sensed, says the poem, radiating from the future, ‘a rumour of far-off nightingales’. Of things to come, a suggestion of a new form and maybe (a step beyond it) of impending clichés.Read PN Review onlineRebecca Watts
Gladstone’s Residency Shortlist
Congratulations to Rebecca Watts, who has been shortlisted for the prestigious Gladstone’s Library Residency next year, with her second collection, Red Gloves!
The award is now in its eleventh year. Final judging will take place on 4th October, and winning authors will be offered a residency extending up to a month at Gladstone’s Library. To see the full shortlist and learn more, visit the library’s website here.
Learn moreCaroline Bird
Polari Prize Shortlist
Congratulations to Caroline Bird, who has been shortlisted for the Polari Prize, with her wonderful collection, The Air Year!
The Polari Prize was established in 2019 and awards an overall Book of the Year. It is open to writers at any stage of their career (except debuts). The 2019 prize was won by Andrew McMillan (Playtime) and the 2020 prize was won by Kate Davies (In At The Deep End) The Polari Prize is sponsored by D H H Literary Agency, with the winner receiving a cheque for £2,000.
The shortlist will be announced at an event in Heaven on July 28th with special guests Kate Davies, Keith Jarrett, Paul Mende, Golnoosh Nour. Tickets can be booked here.Learn moreJason Allen-Paisant
Interviewed in Spelt Magazine
Jason Allen-Paisant, whose debut collection, Thinking with Trees, was published in June, was recently interviewed by Spelt Magazine, and you can now enjoy the full interview on their website for free!
‘I go into Roundhay park a lot, just because of where I live. I live on the edge of the park. I go into the park and I go into the woods. My favourite part is the woodland sections. Because they remind me of woodlands that I knew growing up. I go into the woods, the woodland because they’re quieter. I’m not hearing engines of cars. It’s a different kind of sound. You hear trees swaying, you hear rippling, the rippling of water, you hear streams, you hear twigs falling, those sounds are nature sounds, birds. That sense of connection is important with the world, you know, with the natural world. It’s a way out of the humdrum of the everyday as well, which can be so stressful. And it can be aggressive as well.’ – Jason Allen-PaisantRead the full interviewUpcoming Book Launches
Thank you for supporting our recent launches – we really enjoyed celebrating Gregory Woods’ Records of an Incitement to Silence on Wednesday.
Do join us for our next launch on August 11th, when we’ll be launching Parwana Fayyaz’s Forty Names with Professor Adrian Poole.
And this week we’re delighted to announce another launch, planned for September 1st, Lorna Goodison’s Mother Muse with Lee M. Jenkins.Go to our events pageCaribbean Poetry Sampler
Exact Editions Reading Room
For the next few weeks you can read three of our Caribbean poetry editions for free on Exact Editions! The books are:
Oracabessa by Lorna Goodison
Skin Can Hold by Vahni Capildeo
New Caribbean Poetry: An Anthology edited by Kei Miller
You can access our full Caribbean backlist here.Go to the Reading Roomand finally… listen to Mimi Khalvati on A Mouthful of Air podcastListen to Mimi Khalvati read the poem ‘Eggs’, from her collection Afterwardness, and discuss the poem with Mark McGuinness, on the podcast A Mouthful of Air.Listen to the podcast
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