Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Update on the Decent

I walked up to Easedale Tarn on one especially hot day the other week and found shallow pools with frogspawn dimpling the surface. Which is a way of saying that Spring has come to Grasmere, complete with lambs and daffs and some quite ridiculously glorious weather. The mornings are radiant and sultry though most afternoons about half twelve or one the sun slips off early and the rain rehearses its customary showers.

April is the coolest month, however, promising the new Luke Kennard book Migraine Hotel and the arrival of the poetry season to our little village. First up is Tomas Venclova and Ellen Hinsey on the 21st. It'll be held in St Oswald's Church as our old venue is being pawed at by diggers. Hinsey's two full collections The White Fire of Time and Update on the Descent have been a revelation for me over the past couple of days; forms which fuse aphorism, dialogue and transcript, a belief in language despite its flaws and shortcomings, and an overwhelming sense of urgency and importance. Audaciously ambitious and that's fine as far as I'm concerned. As Andrew said after seeing the books, "Not what I expected", which is a rather sad reflection on much that's out there.

Oh yeah... New issue of Warwick Review out now, in which I have a round-up review of poetry pamphlets, but if that's not enough reason for you to check it out there's also some lesser names: Peter Porter, George Szirtes and John Kinsella amongst many more.

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