I wrote something heartfelt about the process of marking a poetry exam, over on Vulpes Libris.
This is the prequel, or preceding companion to Maxwell's fantasy creative writing course Drinks With Dead Poets, in which Maxwell writes urgent, obstreperous essays about how to read, write and think about poetry. On Poetry feels like a book written for practitioners at all levels. It’s certainly a hugely useful teaching book, full of admonitions and exasperated noises, … Continue reading On Poetry, by Glyn Maxwell
In this entry for The 1951 Club, I reread The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, edited by Iona and Peter Opie. I love excavating the history behind the relics of history cast up as sayings and idioms, and as nursery rhymes. When I was little, reading the Puffin nursery rhymes book that I still own, … Continue reading The 1951 Club: Meet the Opies
Warning: part-way through this novel about the author teaching poetry and drinking with Keats and Walt Whitman, I realised that it’s a sequel, of sorts. I’ve now got a copy of it, Maxwell’s On Poetry, but I haven’t read it yet. So I might have missed something in this review. Bear with me. Glyn … Continue reading Glyn Maxwell Drinks With Dead Poets
As regular readers will recall, I bought this book on spec before Christmas from a wily book catalogue. Reading it - it is a long essay on why people hate poetry - is an unfolding sequence of stimulants, a nuggetty book about what poetry is and does, from the perspective of those who hate it. Lerner, … Continue reading When is poetry bad? Ben Lerner’s The Hatred of Poetry
By the time you read this, I hope to be in Hawai'i (actually Kauai). This is a major splashout holiday, for a particular reason. It's halfway across the planet from my home, but it's also halfway between where my siblings live, and the Christmas holiday is conveniently close to a significant birthday that they will be celebrating … Continue reading What I hope to read at Christmas
This podcast scripts recap from Really Like This Book is a demure and joyous novel that begins by looking up a curate's trouser legs, Barbara Pym’s first novel, Some Tame Gazelle (1950). The middle-aged Belinda Bede lives with her younger sister Harriet in a comfortable house at the heart of English village and parish life. They … Continue reading Barbara Pym’s Some Tame Gazelle