As my contribution to a collection of essays called Placing Poetry, edited by the poets Zoë Skoulding and Ian Davidson, I have written a piece on the poetry of John Barnie ('In/human Place: The Poetry of John Barnie'), which deals with the ways in which a range of Barnie's writing engages with ideas of land and environment. Apart from a short section on his 2003 book The City in Peter Barry's study Contemporary British Poetry and the City (MUP, 2000), this will be the first extended analysis of John's work. (Let me know if I'm wrong, please!) Placing Poetry is to be published by Rodopi, and is scheduled to appear in 2012.
For anyone who has been living under a rock and doesn't know, John Barnie is 'one of Wales's most distinguished and respected literary figures' (to quote the highly apposite back-cover notes of his 2009 Gomer volume, Tales of the Shopocracy).
Certainly my best-looking bit of work to date, New Welsh Review (issue 91, spring 2011) has just published my essay on Leslie Norris's book of love poetry A Harvest of Love. Unsurprisingly, the essay is simply called 'On Love'. (Thanks to editor Kathryn Gray for that excellent title suggestion.)
The main visual attraction of the piece is the selection of reproductions from the book itself, which appeared from the wonderful Tryst Press (of Provo, Utah), in 2003, as a private printing for Norris's family and friends. My particular thanks are due to New Welsh Review's design team, who have presented these visuals especially well, giving them a full page each.
Issue 91 is editor Kathryn Gray's final number in charge. It is very sad to see her go, but she leaves one of Wales's most important cultural magazines in splendid shape. And I wish her all the very best for the future.
Soon to hit the shelves is a new issue of Poetry Wales, focusing on 'Poetry and the Visual'.
Alongside such big names as Dannie Abse, Peter Finch, David Greenslade, and Pascale Petit, I am delighted to be included with my essay 'Visual Poetics in Wales: A Note on Previous Engagements'.
Writing this piece was a particular pleasure: it gave me the chance both to correspond with a number of practitioners of visual poetics in Wales - including Alison Bielski, Peter Finch, Philip Jenkins, and J. P. Ward - and to re-print some classic visual poems from the late 1960s/early 1970s.
Further to my earlier post about Slanderous Tongues, Daniel Williams has kindly sent me the cover-image for the book. So here it is...
Daniel Williams's edited collection of essays, Slanderous Tongues: Essays on Welsh Poetry in English 1970-2005 (Seren), will be launched at the 2010 conference of the Association for Welsh Writing in English. The conference takes place at Gregynog from 26-28 March 2010, with the launch itself starting at 6pm on the 26th.
The collection contains my long essay 'Repositioning Wales: Poetry after the Second Flowering' which attempts to chart lines of development though Wales's Anglophone poetry over the past 40 years or so.