I usually read a fair number of books at the same time – not simultaneously, you understand, because that would be physically impossible, not to mention silly. Anyway, I have a shelf of books I’m currently reading. I pick up the leftmost one, read some of it, move my bookmark, and replace it on the right. Then I pick up the next one and do the same. You following this so far? The method works just fine for poetry, because, frankly, reading a whole collection at one gulp is a bit indigestible.
So what’s on the Sunny Dunny bookshelf at the moment?
The Best American Poetry 2007. I’m interested to see if any of the controversy which has surrounded Heather McHugh’s guest editorship is justified. Just read the preliminaries so far.
The Skipper’s Daughter, by A P Reid. A 19th century novel, set in the local village of Aberlady (see earlier posts). My copy is a beatifully rebound copy (quarter-leather, gold-tooled, marbled paper covered boards, t.e.g.) given to me by Ian King of Diehard Publishers, who bound it himself.
Wallace Stevens: Opus Posthumous. A fascinating mix of poetry, prose pieces, aphorisms etc, which I bought on the strength of Katie’s blog.
W S Graham: New collected poems. Result of Matthew Sweeney’s Guardian Workshop.
O Benson & J Stangroom: Why truth matters. A philosophical work (my earlier research was epistemological, and I’m still interested).
Mario Petrucci: Flowers of Sulphur. Poetry. Excellent.
Nick Laird: On Purpose. Poetry. Not really getting into this one.
Richard Price: Greenfields. Poetry. Extremely good, and very interesting.
Blithe Spirit. Latest issue just arrived.
Poetry Review. Ditto.
Matthew Sweeney: Black Moon. Wonderful poetry.
Sean O’Brien: The Drowned Book. Ditto.
And the newest addition to the shelf, which arrived yesterday:
Barbara Smith: Kairos. Really looking forward to reading this Barbara, and many thanks for the inscription.
Getting ready for the Tyne & Esk Writers festival of writing today, which kicks off with four workshops this afternoon, followed by a quiz, a buffet, and in the evening the presentation of our Writer of the Year awards. Here’s a photo of the trophy, a piece of engraved glass by Alison Kinnaird. I’m insanely jealous of the winner – I want it!