On the bookshelf

My bookshelf’s rather full just now, but it’s full of very interesting books, so when I’m not writing, or working on Calder Wood Press books, I’m enjoying reading.

I’m continuing my study of Chinese poets with the following:

  • The mountain poems of Meng Hao-Jan
  • The mountain poems of Hsieh Ling-yün [Xie Lingyun]
  • When I find you again it will be in mountains; poems of Chia Tao [Jia Dao]

The next one to read will probably be Su Tung-P’o [Su Dongpo], the great master poet of the Song Dynasty, around the time of the Norman Conquest. (I’m still finding it difficult to jump between Wade-Giles and Pinyin transliteration of poets’ names).

I’m also catching up with Forward short listees I hadn’t read before:

  • Jane Griffiths: Another country
  • Andrew Forster: Fear of Thunder
  • Simon Barraclough: Los Alamos non amour
  • Mick Imlah: The Lost Leader [this is terrific]
  • Jamie McKendrick: Crocodiles & Obelisks [just started reading, but it’s excellent]
  • Kathryn Simmonds: Sunday at the Skin Launderette [I like this one too]

I’ve just bought the new Salt title, Julia Bird’s Hannah and the monk, but I haven’t started reading it yet. And I’m almost finished: Andrew Greig’s Romanno Bridge – a fine thriller by a fine author, and Mandy Haggith’s Paper Trails, an examination of the world’s paper trade.

Quite a lot to get through, but I like reading poetry in short chunks, so I’ll take the leftmost book on the shelf, read some poems, then replace it on the right. Everything is read eventually, but it takes a wee while.

If I were a Forward judge, Mick Imlah would get it.


About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
This entry was posted in reading. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to On the bookshelf

  1. Rachel Fox says:

    Somebody else was writing Imlah’s praises the other day (Barbara, I think) so I will pick some up next time I’m looking and/or buying. Where should I start, oh gurus?

  2. Colin Will says:

    The Lost Leader is hard to describe, but I’ll have a go. He looks at Scottish history, Scottish myths and heroes, and writes of them in a chronological sequence. His language is extraordinary, yet ordinary. He’s not parodying the past with archaisms, nor patronising real historical figures. It’s as if they’re saying what they would say if they used 21st century English, with its idioms and terms. It’s not a translation of the past, but a look at the past with the language of the present. It’s very readable and I’m enjoying it hugely.

  3. Crafty Green Poet says:

    Talking of Chinese poets, I’m really enjoying Yang Lian’s Concentric Circles. To be read slowly and savoured.

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