Sunday, 23 November 2014

The Material Word

The open day at The Poetry Library in London earlier this month had 'The Material Word' as a theme. As part of the event, a selection of works that challenged the boundaries of poetry were on display.

10 Sentences by Ian Hamilton Finlay

Great cover design for A Valentine for Noel by Emmett Williams

M : Writings '67 - '72 by John Cage
(which eerily fell open at this page:
'We're in a confusion of / books. Bonfire?')

 From the Private Tutor series, invented by Simon Cutts and operational between 1967 and 1970. (Good news: the whole series will be digitally available on the Poetry Library's online magazines' website from 1 December 2014. See

Thanks to poets and library staff Chris McCabe and Saradha Soobrayen for including How To Say 'I Love You' In Greenlandic in the display in both the fine press and small press editions. It was good to see visitors able to handle both works during the day.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Terrain Nonfiction Prize

Sketch of snow crystal by René Descartes

The Library of Ice, my essay on ice cores and human readings of frozen water, has been awarded the Terrain Nonfiction Prize for 2014. The Library of Ice can be read online at

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Oxford and Greenland are Closer than they Appear

The Literary and Philosophical Society in Newcastle upon Tyne is always full of good things. On a recent visit I was glad to discover the World Prefix Map (hanging on the wall behind the scenes in the Bindery, where I was being supplied with tea and biscuits). The map - which at a guess comes from the 1970s - shows that Greenland, in 'the new Worldwide Amateur Location System', has the Prefix OX, my current UK postcode. And Oxford, confusingly, is given the prefix G.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Proverbs of Water

My sequence Proverbs of Water is featured in The Rising of the Waters, the latest journal from Dark Mountain. I'll be reading the poem at the launch on 3 December at Free Word Centre, London. Meanwhile, you can get a taste of the editorial here.