You may or may not be familiar with my Lenten poetry challenge. I’m sharing a poem a day throughout Lent in lieu of actually giving up anything. Anyway – I believe Easter is when you can start indulging again. Spring arrives, new and tasty lambs are born, food grows, everyone is happy.
To stay on theme, I’m collating here as I go through my poetry exploration during Lent the anthologies that I don’t currently own, so I can easily rectify that fact when we get to Easter.
Please don’t assume I’m necessarily going to purchase the whole lot. I don’t know how long the list will get yet, I suspect it may be giant. Let’s find out!
Caroline Bird’s Watering Can
Dude, Bird published her first collection (Looking Through Letterboxes) when she was sixteen. Sixteen! This is her third collection.
Zoe Brigley’s Conquest
This is Zoe’s second collection, she studied and taught at Warwick with good friends of mine. I shared The Mourner earlier but might post more about it later with the help of my sister who knows more than me. About some things.
Zoe Brigley’s The Secret
Oh. Well. I guess it turns out I want her first collection too!
Robyn Bolan’s New Wings: Poems 1977-2007
You may have heard of Marion Lomax. This is a collection of her previous work, and some new, in her new name.
Philip Gross’ Deep Field
I’m fascinated at the thought of this book – it takes Gross’ father’s deafness and then aphasia as inspiration for his exploration of language.
Alice Oswald’s Memorial
Oswald describes this as a translation of the atmosphere of the Iliad, rather than its story: an Iliad of minor characters.
Jo Shapcott’s Her Book: Poems 1988-1998
This collects poems from three of Shapcott’s earlier collections. I can’t imagine why I don’t have any Jo Shapcott yet? Her most recent collection is Of Mutability.
Jane Draycott’s Pearl
A translation of the 14th century poem about a father’s loss of his daughter, from the same manuscript as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight which, actually, I also don’t have.
Eva Salzman’s Double Crossing
This is a “New & Collected” book, with fifteen years worth of poems spanning 170 pages. It sounds like (as you’d expect for its size) a varied book, encompassing ideas of doubles and twins (Salzman is one) and lots of music.
Vona Groarke’s Spindrift
I have previously shared some of Groarke’s poetry. And in doing so almost convinced myself I have this book. But I don’t.
Wendy Cope’s Family Values
Her newest. I like Cope, she’s sarcastic, clever and fun.
Claire Pollard’s Changeling
Susan Wicks’ House of Tongues
Ian Duhig’s Pandorama
I like Duhig, and have shared his poems twice before. This is his most recent collection.
Siân Hughes’ The Missing
Contains ‘The Send-Off’ which is child’s funeral poem, like the Paula Meehan one I shared, and won the 2006 Arvon Poetry Competition. She says “I simply liked writing very small, very clear stories.”
Katharine Towers’ The Floating Man
We can walk into woods and find / we are suddenly mortal. / The air has kept still for seasons / and we’ve no cause to speak // or to question this adequate moment / of moths, earth, light restrained by trees. / Let us not think we hear our own feet / treading the soft ash of leaves.
Moniza Alvi’s Split World: Poems 1990-2005
This collects poems from five of her previous books, so should be a good fell swoop as I enjoyed her Europa, and the copy of The Country at My Shoulder that I borrowed from the library.
John Burnside’s Black Cat Bone
Won the 2011 T S Eliot prize. I shared some here – it was dark. He likened the poems to tattoos – that is, referring obliquely to some sordid personal secret.
Jackie Kay’s Fiere
Kay’s most recent collection – a companion to her memoir Red Dust Road about her Scottish mum & dad, her Highlands birth mother and her Nigerian birth father – an exploration of family and heritage.
Jackie Kay’s Darling: New and Selected Poems
And this collects four of her previous books – unfortunately this includes Life Mask (the one I already have) and The Adoption Papers (which I have on loan from the Library), but it’s ok.
Matthew Welton’s ‘We Needed Coffee But…’
Actually has a 103 word long title. Oulipo-esque book that I’m really excited about! He talks about maths and restrictions and I love these things. Can’t wait!
Richard Meier’s Misadventure
I mainly want this because it contains a sequence on fatherhood, but it also has some lovely phrases – “paper-back-yellow Lab”, “How exactly the wind fits our faces”, “like five, ten / of the tiniest light-bulbs / ever manufactured, on.”
Kathleen Jamie’s Jizzen
‘Jizzen’ is old Scots for childbed – many of these poems are themed on birth and/or parenthood.
Kathryn Simmonds’ Sunday at the Skin Launderette
‘to love without restraint / this yellow leaf, this face, this universe / composed of passing colours, temporary shapes.’
Sean O’Brien’s Cousin Coat: Selected Poems
O’Brien more recently wrote The Drowned Book and November.
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