Sunday 23 December 2012

Highly Recommended this week

A week of links, essays, and ideas which may interest the literary community:

Sunday 16th: Donald Hall on what he has learned from a lifetime of poetry readings.

Monday 17th:  Theo Dorgan and the World Irish Community - with a message to the extended Irish community for the holiday season:

Tuesday 18th: Umit Singh Dhuga announced his policy on FB courtesy for The Battersea Review

 The particular post is given in full here: 

From The Battersea Review:
Please forgive me, as publisher and managing editor, to note (as though such a simple thing should need noting) that The Battersea Review neither engages in nor has much tolerance for myopia of any sort: if any writer out there feels resentment, then one ought to consider one's reasons intrinsic not extrinsic. That is my polite manner of imploring putative writers to visit a therapist before visiting and sullying the Facebook walls of others. Berate me all you wish, please, which I say with no degree of flippancy; but do not please turn your not quite risible derision nor acrimony upon my contributors. Now, why should I make such a statement as this? English phlegm customarily brings me a shrug of the shoulders and silence. However. Recent slanders against several of our authors worry me. I have put my money where my mouth is, to be perfectly blunt, in offering a magazine which costs my readers not one penny. The late Frederick Morgan of The Hudson Review, where I wrote a quarterly Music Chronical for several years, did well to teach me the value of loyalty and editorial honour. (If words such as loyalty and honour catalyse your allergens, then please think back on so simple a word as manners.) We at TBR strive to offer--again, gratis--the best poetry and the best critical prose which we can gather. Please do not abuse the gratis platform which I have hoped to offer as a means for unfettered ad hominem attacks. If you have something denigrating to say about our rosters, our works, our identity, what have you--please say so to me, and do not deface the faceboook walls and email boxes of contributors with vitriol. If your character has proclivity toward abuse, then by all means hurl your abuse toward me. Leave alone the generous writers who have made my vision for this magazine possible: viz., a vision which entails after my overhead no payment from readers and no payment for writers. Please refrain from abusing such a system as this which deemphasises the commodification of letters, broadly construed. And again, please do feel free to litter my mailbox with abuse: but leave alone the thoughtful writers who have helped me to actualise the idea of a literary quarterly which operates on trust, honour, and intelligent respect. If those terms strike you as unfashionable, then you have only me to blame. It is nonsense to think that we are entering the year 2013 and I am finding anti-Semitic sputterings so wantonly scattered.
Sincerely, USD

Wednesday 19th:  A sample of one of the many interesting ezines functioning today:

Thursday 20th:  John W. Sexton opened a debate on the role of Poetry Ireland Review - which we hope will eventually provide more light than heat.

John W. Sexton:

As a reader and subscriber to Poetry Ireland Review I find that in all good conscience I cannot possibly promote it. The current issue is far too full of reprints and this is a trend continued by the current editor since his tenure began. As a poet who spends the little he has on new collections and journals I simply do not appreciate opening a new issue of a journal to discover poetry I have already seen and own. Reprinting poetry is the remit of the anthologies and is not the duty of a so-called “journal of record”. The duty of a journal of record is to record the poetries and approaches currently unpublished.

I am an avid reader of poetry in translation, but I make the same demands of it as I would of poetry in my first language. There are far too many pages of translated drivel in this issue. It takes space away from Irish poets who need this journal as a recording agency of the work currently done in Irish poetry. Many of the translations here do not earn their place.

The work in this current issue, sadly, is all of one register and fairly poor. It does not represent the multiplicity of approaches to poetry currently undertaken in this island. I know this because I’m reading widely in Irish poetry.

Many Irish poets, myself included, are receiving rejections to our submissions more or less on the same day. If I would to be cynical I’d say this is the “office day”. I have become cynical. The truth is, and this is irrefutable on the obvious evidence of the current editor’s four issues, that our submissions cannot possibly compete for space with reprints and already commissioned work. If there is no space for our work then do the honourable thing and close the submissions. You must get your house in order. Poetry Ireland Review does not represent the work carried out in poetry in this island. Do not think for one moment that it does. And, lest I am accused of being a poor poet, other Irish journals of quality have no problem taking my work, no matter how left-field I may currently be.

My subscription runs out with this issue. I will be renewing it sometime in the New Year because I believe in supporting my craft with my meagre pocket. But I sincerely hope this journal opens up and widens its remit. If not, it will choke Irish poetry and render it irrelevant. Most of the current issue is irrelevant.

Friday 21st: Neil Patrick Doherty sent us information on this new translation of A Long Day's Evening by Turkish Modernist, Bilge Karasu. 'This remarkable book considers agonizing internal struggles of faith among eighth-century Byzantine monks through the refracted, internalized prose of Joyce and Proust, giving them startlingly raw existential urgency.'

With an introduction and excerpt from the novel.

Saturday 22nd: Poet John Ashberry: reading some of his work:

Sunday 23rd: The poet Linda Ibbotson sent us this: