Quantcast
Channel: Poetry | The Guardian
Mark channel Not-Safe-For-Work? cancel confirm NSFW Votes: (0 votes)
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel.
0

Memorial for Oscar Wilde's grave in Paris – archive, 12 February 1912

0
0

12 February 1912: Jacob Epstein is commissioned to design a memorial for the Irish author’s tomb in Père Lachaise cemetery

Related: Oscar Wilde's lipstick-covered Paris tomb to be protected

London, Sunday
A little more than two years ago, at the dinner to Mr Robert Ross on the publication of the complete edition of Oscar Wilde’s works, it was announced that an anonymous donor had given a considerable sum for the erection of a memorial to Wilde over his grave in Père Lachaise, Paris, and that Mr J Epstein had been commissioned to carry out the work. The greatest expectation was aroused, for although little of Mr Epstein’s work has been publicly exhibited its appearance has always roused strong admiration and fluent condemnation, and his new work has been looked forward to with keen curiosity, for sculpture in England has not shown many signs of the returning vitality that is evident in architecture and painting. The monument is now almost completed, and Mr Epstein on Saturday gave me the privilege of seeing it.

Related: Oscar Wilde's refurbished tomb ends lip disservice

Continue reading...

Tom Gauld on a new age of poetry – cartoon

Love lines: the Book Illustration Competition longlist

0
0

This year’s prize from the Folio Society and House of Illustration called for images to accompany love poetry from Imtiaz Dharker, Emily Dickinson and John Donne. Here are the chosen entries, and the inspiring poems

Imtiaz Dharker

Above: Daniel Fernández (also known as Albert Victoria) studied in Madrid at Complutense University and Escuela Superior de Dibujo Profesional. He takes influences from 19th-century art and literature, popular culture and photography

Above: Yijing Li graduated from London College of Communications and specialises in children’s book and book illustration, for both UK and China-based publishers.

Above: Mikki Lee is a Korean American illustrator and a student of Art Center College of Design. Studio Ghibli films are responsible for her love of storytelling and she hopes her illustrations will send similar messages about environmentalism, pacifism, and feminism

Top left: Sophie Sarah Sitai Kehoe was born and raised in Brunei and comes from a diverse mixed lineage of both Asian and European cultures. Her artwork is deeply inspired by her fascinations with colours and textures

Top right: Yuzhen Cai is a freelance illustrator and animator living in London Originally from China, she moved to the UK to study at Camberwell College of Arts. She creates art in both digital and manual mediums, combining flat, bold colours with handmade textures. Yuzhen studying at the Royal College of Art

Middle left: Eva Münnich is an animator and illustrator based in London who favours vibrant colours, intriguing composition and appealing characters

Middle right: Zuza Miśko is a printmaker and illustrator based in Warsaw. After graduating from the Polish National Film School in Łódź, she worked for over a decade in advertising, animation and digital illustration. Her passion for print, pottery and textiles led her to experiment with traditional media including linocut prints and linocut illustrations

Bottom left: Leonie Woods graduated from the Chelsea College of Art in 1998. She currently lives and works in east London as a freelance illustrator specialising in photomontage illustration. Her work evolves from a process of layering found images and self-generated marks and textures using digital techniques

Bottom right: Greg McIndoe (Headless Greg) is an illustrator and design writer from Glasgow in his final year at Duncan of Jordanstone College in Dundee. Juxtaposing simplified forms with contemporary colour schemes, his design work is all about abstraction

Above: Kate Bird grew up in the West Midlands. She is currently a third-year illustration student at Birmingham City University. She particularly enjoys collage and watercolour

Above: Lidiia Sargsian is Belgorod, Russia who has had a passion for illustration, drawing and painting since childhood. Lidiia likes to experiment with traditional materials such as watercolour, pastel, charcoal and to combine this with digital graphic work

Top left: Jiachen Lin is an illustrator based in Bournemouth, who focuses on narratives inspired by women and the world around us. She is also passionate about studying the relationship between people and society

Top right: Jurgita Vasiliauskaite is studying at DJCAD, University of Dundee. Jurgita creates illustrations digitally but also has a keen interest for printmaking. She explores analogue collage inspired by powerful composition and colour interaction

Bottom left: Amita Sevellaraja is a Malaysian-born illustrator currently in her third year at Falmouth University. A lover of all things whimsical, her work is filled with emotion and drama, seen through her characteristic use of vivid colours, expressive strokes and atmospheric lighting

Bottom right: Anastasia Izlesou is a multidisciplinary illustrator and designer from the UK. Using a mix of digital and traditional media, she creates vibrant work full of bold natural elements. Her inspirations range from natural sciences, literature and folklore to everyday items and kitsch objects

Above: Marina Aleph grew up in a small town in the Urals, before moving to Yekaterinburg. Marina studied graphic design at the Ural State University of Architecture and Art

Above: Han is an illustration student at University of Arts London. She focuses on the story behind the painting, and its most important elements instead of drawing skills

Above: Ewa Wiktoria Malec is a Polish illustrator living and working in London. She studied fine art at the University of Bedfordshire and Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław

Above: Yukai Du is a London-based Chinese illustrator and animation director who graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2014. Her inspiration comes from impressionism’s dichotomy of layered lines and dots, combined with a love for brutalism’s simplistic geometric structures

Top left: Eleanor Hardiman is an illustrator and designer from Bristol, who paints all her illustrations in watercolour. Themes including sleep, dreams, femininity and identity are common in her work

Top right: Sophie Mildner is a German illustrator, based in Halle, who studied communication design with a focus on illustration at the Art University Burg Giebichenstein

Middle left: Sarah Perkins has been working as a collage artist since studying at Chelsea School of Art and Central St Martins 30 years ago. Initially working in analogue collage she now works digitally, layering with her own textures, painting and typography

Middle right: Siki (Siqi) Yuan is a Chinese visual artist based in London and Shanghai, studying at Camberwell College of Arts. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, she draws on her background in fashion design and illustration, to work across various media to examine aspects of personality and emotional expression

Bottom left: Manuel Šumberac was born in 1988 in Pula, Croatia. He obtained a masters in animation and new media from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, and makes animated films, music videos, and illustrations for children’s books and book covers

Bottom right: Georgina Smart is studying at the Arts University Bournemouth. Born and raised in Guernsey, she takes inspiration from her surroundings and is an aspiring writer, enjoying storytelling in all its forms

Continue reading...

Rural idyll where Ancient Mariner met Kubla Khan saved for nation

0
0
Mystery buyer is snapping up the home where Coleridge and Wordsworth composed some of their greatest works

The dilapidated Grade II West Country home where William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge created their joint masterpiece, Lyrical Ballads, has been saved at the 11th hour.

Alfoxton Park, a building judged by some scholars to be as important to English literature as Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon, is set to be sold to a new owner this spring, in Wordsworth’s 250th anniversary year, according to the property agent handling the deal.

Continue reading...

On my radar: Rafe Spall’s cultural highlights

0
0

The actor on the resilience of Lemn Sissay, Amy Schumer’s sidesplitting comedy and a fish stew to die for

Rafe Spall was born in Camberwell, south London, in March 1983. He joined the National Youth Theatre at 15 and despite rejection by Rada threw himself into an acting career, inspired in part by his father, Timothy. He has appeared in more than 50 films and TV shows, notably Edgar Wright’s Cornetto trilogy, Life of Pi, Black Mirror and the BBC’s The War of the Worlds.Spall is married to the actor Elize du Toit, with whom he has three children, and is starring in the one-man show Death of England at the National Theatre until 7 March.

Continue reading...

In brief: The Crying Book; Right After the Weather; The Lost Properties of Love – reviews

0
0
A personal story of tears, a novel of mid-life epiphanies and a memoir of grief and loss all enthral

Corsair, £14.99, 207pp

Continue reading...

The best books about new beginnings

0
0

Uplifting titles from Tara Westover’s memoir Educated to Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City offer escape and inspiration

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert has long been the hoary cliche of new starts, the story of a woman who apparently can’t find any decent Italian food in New York, but for my money it is not a patch on the best of that genre, Julia Child’s My Life in France, the memoir of how she wrote Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It is great on food, but even better on life, and accepting it just as it is. She finds joy everywhere, and it’s extremely hard not to fall in love with her.

If the weather is not behaving itself and you want to heat up a little, How Stella Got Her Groove Back by Terry McMillan is the sexy, sun-drenched story of a woman finding herself in the Caribbean with a handsome younger man, full of laughs and heart. You will also unfailingly be cheered by Elizabeth von Arnim’s absolutely gorgeous 1922 novel The Enchanted April, about a mismatched set of women spending a month together in Tuscany; it’s pure escapist heaven.

Continue reading...

Poem of the week: Bright is the Ring of Words by Robert Louis Stevenson

0
0

I was surprised how much impact this Victorian classic holds. An untarnished golden oldie? I think so

Bright is the ring of words
When the right man rings them,
Fair the fall of songs
When the singer sings them.
Still they are carolled and said –
On wings they are carried –
After the singer is dead
And the maker is buried.

Continue reading...

Leah Fritz obituary

0
0

My friend Leah Fritz, who has died aged 88, was an American writer known for her support of the civil rights, peace and feminist movements. In her two books, Thinking Like a Woman (1975) and Dreamers & Dealers (1980), she appraised the women’s movement and celebrated the work of the leading activists Andrea Dworkin and Susan Brownmiller.

When Leah retired with her husband, the artist Howard Fritz, to live in Britain in 1985, she moved her focus on to writing poetry. She soon became a well-known figure at poetry venues all over London, particularly at the Torriano Meeting House in Kentish Town, where she was still a regular visitor until a few months before her death.

Continue reading...

From rep to reps: can a 'Shakespeare gym' solve the crisis in verse-speaking?

0
0

The Royal Shakespeare Company has vowed to drill the Bard’s rhythms into its actors – but our alienation from his language runs deeper

‘Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue.” So says Hamlet to the players. But has his advice gone unheeded at a time when Shakespearean verse-speaking is widely held to be in decline? The RSC clearly thinks there is an issue as it has set up a Shakespeare “gym” in Stratford-upon-Avon to ensure, in the words of its artistic director Gregory Doran, “Everyone has the iambic pentameter in their bloodstream.” That’s a welcome trend, but I suspect the crisis goes deeper than that – and that classic texts are often regarded as alien, hostile territory.

Continue reading...

Northern accents, poetry and truth | Letters

0
0
Readers respond to poet Ian McMillan’s complaint about the lack of newsreaders with northern accents

Ian McMillan bemoans the fact that there are “no newsreaders with northern accents” (Not trusted with t’autocue? Barnsley bard bewails bias on TV news, 18 February). Northerners and the north appear to have inherited this ostracisation from “the unruly Scots” – the latter having, in a broadcasting context, either stormed the BBC’s metropolitan bastion, or simply tholed their assizes. Viz the terse opening of Tom Leonard’s 60s poem Six O’Clock News: “this is thi / six a clock / news thi / man said n / thi reason / a talk wia / BBC accent / iz coz yi / widny wahnt / mi ti talk / aboot thi / trooth wia / voice lik / wanna yoo / scruff. if / a toktaboot / thi trooth / lik wanna yoo / scruff yi / widny thingk / it wuz troo…”

Leonard’s subtlety and irony are conveyed through his use of the very Glaswegian dialect he pretends to disdain. What chance of Ian McMillan, I’m sure happily familiar with the original, unearthing or instigating a northern follow-up as entertaining as it is sharp-edged?
Stewart Conn
Edinburgh

Continue reading...

Poetry book of the month: Wing by Matthew Francis – review

0
0

This shimmering new collection dissects the natural world with a wondering, meticulous eye

It is becoming harder to find modern poetry that is unequivocally at the service of nature. I am not sure why the ability to observe in an unmediated way – with the humility involved – is so often sidelined or treated as second-rate. Matthew Francis has earned the bouquets thrown his way – he has been nominated for the Forward prize a couple of times – but should be more vigorously championed.

His gifts are quiet but his name deserves to be broadcast loudly. Nature does not go out of fashion and we need poetry of this quality more than ever. Wing, his new collection, is a joy.

Continue reading...

William Oxley obituary

0
0

My friend William Oxley, who has died aged 80, was a prolific poet who, in addition to 31 poetry publications, produced numerous books of literary criticism, philosophy, fiction, plays and biography.

William’s poems appeared in numerous newspapers and journals, including the New York Times, the Scotsman, the Spectator and the Observer. His first volume of poems, The Dark Structures, was published in 1967 and his last, Walking Sequence and Other Poems, in 2015. The British Library acquired his poetic archive in 2014.

Continue reading...

Poem of the week: Daft Patter by Barry MacSweeney

0
0

The power of memory, for ever young, resounds in this late work by the a poet balancing the ‘literary’ and the vernacular

Daft Patter

If anyone knows about sullen loneliness, you do
Yet there’s a grin in the wind, heartless and cold
There’s dark in the darkness, beauty of streams
I low my beams to you, from tunnel to tunnel

Continue reading...

Rathbones Folio prize: Zadie Smith makes female-dominated shortlist

0
0

Eight books in contention for £30,000 award that has never been won by a woman include Zadie Smith’s story collection Grand Union and poet Fiona Benson’s Vertigo & Ghost

Zadie Smith and Forward prize winner Fiona Benson are among six female authors shortlisted for this year’s Rathbones Folio prize, which has not yet been won by a woman.

Set up in the wake of controversy around the 2011 Booker prize, which saw chair of judges Stella Rimington praising “readability” and books that “zip along”, to the dismay of parts of the literary establishment, the £30,000 prize rewards “the best work of literature of the year, regardless of form”. It has been won in the past by books including Raymond Antrobus’s poetry collection The Perseverance and Richard Lloyd Parry’s look at the aftermath of Japan’s 2011 disaster Ghosts of the Tsunami.

Continue reading...

Simon Armitage plans national 'headquarters' for poetry in Leeds

0
0

Poet laureate lays out ideas to give the country an official home for the practice, in line with other ‘national art forms’

The art world has the National Gallery; drama has the National Theatre. Now poet laureate Simon Armitage is putting plans in motion for a National Poetry Centre “headquarters” in Leeds.

The National Poetry Centre is intended to be a public space with an extensive poetry collection, several rehearsal and performances spaces, and a cafe, where literary events can be held, writers can exchange ideas, and visiting authors can stay. It is backed by Leeds city council, the University of Leeds and Leeds 2023 – a year-long celebration of arts and culture in the city.

Continue reading...

'I flip the male gaze on its head': the woman behind Cynthia Nixon's viral video

0
0

Claire Rothstein’s Be a Lady They Said is a fashion film for the #MeToo generation and an unflinching look at the impossible standards forced on women

Within six days of being posted on Vimeo and Instagram, the fashion film in which Cynthia Nixon reads a poem about the impossible standards imposed upon women had amassed 20m views around the world and been shared by Cara Delevingne, Dua Lipa and Madonna.

Going viral was one thing, but the Madge seal of approval is another – Claire Rothstein, the British photographer and publisher of the fashion magazine Girls Girls Girls, which is behind the Be a Lady They Said video, is “lying down and breathing” when I contact her. “We thought it might get a response, but it’s been completely mad,” she says.

Continue reading...

Rishi Sunak: reality check for a brand stirred up over a cuppa | Rebecca Nicholson

0
0
What with the chancellor’s brew-up and Simon Armitage’s new national poetry centre, Yorkshire is trending. As is Charlotte Awbery

Let’s call it a brew-haha. When Rishi Sunak tweeted a picture of himself “making tea for the team” as he prepared for his first budget as chancellor, he also whacked in a free and, by all accounts unexpected, endorsement of Yorkshire Tea.

Posing with a gigantic packet of teabags, plus six mugs, and a pot that clearly only holds about three cups’ worth, which made me suspect a potentially catastrophic “piss-weak” scenario was playing out in front of my eyes, he added: “Nothing like a good Yorkshire brew” – a little bonus track for his constituents.

Continue reading...

John Carey: ‘In my teens I fancied myself as a poet’

0
0

The outspoken critic on his new history of poetry, the relevance of authors’ private lives, and why he won’t be going to see the latest film version of Emma

The critic John Carey, 85, is emeritus Merton professor of English literature at Oxford University, where he taught for more than 40 years. He has written books about John Milton and John Donne as well as polemics against elitism in culture including What Good Are the Arts? (2005) His memoir The Unexpected Professor was an unexpected bestseller. His new book is A Little History of Poetry.

I imagine you’ve read just about everything, but were there poets you read for the first time for this book?
Oh yeah. Quite a lot. There were several I had meant to read and never got around to. Petrarch for example – though I have to say that he was a major disappointment. Also, I hadn’t read Pushkin, or Goethe really. Rilke, the German poet, I had just about touched on, I thought was wonderful. Baffling, but wonderful.

No teacher said anything at school that made me want to learn what they knew about, but poetry I found to be incredibly supportive

Related: The Unexpected Professor review – the puzzle of John Carey

Continue reading...

Scotland leads the way in celebrating poetry | Letter

0
0
After Simon Armitage proposed a UK poetry headquarters, Jerry Peyton points out that Scotland already has one, established by writer and activist Tessa Ransford

Simon Armitage proposes a UK poetry HQ (Laureate calls for UK to establish national ‘poetry headquarters’, 27 February). Scotland already has one: the Scottish Poetry Library. Founded by the formidable poet and organiser Tessa Ransford, it opened in 1984 (moving to an award-winning new building in 1998), and offers all the things (except a cafe) mentioned by Armitage. Countless poets have crossed its friendly threshold, from international figures to others (eg me) who live and love poetry just as much.

Tessa died in 2015 but her legacy is infinite. A line of hers graces my mother’s memorial inscription. Every four weeks I change my books, and recall those early days, when I was a busy volunteer helper, staffing and sorting, making a series of themed displays on mobile boards, discovering poets and poems, talking and sharing, coming alive.

Continue reading...