'Recidivist' by Stephen Romer
So this is how it ends:
at a corner table
in a stale café
on the boulevard of abulia.
With a small jug of tepid water
and the eternal Lipton's teabag
laid genteelly on the saucer.
To slake our ten-year thirst.
You will not stay.
And I as always
have a train for the provinces.
Even the turn of your calf
is enough to make me ache.
The way your blue dress rises.
from Yellow Studio by Stephen Romer, published last week by
Carcanet in its OxfordPoets series.
A POETRY BOOK SOCIETY RECOMMENDATION
Yellow Studio, Stephen Romer's fourth collection of poems,
returns to the erotic intensities of Tribute (1998), counterpointed
by the rueful satire that comes with mid-life. It is a many-angled
book of exile and refuge. At its heart is the yellow studio, the
perennial, private place of art and its creation, linked to
childhood memory. The book's final section is made up of poems to
the poet's father, less a reckoning than an attempt to speak, which
imposes its own austerity and restraint.
'Stephen Romer has achieved a breakthrough in these new poems. The
death of his father has torn away a veil, releasing a fresh energy
Stephen Romer was born in Hertfordshire in 1957 and educated at
Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Since 1981 he has lived in France, where
he is Maître de Conferences in the English department of Tours
University. He has published three previous collections of poetry
with Oxford University Press and is the editor of the Faber
anthology Twentieth-Century French Poems. A book of his selected
poems in French translation, Tribut, was published in 2007. He
regularly writes on French literature and modem poetry for the
Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement.
NEXT WEEK: Yellow Studio London launch:
Stephen Romer will launch his new Carcanet / OxfordPoets
collection, Yellow Studio, at 7pm next Wednesday evening (9th
April) at the Calder Bookshop, 51 The Cut, London, SE1 8LF. He will
read from his new book alongside Alan Jenkins, who is launching his
new collection of poems, Drunken Boats (published by Sylph
Editions). This is a free event and refreshments will be provided;
all are welcome. Telephone 020 7620 2900 or visit the Calder
Bookshop website for more information.
Click here to purchase Yellow Studio by Stephen Romer from
www.carcanet.co.uk with a
10% discount and free UK p&p.
Gillian Clarke named National Poet of Wales:
Carcanet poet Gillian Clarke has been appointed as the new
National Poet of Wales, it was announced by the Welsh Academi this
week. Born in Cardiff and now living in Talgarreg, west Wales,
Gillian is a poet, playwright, editor and translator whose work is
studied by GCSE and A-level students throughout the UK. Her new
prose collection, At the Source: A Writer's Life, will be published
by Carcanet in May.
Carol Ann Duffy commented: 'Gillian Clarke is one of the most
widely respected and deeply loved poets in the world, and her
appointment upholds Wales’s long and glorious tradition of being
represented by only the best in poetry.' Clarke herself said of her
new post: 'I suppose the title ‘National Poet for Wales’ is like
the conch shell in Lord of the Flies. If you happen to be holding
it, you may speak. The trick must be to carry it carefully, not to
drop it, and, while holding it, to speak with tact, passion, truth,
The post of National Poet of Wales was established in 2005 by
Academi, the Literature Promotion Agency for Wales, with Arts
Council of Wales Lottery funding. Gwyneth Lewis was the first
incumbent, followed by Professor Gwyn Thomas in 2006.
Carcanet poets on the airwaves:
Charles Tomlinson's poem 'The Door' will be read on BBC Radio
3's Words and Music programme this Sunday at 10.15pm. Visit the
Words and Music website for details.
Born in 1927, Tomlinson was recently named 'a unique voice in
contemporary English poetry and a satellite of excellence for the
past 50 years' by the Guardian. Influenced by William Carlos
Williams, Ezra Pound and Robert Creeley, his poetry has won
international recognition in Europe and the United States.
Tomlinson's most recent collection, Cracks in the Universe, was
published by Carcanet in 2006; his Collected Poems will appear next
Young Northern Irish poet Sinéad Morrissey will read and discuss
her National Poetry Competition-winning poem, 'Through The Square
Window'. on BBC Radio 3's The Verb tonight at 9.45pm. Visit The
Verb's website for full programme details. Founded in 1978, the
National Poetry Competition is the UK's biggest poetry competition
and attracts thousands of entries. Click here to read an article
about the winners in this week's Independent.
Sinéad Morrissey was born in Portadown, Co Armagh, in 1972, but
moved to Belfast when she was six. She studied Dublin and travelled
for several years in Japan and New Zealand before returning to
Northern Ireland in 1999. She now teaches creative writing at the
Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen's University Belfast.
Click here to purchase The State of the Prisons by Sinéad
Morrissey from www.carcanet.co.uk with a 10%
discount and free UK p&p.
Coming up soon...
Saturday 5th - Sunday 6th April:
Three Carcanet poets, Mimi Khalvati, Sinead Morrissey and Kei
Miller, are appearing at the DLR International Poetry Now Festival,
Dún Laoghaire, Ireland, this weekend. Sinead and Kei will give a
reading at 4pm on Sunday and Mimi will read her work with George
Szirtes and Henri Cole at 8.30pm on Saturday, both at the Pavilion
Theatre. Visit www.poetrynow.ie for full programme
details and to book tickets. Visit www.carcanet.co.uk to browse their
Monday 7th April:
A reminder that Manchester-based poets John McAuliffe and
Matthew Welton will read their work at The Centre for New Writing
at The University of Manchester at 6.30pm on Monday. The event will
take place at the Martin Harris Centre, Bridgeford Street, The
University of Manchester, M13 9PL. Tickets cost £3 / £2 for
concessions; telephone 0161 275 8951 or visit the Centre's website
Monday 14th April:
Carcanet poet, translator and novelist Elaine Feinstein will chair
a Royal Society of Literature debate with Dmitry Bykov, Angela
Livingstone and Jon Stallworthy entitled Translating Russia at 7pm
on 14th April in the Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, Somerset House,
Strand, London WC2. All are welcome; no tickets required (suggested
contribution: £5). Sponsored by Academia Rossica. Visit www.rslit.org/events.htm for
Russia’s novelists have enriched English literature from the
first translations of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky onwards, and our
knowledge of twentieth-century Russia has been ennobled by
understanding the courage of its great poets. To mark the fiftieth
anniversary both of the Translators’ Association, and of the first
English translation of Dr Zhivago, Dmitry Bykov, visiting from
Moscow, introduces his fascinating new biography of Boris
Pasternak, and Elaine Feinstein, Jon Stallworthy and Angela
Livingstone speak about their own involvement with Pasternak over
Elaine Feinstein has translated the poems of Alexander Pushkin,
Marina Tsvetaeva and Anna Akhmatova from Russian. Her new novel,
The Russian Jerusalem, which explores the landscape of twentieth
century Russian literature and includes Boris Pasternak as a
character, is published next month by Carcanet.
Monday 14th April:
Carcanet poet and editor of Poetry Review Fiona Sampson will
launch the spring issue of the magazine at 6.30pm on Monday 14th
April at the University of Manchester's Centre for New Writing.
This free event will feature readings and discussion with Sampson
and Manchester-based guest poets Sarah Corbett and Michael Murphy.
It will be held in the Martin Harris Centre, Bridgeford Street, the
University of Manchester, M13 9PL. Click here for more information
and to pre-book tickets.
Fiona Sampson's most recent collection, Common Prayer, was
published by Carcanet in 2007 and shortlisted for this year's T.S.
Eliot Poetry Prize.
Click here to purchase it from www.carcanet.co.uk with a 10%
discount and free UK p&p.
Thursday 24th April:
Carcanet's popular programme of contemporary poetry readings
returns to Manchester Central Library later this month with a
lunchtime reading by Peter Davidson and Kelly Grovier. The event
celebrates the launch of their debut poetry collections, The Palace
of Oblivion by Peter Davidson and A Lens in the Palm by Kelly
Grovier, and will take place in the Reception Room, second floor,
Manchester Central Library, St Peter's Square, M2 5PD from 1-2pm.
This is a free event; contact Libby Tempest on 0161 234 1981 for
for news of other literary events taking place in Manchester
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