18.7.07

Poetry by the barrel full

Since agreeing to be a judge for a poetry prize, I've been reading a lot of poetry. Not only the books for the competition but also in general. In The Guardian, Sarah Crown has written a piece about her experience being a Forward prize judge and while reading so much poetry straight through has given her a lot more clarity, it also has her longing to read a novel. I'm enjoying reading all the poetry and I haven't completely shut out other reading material like she has but I have to admit I'm also reading prose to change things up. Of course, the book - The Last Avant-Garde: The Making of the New York School of Poets by David Lehman - also happens to deal with verse, so I don't know if that counts...

From The Guardian:

To use a - doubtless hackneyed - food metaphor: if poetry is the haute cuisine of literature (the souffl├ęs, the profiteroles), fiction is the meat. And I soon discovered that woman - at least, this woman - cannot live on souffl├ęs alone. I craved narrative. About halfway through the fortnight I ventured, blinking, from my house to visit the supermarket for supplies and, without consciously intending it, found myself in a bookshop, where I feverishly bought a stack of novels. I placed them on the corner of my coffee table where they sat taunting me.

More here.

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