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Wednesday, 10 September 2003

Between then and now

I'm still waiting for delivery of the book by Michael Ayres. In the meantime, I have received three books which I am easing my way into:

1. Barry MacSweeney - The Book of Demons (and Pearl)
2. Tom Raworth - The Vein
3. Wendy Mulford - The abc of writing

The book by MacSweeney is a volume published by Bloodaxe - I've dipped into the poems in the Pearl sequence which I'm enjoying reading. On the back cover these poems are described as poems about Pearl, who was "the mute Northumbrian girl, whom MacSweeney taught to read and write on a slate in the rain, and was his first love in the high wild lead-mining hills of the desolate and deeply beautiful Allen Valley."

The other two books are chapbooks. It's a question of keeping up to date with the contemporary scene - getting a broadening understanding of poets writing today and in recent decades. MacSweeney died a couple of years ago, after fighting alcoholism for most of his adult life.

Music I am listening to has shifted slightly:

The Thrills - So much for the city
Sigur Ros - ( )
David Sylvian - Blemish
Porcupine Tree - in absentia
Eberhard Weber - Pendulum

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