I have been in oxter-land! That's where you're so damn busy that you don't realise that the sh-loppy stuff is right up to your armpits and rising faster than you can say, 'Get me out of here, I'm a celebrity poet!'
Firstly, at another book launch last night in Belfast for an anthology of Canadian, Newfoundland and Irish poetry. The readings from the book were only inspirational and the lovely laid back setting of Bookfinder's Cafe, was completely ideal for creating the necessary ambiance for a weighty tome like this one.
The Echoing Years is produced by The Centre for Newfoundland & Labrador Studies of the School of Humanites, Waterford Institue of Technology. Edited by Stephanie McKenzie, Randall Maggs and John Ennis, the book is literally about 3 inches thick in the spine: and contains some of the great and good poetry that is contemporary now.
Placing poetry from both sides of the pond, from countries not as used to being highlighted, as shall we say the US or the UK, means that the spotlight is allowed to play a lot longer and brighter on this selection of poets. There are some real thrills and surprises in the book: such as Leonard Cohen, Michael Ondaatje and in the Irish section a wonderful translation of Barbara Korun by Theo Dorgan. I haven't even skimmed the surface with this volume - it is (and I am sorry to have to use this cliche) a veritable cornucopia; with the contents page running to 34 pages alone from a total of 1280... some mighty reading over the next few weeks! If you know someone who loves contemporary poetry, you could do a lot worse than stick this in their Christmas stocking(s).
Two: people are starting to send me virtual champagne (how did you know!) and I am awaiting my before-birthday present from my husband with the proverbial bated breath! This evening we are having a family party for me with the kids; tomorrow I set off to stomp around sarf Landin, wiv me gud OU mate (sorry, came over all cockney there!) and later on have a generally good time indulging myself at the Saturday blogmoot for Bookarazzi in London's West-End and hang with the Minx and the Debi one - you know they very conveniently decided to have the moot on my birthday ;)
I have officially decided to get on and enjoy this birthday for all I can - see you this time next year! ;)
Okay - maybe not - And my piece of knitting in the Grace story has made it into the Shameless Lion's Writing Circle; go on and have a deko (writer 15), you'll need to scroll down!