Sunday, June 13, 2010

Books beget more books


At least books always seem to do so in my case. There I am, on Friday, in Dublin's Chapter's bookshop on Parnell Street, as part of the audience, to help welcome Salmon Poetry's Prophesying the Past by Noel King into the world, and I just can't help myself: arriving early, picking and sifting from the poetry bookshelves.

What do I find? Michael Donaghy's Collected, as well as The Shape of the Dance. Oh joy! I spent all yesterday (Saturday) and today devouring them. God Donaghy was so good (!) - in prose as well as poetry - and I did like him before in poetry, but now I am totally besotted (!) and I have a much better understanding of all the varying schools of poetry (and what nonsense it all is) as well a good overview of why form is a good tool to have in the poetry kitbag. Lucky those who attended his classes in London back in the day. . .

I also found Material by Ros Barber on the bookshelves (alas the last copy), and have been dipping in and out of this extraordinary book. The title poem is practically faultless and there are so many gems in it that it will take some unpacking. Somehow I also came home with Peter Porter's Afterburner as well...

Back to Prophesying the Past, though. I confess to having more than a passing interest in this one: I've proofed it and read the poems many times, and Noel King is also editor of Doghouse who published me back in 2007. It was a real delight to hear the poems given voice and for us to finally see this long-awaited book delivered. Noel reads in the Poetry Cafe in London with Eileen Sheehan on Wednesday 16th June at 7.30pm.

3 comments:

Rachel Fenton said...

Good for you - nothing better than jumping into bed with a book and getting that lovely fuzzy feeling of knowing that the love affair with the cover and the blurb was well worth the investment! - Happy reading :)

Frances said...

I attended a memorial reading for Donaghy - John Stammers, in front of a packed Queen Elizabeth Hall audience, read out a poem he'd committed to memory. Extraordinary.

BarbaraS said...

They are wonderful poems, Frances. He's such a loss to the poetry world.