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Alec Newman

Updated: Fri, 15 Jan 2010 10:33 am

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I am the editor of The Knives Forks and Spoons Press, and I also talk and write on poetics. I write poetry that attempts to combine Anglo-Saxon poetics with Modernist vers libre. My main influences are William Carlos Williams, William Barnes, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Maggie O'Sullivan, Bill Griffiths, James Clarence Mangan, William Morris, and Benjamin Thorpe. My poetry has been published in Parameter Magazine, Lamport Court and Poetry Salzburg Review.


Murray's Mill We drain the last dregs of the weekend, you and I. Washed down with Tsingtaos and Marlboros, outside a Northern quarter bar. Another smoker, someone we\'ve never met before, informs us that Murray's Mill, where Elizabeth Gaskell's Mary smiled, is being converted into apartments. You smile while you exhale smoke into a low Autumnal sun: 'but the mortality rate at Murray's Mill Was higher than Dachau’. THE INVERSION OF DECADENCE Rousseau's spread open, as (he) surely should (be), binding cracked (and) pages gummed (to) circular beery marks. We expel plumes of smoke (from) Lucky Strikes that expound (in) paisley curls of ethereal blue about (the) Chartist bar (of old) like the blood (of self) sacrifice in a clear Kinder Scout pool. I drink Bitter, you (drink) rum and coke.

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

Viewed 3317 times since 01 Feb 2009

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Nicolas Spicer

Tue 21st Apr 2009 15:40

Yup, TOL is very good; _Speech! Speech!_ is my personal favourite of the recent book-length poems, although I'm very prepared to concede that it's not exactly welcoming. Like, by all accounts, the man himself: you're not the only person I know who has met, & been intimidated by, him...

Just realised, I am an assiduous follower of Robert Sheppard's "Pages" blog. I don't always agree with him, but when I don't I have to think very hard about why: always a good thing.

Will have to try & make it up to Manchester in June...

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Nicolas Spicer

Tue 21st Apr 2009 13:58

I sort of have an ongoing taste for the forbiddingly complicated.

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Nicolas Spicer

Tue 21st Apr 2009 13:52

Yeah, I kind of started on him, Eliot, Hopkins & Donne: my first literary crushes, if you like. I also struggle with the influence of John Berryman.

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Nicolas Spicer

Tue 21st Apr 2009 13:10

I envy you: you have the pleasure of a first encounter with JHP to come! If you're into Thurston, it won't come as a disappointment. I like the bits of Griffiths I've read (mostly _Future Exiles_ & the stuff in _Conductors of Chaos_) a bit, but they haven't really caught my attention enough to make me go & read more (so many poets, so little time...); same goes for O'Sullivan; Sheppard is another bits-in-magazines, not-paid-sufficient-attention job.

As for innovative scenes where I am, I'm it. I currently live in Ludlow, Shropshire, where I try very hard not to write like A. E. Housman ;)

If I knew more about the Other Room, I'd probably try to make it up: it's easy on the train from here.

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Nicolas Spicer

Sat 18th Apr 2009 14:42

Hi! I like Your stuff too. I know bits of Scott Thurston's work from magazines, but haven't got round to getting his collection yet; I'm reading a lot of J. H. Prynne, Keston Sutherland, Andrea Brady, that kind of person at the moment.

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