Last night, Jane and I attended an event at the South Square gallery in Thornton, Bradford. The event was called ‘COUPLES’, and was a combined poetry reading by Michael Stewart and exhibition of contemporary art by Carole Griffiths. The text of some of the poems is written on the walls of the gallery in between the works of art.
Michael Stewart has written a series of poems, all on the theme of relationships, but with a very modern, and hence, rather dark, tone and feel. A book containing photographs of the art works and the poems has been produced. The number of copies printed is twenty. I bought one. My father was a book collector, but I don’t think even he had a first edition from a print run as small as this. I hope that Michael goes on to win the Nobel Prize for literature. If he does, then it will be worth a lot of money one day.
The poems are in thematically linked pairs, eleven of them, on opposite facing pages. None of them is in a standard form. None of them rhymes (at least not in the conventional, at-the-end-of-the-line sense).
I spoke to Michael after the the reading, and he told me that he has nearly finished editing the ‘Grist’ poetry anthology. It includes three of my poems, one of which is ‘Throwing Mother In The Skip’.
Today, at an Open University day school, the tutor was talking about poetic forms, particularly repeating forms such as the pantoum and the villanelle. I mentioned that I was shortly to have a villanelle published: ‘Throwing Mother In The Skip’ is a villanelle. She asked me if I happened to have a copy of it on me. I looked through my pockets and found that the pieces I took to ‘Fictions of Every Kind’ were still in my pocket, and so I did have a copy of it on me. I read it out, and most people seemed to like it. That poem has now been read out, from the same sheet of paper, at three literary events.
Michael told me when he expects it to be published, and what the title of the anthology will be. I will post these nearer to the publication date. It will contain about a hundred poems.