Treasures from afar: Vanishing Lung Syndrome by Miroslav Holub

In Vanishing Lung Syndrome, Czech poet Miroslav Holub’s vision is both microscopic in focus (as fitting for an immunologist) and geographically wide-ranging. I recommend this collection, translated by David Young and Dana Hábová, as much for its imaginative scope as for its alertness to surprise and paradox. Holub’s poems embrace the publishing houses and madhouses […]

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The dead, complicated— a chat with Paul Farley

Paul Farley is no stranger to literary acclaim. His last collection, The Dark Film, saw him shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot prize, and his eighteen-year career has spanned multiple award-winning collections, as well as extensive work in broadcasting and prose writing. I was lucky enough to get to ask him a few questions about poetry, […]

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Review: From the Horse’s Mouth

✮✮✮✮ Stand-up, spoken-word and performance poetry have long seemed secondary in Oxford’s crowded cultural milieu to theatre and music, driven underground and out of town to places like Jericho’s Albion Beatnik Bookstore. New spoken-word night From the Horse’s Mouth aims for nothing less than bringing what has long been a quietly thriving scene to the […]

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AFTERNOONING

The sun draws the day in silence To its yellow close, And shadows’ light advancement seeks What each final lit patch knows.   Our lengthened, shadowed frames emerge And merge along those nowhere lines Which stroll away, like tired eyelids Or quiet, afternooning minds.   Thus conversation, thethered, tails, Speaks itself to sunny sleep. The […]

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Should song lyrics be considered poetry?

Alex Cowan: It’s hard to deny that ‘lyrics-as-poetry’ is an appealing concept. The very idea of ‘poetry’ comes with a whole raft of associations—artistic, literary, profound—that, (among other things) can go along way to justifying one’s own taste in listening. While I don’t want to argue that this kind of comparative literary judgement is an […]

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