This book is based on the The Best American Poetry series of anthologies founded in the late 1980’s, and has been compiled from various British sources. The selection was chosen from UK- based Poetry magazines, Literary journals and online publications issued between spring 2010 and spring 2011, by the Scottish poet Roddy Lumsden, who also wrote the introduction. His aim in compiling this collection was that the material gathered should represent the rich variety of current UK poetry, including lyric, formal and experimental writing, that it should also represent the diversity of the poetry scene from established poets such as Patrick McGuinness, George Szirtes and Nii Ayikwei Parkes through to a newcomer Emma Page who is represented by her first published poem. The poets included are either from the UK or are based here, there are poets originally from the US, Ghana, Ireland, South Africa, Iran, Hungary, Australia, Zambia & show the multiplicity of poetry whether mainstream or experimental within the United Kingdom.
Each poem within this stunning jewel of a book is accompanied by a note from the poet, giving a little detail of their lives and an explanation of why they wrote this particular poem, providing us, the reader, with added insight into the writing of each piece. This adds a wonderful dialogue to the collection wherein your own interpretation of a poem can be compared with the original writers ideas. In the introduction Roddy Lumsden states that “ the end result is, I hope, a snapshot of what is happening at present in non-book publication of poetry in the UK” and if this is the case it chimes with what another poet (Nuala Ní Chonchúir) recently said to me, that being “ poetry is in a healthy state in the sense that it is being written and published, and there are a lot of readings taking place. The small presses keep poetry alive”, to which we owe a hearty thanks.
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What is it then? A gold-yoked goose egg. A wild bean-stalk.
The flatness of adulation. Being always young. The King, the Castle.
Wheat stalks spindled to flash and twine.
Or a cozening, a camera snap that keeps you, fleece-wrapped and obdurate
as a retouched grave, a quiet pearl.
A thick sleep saved from thistling worry. A cleaned thick-brick, gated place --
chrome and cream: control.
Wired yammering to drown the sullen, rising sea.
Remember now, how the girl requested a tattooed point of light, a refined star--
woke to the blinding, ink-scrawled sail of space,
unbounded clusters, galaxies, cankering in her skin.
Kate Potts was born in 1978 and grew up in London. She worked in music publishing before studying at Goldsmiths’ College, London, and has taught English and Creative Writing at colleges in London for several years. Her pamphlet Whichever Music (tall-lighthouse) was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice in 2008 and was shortlisted for a Michael Marks Award. Her work was featured in the Bloodaxe new poets anthology Voice Recognition in 2009. Pure Hustle (Bloodaxe Books, 2011) is her first book-length collection.
Featuring Kate Potts
Kate Potts (The Michael Marks Award)
Books by Kate Potts: Pure Hustle:
Editor Roddy Lumsden (born 1966) is a Scottish poet, who was born in St Andrews. He has published five collections of poetry, a number of chapbooks and a collection of trivia, as well as editing a generational anthology of British and Irish poets of the 1990s and 2000s, Identity Parade. He lives in London where he teaches for The Poetry School.
Best British Poetry