Poetry School Books of the Year • Poetry SchoolFunny, painful, complex, adventurous, elegiac, innovative, insightful and enduring, the books we have chosen to celebrate here represent just a small selection of the marvellous work we have read and loved over the past twelve months. Below, in alphabetical order, you will find a few of our favourites, in short reviews written by our staff, and a longlist of a hundred. I have a personal connection to this book. The author was thought to be dyslexic with severe learning disabilities until his deafness was discovered at the age of six. A timely and well-presented selection for children that grown-ups, too, would do well to dip into. They are celebrations of the triumph of motherhood, of a love which defies reason, of the fierce, primal violence of the maternal instinct which is yet the tenderest and gentlest of all emotions. These poems are crafted with a deeply deceptive lightness of touch which only heightens their impact.
Nothing Is Okay
The First World War changed the map of Europe forever. Empires collapsed, new countries were born, revolutions shocked and inspired the world. The conflict opened up a vista of possibilities and tragedies for poetic exploration, and at the same time poetry was a tool for manipulating the sentiments of the combatant peoples. In Germany alone during the first few months there were over a million poems of propaganda published. We think of war poets as pacifistic protestors, but that view has been created retrospectively. The verse of the time, particularly in the early years of the conflict—in Fernando Pessoa or Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, for example—could find in the violence and technology of modern warfare an awful and exhilarating epiphany.
how do i write and publish a book
Nothing can ever happen twice. In consequence, the sorry fact is that we arrive here improvised and leave without the chance to practice. Even if there is no one dumber, if you're the planet's biggest dunce, you can't repeat the class in summer: this course is only offered once. No day copies yesterday, no two nights will teach what bliss is in precisely the same way, with precisely the same kisses. One day, perhaps some idle tongue mentions your name by accident: I feel as if a rose were flung into the room, all hue and scent. The next day, though you're here with me, I can't help looking at the clock: A rose? A rose?
A really successful poetry anthology needs two essential ingredients: pace and rhythm. The editor has to think hard about which poems are put together and how they relate to each other. Much of the challenge is working on the order and identifying certain poems that act as breathers to achieve the right tempo. Since childhood, in my loneliest or most tumultuous hours, I have found solace in identifying the perfect poem for the moment. Although I still hunt in secondhand bookshops, the Pharmacy, which started as a live event at festivals, has led readers to share their experiences and recommendations with me. It has also informed my choices here. Not long ago, a condensed version of the trilogy made it on to the World Book Night giveaway list: the anthologies hit home wherever people had troubles — in shelters, prisons and hospitals.