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Showing posts from November, 2016

JENNA CLAKE WINS THE MELITA HUME POETRY PRIZE 2016!

JENNA CLAKE IS OUR WINNER THIS YEAR!

GREAT NEWS!

READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE

WHO WILL WIN THE HUME POETRY PRIZE THIS YEAR?

Mark Ford - world-renowned poet (Faber), editor (Ashbery), critic, and professor (UCL), has been reading a stellar group of poets, and will be sending his judge's report to us next week.... get ready for the announcement of the winner NEXT WEEK. Here is a list of the brilliant shortlist OF TEN BRILLIANT UK/IRISH POETS 35 YEARS OR UNDER: Niall Bourke is from Kilkenny, in Ireland, but now lives in London. He teaches English Literature at St Michael’s College in Bermondsey and in 2015 he finished an MA in creative writing and teaching at Goldsmiths University of London. He writes both poetry and prose and has been published in a number of journals and magazines in the UK and Ireland, including; The Galway Review,  Southbank Poetry, Magma, Three Drops From A Cauldron, Prole, Holdfast Magazine and Ink Sweat and Tears. In 2015 he was longlisted for The Short Story competition and has been twice shortlisted for the Over The Edge New Writer Of The YearAward (for both poetry and fiction). H…

LETTER FROM AMERICA, POST-TRUMP VICTORY...

Ironically, "Make America Great Again" will mark the end of American Exceptionalism.



President Obama gave a press conference at the White House on Monday, November 14, before leaving for a series of state visits overseas. His intelligence and grasp of the minute details of governance only highlighted the fact that Donald Trump is going to look like a complete buffoon at his first news conference. Maybe he'll get impeached for mental incompetence.
Growing up in the years following World War II, one of the persistent questions that was always just below the surface was, "How could good people allow the rise of Nazism and the Holocaust to happen?" Well, now we know. There's not a lot you can do to stop it. Not everyone is enlightened, and sometimes the mob underbelly wins. I hate to sound defeatist, but all I can come up with is that Germany survived it. It took a generation or two, but Germany's still here, and better than ever. Better than us, in terms of …

DEATH OF THE LADIES' MAN: LEONARD COHEN, 1934-2016

There was never a time when I did not know about Leonard Cohen.  I was born in 1966, and he had been famous (in Canada) as one of our best poets even before then; by 1967, he was world-famous, arguably Canada's most-beloved figure ever on the world stage, and he kept on being so, up until his death yesterday. My mother was a huge fan, and his music and poetry (less so his prose) was always in my childhood.
Since I was born in Montreal (as was he), and shared his passion for debating and writing (less so, strumming guitars), he was never far from my thought - indeed, as a teenager trying to write poetry, and wondering if such a role was feasible for a Montrealer, Cohen showed the way (along with Irving Layton, and Louis Dudek, his mentors, later both mine as well). Mostly, like most Canadian poets, my affections were of the love-hate kind. He was the absentee father, who rarely did or said anything to promote younger poets from his homeland, even while laying the ground for their mu…

NO SILVER LINING

The old adage that history repeats, the second time as farce, almost rhymes with this nasty nightmarish moment, the election of President Trump by a whitelash landslide, except the American Caligula now in our midst - the most dangerous and dishonest person to be democratically elected to such a powerful leadership role since WW2 - is no farcical figure. Comedians might wryly note that Donald J Trump is very presidential - he has the moral compass of Nixon, the sexual ethics of Bill Clinton, the intelligence of George W Bush, the cultural sophistication of Reagan, the political experience of Eisenhower, and the family-decency of Kennedy - but this approach lacks depth or clarity.  There has actually never been a president like Trump before. There may never be a presidency, again, after him. There are two ways to treat this most horrible of events - and one is with cautious optimism; however, since this blog correctly predicted that Trump would win, we also wish to err on the side of cau…

BRITAIN GONE MAD

Britain - long admired as the home of parliamentary democracy, has a history of great struggle with those who would seek to limit the powers of parliament to control royal prerogatives... it just usually isn't the government doing so. However, after three law lords ruled - correctly, in the opinion of this blog - that Article 50 (that most famous of articles) cannot be triggered by PM May without the express approval of a parliamentary vote - the PM vows to contest the ruling.

In short - she seeks to short-circuit the sovereignty of the elected MPS who represent the good people of the UK.

The right-wing, pro-Brexit, often borderline racist/fascist media in the UK (they know who they are) have naturally claimed three pudgy white bewigged toffs have in their posh arrogance hijacked the "will of the British people" - except, the Brexit referendum was a) not legally binding and b) was never described as such a powerful instrument as to represent "the will of the people&qu…

AMERICA PSYCHO

According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…