Black Moon by Matthew Sweeney, Twenty One Sonnets by Gabriel Fitzmaurice, Songs of Earth and Light by Barbara Korun, Can Dentists Be Trusted? by Martina Evans, Lip by Catherine Smith......these are the books that have joined the teetering stack by my bed and which I'm gorging myself on. How many good writers there are around, how many points of view, how many pictures and ways of describing them.
Matthew read from Black Moon in Lewes on Tuesday night as part of Lewes Live Literature festival. He was on brilliant form and the book roots out strangeness in the world, tilts it even more and presents this dizzying accumulation of stories that belong to an older Europe, without borders.
Martina's poetry is both documentary and intimate. She's been working with Mark Hewitt, director of LLL, on a show that describes 'the Ireland of her childhood and forefathers.' She was reading last night and what a reading. I have never understood why Martina's work isn't better known. She knocks many contemporary British poets into the dunce's corner. This show illustrates the power and authority of her writing and shows her to be, without a doubt, among the most important chroniclers of 20th century Ireland, family and Catholicism.
I'm looking forward to Catherine's launch and to being able to share Barbara Korun's book with as many friends as possible, once I've sent off my cheque for five more copies! Yes. It's that good.