28 August 2023

August readings

The Sealey Challenge encourages folk to read one book of poetry a day for the month of August – a massive 31 titles, which is no small feat. As I mentioned on FB, this isn't quite how I like to consume poetry, which is usually more of a dripfeed affair, but it’s been making me try lots of new stuff (I got quite a bit out of the library, which ended up altering the original pile pictured above) and also stuff that has been on my to-read pile for ages and I’ve not been getting round to.

I will admit something, which is that some days I haven't read the full collections (I have my own work to write – with more deadlines now I'm part of a poetry group that meets online at regular intervals – and I've been proofreading and signing off the manuscript to my latest book; aside from which, I do actually have to work for actual money), although I have done so for the library loans.

nature + gardens > watery words + blueness

To be honest, on the whole, it's some of the books I got out of the library that I've found the least rewarding. I suppose when I'm buying stuff, I'm going for poets I've read before or I've seen perform their work or they're on a publisher I rate or someone I know has recommended them.

more nature wanderings + seashore ponderings > fab folk wot I know on indie presses doing good things

Of the books I own, where I've enjoyed them but not managed to get them fully read – sometimes because I want to do the dripfeed thing and not guzzle them all in one sitting – they have been placed in a special pile on my poetry bookcase (see above), from where I can in future just grab one and go when I'm leaving the house and am public transport bound.

"collections in sections" > months & years

Aside from the books in the various photos here, I've also continued my usual practice of consuming poems shared on Twitter, looking at the Poetry Foundation website when I want to find out more about a particular poet, dipping into anthologies to look at certain people, scrolling poems sent via enewsletters and wotnot, and reading the stuff in The New Yorker, cast-off issues of which are donated to me by David. (That habit started because I originally expressed an interest in doing the crossword, but even the beginner's puzzles are proving to be on the challenging side to anyone not immersed in US culture.)

England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales > me me me

Anyway, I've been reading in groups of four loosely linked tomes, to give the project some structure, and posting the photographic evidence to X. The final group is just three because that's how the maths of dates works, so to save myself too much homework on this bank holiday-abridged week, I'm posting a picture of my own three books to date, while we wait for the fourth to drop (imminently!). One of my poet pals actually picked Using Language as one of her Sealey Challenge selections, and called it "a brilliant collection that made me feel excited about visual presentation and sounds", which is rather nice.

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