Best British Poetry 2011, The Paperback – 15 Sep 2011
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Lumsden hosts a supremely eclectic party for 85 "new" British and Irish poets -- more women than men, for once -- whose newness turns on book-length debuts within the past 15 years rather than calendar age.--Boyd Tonkin "The Independent "
Identity Parade is an anthology which clearly achieves its objective of introducing its audience to a broad-church of today's talent.--Phil Brown "Hand + Star "
I really enjoyed some poems in this anthology from writers I knew by name but had somehow bypassed. It's certainly a positive introduction to contemporary writing in Britain - a far wider range of styles and schools (and both the famous and lesser known, both the established magazines and the new) than is customary in British publications.--Rob A. Mackenzie "Surroundings "
Salt Publishing and Roddy Lumsden have come up with a British parallel to the well established Best American Poetry Series overseen by David Lehman. The first editor is Lumsden himself, to be followed by Sasha Dugdale next year. While the initial volume is a largely mainstream selection (with, strangely, not a prose poem in sight), it possesses greater energy and range than the annual Forward Book of Poetry, as evidenced in poems by Gillian Allnutt, Amy De'Ath, and Chris McCabe, among others.--Carrie Etter
[A]n excellent collection, imaginatively and fairly edited, making it easily one of the books that every reader of poetry wanting to know about new British and Irish poetry should own. I already look forward to the 2012 edition.--Todd Swift "Eyewear "
The Best British Poetry 2011, edited by Roddy Lumsden, is an anthology of meticulous compilation: after a year spent foraging in the various British literary magazines, Lumsden has gathered 70 poems--representing 70 poets. In a format openly indebted to The Best American Poetry series, each poet has in turn commented on their poem's inception. Fundamental to the nature of this collection is the method of the editor; this is not an anthology of the most celebrated contemporary poets. Rather than being selected by virtue of reputation, each poet wins their place in this book by having a single good poem published in a magazine this year.--Aime Williams "The Oxonian Review "
For poets, this is a useful anthology because Lumsden's choices are drawn from a wide range of UK poetry magazines and each poem is labelled with the source. In the back there is a handy alphabetical list of quality poetry magazines with their contact details. If you want to submit to these magazines you can read the type of poem the editors approve of. You can also find which magazines you'd like to subscribe to, and let's not forget how much these journals need our support!--Angela Topping "Stride Magazine "
... what would do we learn about contemporary poetry from this collection? Well, first, the standard is high. All of the poems are at least competent; clearly there are very many people who devote their lives to the art of poetry, and this is borne out by the results on show here.--Alan Baker "Stride Magazine "
About the Author
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. Mark Burnhope was born in 1982 and studied at London School of Theology before completing an MA in Creative Writing at Brunel University. His work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications. He currently lives and writes in Bournemouth, Dorset with his partner, four stepchildren, two geckos and a greyhound. This is his first book of poetry. Kayo Chingonyi was born in Zambia in 1987 and came to the UK in 1993. His poems have been published in a range of magazines and anthologies including The Best British Poetry 2011 and The Salt Book Of Younger Poets. He also travels regularly across the UK, and internationally, to give readings. His work has been described as 'full of contrast, deftly managed with a buoyant and musical hand' (Poetry International Web) Amy De'Ath was born in Suffolk in 1985. She studied at the University of East Anglia and in Philadelphia, US, before moving to Australia and then to London. Her poems have appeared in a wide variety of journals in the UK and US and will feature in the Salt Younger Poets 2011 anthology. She currently lives and works in London. This is her first book of poems. Isobel Dixon has been described by Clive James as being 'born with the gift of lyricism as natural speech' and by J M Coetzee as 'a poet confident in her mastery of her medium.' Her poems have appeared in publications like The Paris Review, The Guardian, Penguin's Poems for Love and The Forward Book of Poetry. Salt published A Fold in the Map in 2007. www.isobeldixon.com Sasha Dugdale was born in Sussex. She works as a translator and consultant for the Royal Court and other theatre companies. Her translation, Plasticine by Vassily Sigarev, won the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright. She has published two collections of translations of Russian poetry and three collections of her own poetry, Notebook (2003), The Estate (2007) and Red House (2011). In 2003 she received an Eric Gregory Award. Giles Goodland is a lexicographer and poet who lives in London and works in Oxford. He has had several book-length poems published over the last two decades. Philip Gross is a writer of many parts - from prize-winning poetry to teenage novels of high suspense and unsettling depths. Son of a wartime refugee from Estonia and a Cornish schoolmaster's daughter, his work explores borderlines - between childhood and adult life, between fantasy and reality. He has two grown-up children and a grandson, and lives in Penarth with his wife Zelie. He has led writing workshops in schools for twenty years, and is Professor of Creative Writing at Glamorgan University. Emily Hasler was born in Felixstowe, Suffolk and studied at the University of Warwick for a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing and an MA in Romanticisms. She now lives in London. In 2009 she won second prize in the Edwin Morgan International Poetry Competition. Her poems have appeared in various publications, including the Rialto, Poetry Salzburg, Warwick Review and Horizon Review, and have been anthologised in Dove Release, Birdbook, Clinic 2 and Herbarium. Her poems will also appear in The Salt Book of Younger Poets and The Best British Poetry 2011. She is a regular poetry reviewer for Warwick Review. Alexander Hutchison brought out Scales Dog: Poems New and Selected from Salt in 2007, and earlier books include The Moon-Calf and Carbon Atom. His first collection, Deep-Tap Tree - which Richard Ellmann said was 'compounded of wit and mystery' - remains in print. Born in Buckie, Hutchison lived in Glasgow, and latterly took to singing. He liked to turn up for a kickabout on a red ash pitch on Sundays. He died in November 2015. Sophie Mayer teaches creative writing at King's College, London. Her publications include Her Various Scalpels and The Cinema of Sally Potter: A Politics of Love. She is a Commissioning Editor at Chroma and Contributing Editor at Hand + Star, and regular contributor to Horizon Review and Sight & Sound. Chris McCabe was born in Liverpool in 1977. His poetry collections are The Hutton Inquiry and Zeppelins. He has recorded a CD with The Poetry Archive and written a play Shad Thames, Broken Wharf, which was performed at the London Word Festival and subsequently published by Penned in the Margins in 2010. He works as a Librarian at The Poetry Library, London, and teaches for The Poetry School. John McCullough was born in Watford in 1978. His poetry has appeared in publications including Poetry London, The Rialto, The Guardian, Magma and London Magazine. He teaches literature and creative writing at the Open University and the University of Sussex and has a Ph.d from Sussex on rhetoric and friendship in English Renaissance writing. He lives in Brighton. Andrew Philip was born in Aberdeen in 1975 and grew up near Falkirk. His first collection of poetry, The Ambulance Box, was shortlisted for the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Poetry and in the Scottish Book Awards. His work has been published in the UK and US and included in anthologies such as The Forward Book of Poetry 2010, The Best British Poetry 2011 and Adventures in Form. He is a popular online tutor for the Poetry School and blogs at www.andrewphilip.net Colette Sensier is a prose writer and poet born in Brighton in 1988. She studied English at King's College, Cambridge, and Creative Writing at UEA. Her debut poetry collection, Skinless, is published by Eyewear, and her poetry is also anthologised in The Salt Book of Younger Poets. She has completed a historical novel (with the help of mentoring from Bernardine Evaristo during a Spread the Word mentoring scheme) and a dramatic adaptation of a Shirley Jackson novel, and is working on new contemporary prose. Jon Stone was born in Derby and currently lives in Whitechapel. He's the co-creator of pocket poetry journal Fuselit and micro-anthology publishers Sidekick Books. He was highly commended in the National Poetry Competition 2009, the same month his debut pamphlet, Scarecrows (Happenstance), was released. Matthew Sweeney was born in Donegal, Ireland in 1952. He moved to London in 1973 and studied at the Polytechnic of North London and the University of Freiburg. His poetry collections include Blue Shoes (1989), Cacti (1992), The Bridal Suite (1997), A Smell of Fish (2000), Selected Poems (2002), Sanctuary (2004) and Black Moon (2007). He won a Cholmondeley Award in 1987 and an Arts Council Writers' Award in 1999. George Szirtes was born in Budapest in 1948, and came to England with his family after the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. He was educated in England, training as a painter, and has always written in English. In recent years he has worked as a translator of Hungarian literature, producing editions of such writers as Otto Orban, Zsuzsa Rakovszky and Agnes Nemes Nagy. He co-edited Bloodaxe's Hungarian anthology The Colonnade of Teeth. His Bloodaxe poetry books are The Budapest File (2000); An English Apocalypse (2001); Reel (2004), winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize; New & Collected Poems (2008) and The Burning of the Books and other poems (2009), shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2009. Bloodaxe has also published John Sears' critical study Reading George Szirtes (2008). Szirtes lives in Norfolk and teaches at the University of East Anglia.
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Top Customer Reviews
One of the joys of anthologies is that you can just dive in whenever you have a spare moment, at whatever place happens to take your fancy. Using the "open-at-random" technique, I've found myself in downtown India, in muddy Norfolk fields, in dusty museums, in other people's kitchens and in other people's beds. The selection is wide and varied, from sparse and pared-down fragments to vast, dense narrative pieces. What they have in common, however, is quality. You'll quickly find your favourites (I'm deeply smitten with "The Retired Eunuch" and "Some Sayings about the Snake"), but none of them will disappoint you. Everything in this book is worth reading.
It's also a very approachable book. Being an anthology, it doesn't demand your sustained and monogamous attention for hours and hours on end. You can put it down and then pick it up again. It fits neatly into spare odds and ends of time.
Lastly, in these times of austerity, I think it's also worth pointing out how generous a selection your money buys you here. For less than £10, you can sample the work of seventy different poets. So go on! Do it! Dive in!
The selection is from British magazines and web publications, and Roddy has included a wide variety of sources for his choices.
I recommend this book very strongly.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If this is the best of British Poetry in 2011 then god help us. The poems were mostly pretentious rubbish...and I read a lot of current poetry. Read morePublished on 29 Dec. 2012 by Granny Jill
Oh dear. I bought this with the 2012 edition, thinking I would get a decent cross-section of the most interesting of contemporary poetry. How wrong I was. Read morePublished on 6 Aug. 2012 by Sunslave