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The Best British Poetry 2011 By Roddy Lumsden

The Best British Poetry 2011 by Roddy Lumsden

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The Best British Poetry 2011 presents the finest and most engaging poems found in literary magazines and webzines over the past year. The material gathered represents the rich variety of current UK poetry. Each poem is accompanied by a note by the poet explaining the inspiration for the poem.

The Best British Poetry 2011 Summary

The Best British Poetry 2011 by Roddy Lumsden

The Best British Poetry 2011 presents the finest and most engaging poems found in British-based literary magazines and webzines over the past year. The material gathered represents the rich variety of current UK poetry, including lyric, formal and experimental poetry. Each poem is accompanied by a note by the poet themselves, explaining the inspiration for the poem and why they decided to write the poem in that form. The format of the book will be familiar to those who have seen similar annual selections made in other countries such as Ireland, Australia and especially the US, where the equivalent annual book is a popular yet controversial landmark in each year's literary calendar. At a time when print journals still retain their significance and popularity and when new sites are flourishing on the web, this book offers a snapshot of current poetry practices in the country by offering a diverse selection of excellent poems.

The Best British Poetry 2011 Reviews

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 Roddy Lumsden

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. 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. Ian Duhig was born into an immigrant family and worked with homeless people for fifteen years throughout England and Ireland before becoming a writer and poet. This is reflected in attitudes to home and landscape in his work, as suggested by the epigraph for his first book from Hugh of St Victor: `The man who loves his homeland is a beginner; he to whom every soil is as his own is strong; but he is perfect for whom the entire world is a foreign country.' Duhig has written five books of poetry, most recently The Speed of Dark (Picador, 2007) which was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot and Costa Poetry Prizes. More recently, a short story appeared in The New Uncanny (Comma, 2008) and the cowritten God Comes Home about the legacy of David Oluwale was performed at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in February 2009. 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. Ruth Padel is a prize-winning poet, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Zoological Society of London, formerly Chair of the Poetry Society and currently Resident Poet at Christ's College, Cambridge. She has published seven collections of poetry, most recently Darwin: A Life in Poems. Her non-fiction includes a nature/travel book on wild tigers, much acclaimed for its description of Asian forest landscapes from Bhutan to Sumatra. The first section of The Poem and the Journey, her most recent book on reading contemporary poetry, turns on the landscape in which we find our first identity, and is prefaced by Viola's question in Twelfth Night, `What country, friends, is this?' Website: 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 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 lives in London. His work has been performed on radio and published in national newspapers, as well as in poetry anthologies themed around imitation, formal innovation, science fiction, mythology and the erotic. He won a Society of Authors Eric Gregory Award in 2012 and the Poetry London Prize in 2014 and 2016. He edits compendiums of visual, ecological and experimental poetry through Sidekick Books, which he co-runs with Kirsten Irving. 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.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction by Roddy Lumsden
  • Gillian Allnutt, "in her kitchen"
  • Mike Bannister, "Satin Moth"
  • Chris Beckett, "Boast of the Fly-Whisk"
  • Emily Berry, "Sweet Arlene"
  • Liz Berry, "The Year We Married Birds"
  • Nina Boyd, "Lanterns"
  • James Brookes, "Opiates: Kaliningrad"
  • Judy Brown, "The Helicopter Visions"
  • Mark Burnhope, "Twelve Steps Towards Better Despair"
  • Kayo Chingonyi, "Andrew's Corner"
  • Jane Commane, "Music"
  • Fred D'Aguiar, "The Rose of Toulouse"
  • Emma Danes, "17"
  • Amy De'Ath, "Lena at the Beach"
  • Isobel Dixon, "A Beautifully Constructed Cocktail"
  • Sasha Dugdale, "Shepherds"
  • Ian Duhig, "Jericho Shandy"
  • Josh Ekroy, "78 rpm"
  • Laura Elliott, "White Lace Nightgown"
  • Carrie Etter, "Prairie"
  • Dai George, "Poolside at Le Domaine"
  • Giles Goodland, "Waves"
  • Matthew Gregory, "Young Pterodactyl"
  • Philip Gross, "Later"
  • Kelly Grovier, "A Butterfly in the British Museum"
  • Jen Hadfield, "The Ambition"
  • Aiko Harman, "Hitodama (`Human Soul')"
  • Emily Hasler, "Valediction"
  • Oli Hazzard, "Sonnet"
  • W.N. Herbert, from "Errant"
  • Alexander Hutchison, "Deil Tak The Hinmaist"
  • Sarah Jackson, "Light Over Ratcliffe"
  • Christopher James, "The Retired Eunuch"
  • Katharine Kilalea, "Hennecker's Ditch"
  • Nick Laird, "Collusion"
  • Pippa Little, "Coal End Hill Farm 1962"
  • Chris McCabe, "Kingfisher"
  • Ted McCarthy, "Beverly Downs"
  • John McCullough, "Sleeping Hermaphrodite"
  • Patrick McGuinness, "House Clearance"
  • Kona Macphee, "My Life as a B Movie"
  • Lorraine Mariner, "And then there will be no more nonsense"
  • Sophie Mayer, "Of Other Spaces (Tate St. Ives)"
  • Gordon Meade, "Rats"
  • Matt Merritt, "Pluvialis"
  • Kate Miller, "The Apple Farmers' Calendar"
  • Esther Morgan, "Short-hold"
  • Catherine Ormell, "Delicacy"
  • Richard Osmond, "Logo"
  • Ruth Padel, "Only Here On Earth"
  • Emma Page, "California"
  • Nii Ayikwei Parkes, "Lapse"
  • Abigail Parry, "Hare"
  • Andrew Philip, "10 x 10"
  • Heather Phillipson, "At First, the Only Concern is
  • Milk, More or Less"
  • Kate Potts, "Three Wishes"
  • Vidyan Ravinthiran, "Anti-circ"
  • Deryn Rees-Jones, from "The Songs of Elisabeth So"
  • Sam Riviere, "Honeymoon"
  • Colette Sensier, "Orpheus"
  • Penelope Shuttle, "The Year Strikes the Rock"
  • Jon Stone, "Mustard"
  • Matthew Sweeney, "Communique"
  • George Szirtes, "Some Sayings about the Snake"
  • Lizzi Thistlethwayte, "Scart Gap"
  • Eoghan Walls, "The Long Horizon"
  • Ahren Warner, "Hasard"
  • Chrissy Williams, "Sheep"
  • Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch, "Table Manners"
  • Michael Zand, "on a persian cairn"
  • Contributors' Notes and Comments
  • List of Magazines
  • Acknowledgements

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The Best British Poetry 2011 by Roddy Lumsden
Used - Very Good
Salt Publishing
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