Шта то промиче
изнад мог сна?
То, између ноћи и дана,
низ степенице
силазе гласови,
једно сумерско лице,
киша и појаве у поноћ,
њихова сам расправа.
Све то на Сатурну одзвања.
Мој се лик у прстен претвара.
Преостали свемир несклон је нади.
Али ходник тече даље:
стубови, углови, тама
и Чувар
            мог дна.
У зору
заборављам име.
Полако и сан нестаје.
Ипак, неко остаје.
Како се зове тај шум?

I have forebodings

What is that gliding by
above my dream?
Those, between night and day,
are voices descending,
down the stairs
a Sumerian face,
rain and apparitions at midnight,
I am their quarrel.
All of this reverberates on Saturn.
My face turns into a ring.
The rest of the universe is disinclined to hope.
But the corridor flows on:
columns, corners, darkness
and the Guardian
            of my depths.
At dawn
I forget its name.
Slowly the dream fades, too.
Yet someone remains.
What is that sound called?

by Ivana Milankov, translated by James Sutherland-Smith andZorica Petrović

The Oxford HumanRights Festival has begun, and this week’s schedule includes a reading byJamie McKendrick and a discussion between him and the Director of the PoetryCentre, Dr Eóin Flannery, about his 2007 collection Crocodiles and Obelisks.The event takes place on Friday 28 February in Blackwell’s Bookshop in Oxford.To book tickets and to view the other Poetry Centre events during OHRF, visitthe festival page.

There is another fine reading taking place on Sunday 2 March at The AlbionBeatnik Bookshop. Jo Bell (former Director of National Poetry Day),Helen Mort (author of Division Street, shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize),and Alan Buckley (winner of the Wigtown Poetry Prize) will be reading. Entry is£5, and you are advised to book your tickets in advance, since space islimited! Visit the bookshop’s Facebook pagefor details.

‘I have forebodings’ by Ivana Milankov is copyright © Ivana Milankov, 2013, and translated by James Sutherland-Smith and Zorica Petrović. It is reprinted by permission of  ArcPublications  from  Dinner withFish and Mirrors (Arc Publications, 2013).

Notes from Arc Publications:

Ivana Milankov was born in 1952, in Belgrade, Serbia. She is the author of seven books of poetry and one book of poetical prose – a dream diary. She is a translator of English and American poetry, including the work of Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, W. B. Yeats, William Blake and Allen Ginsberg.

Serbia’s rich historical and religious history is evident in the poems inDinner with Fish and Mirrors and there is an untiring effort to reach beyond the sensations of the world around her towards mystical revelation, to communicate the incommunicable.

To read further selections from the book, visit the Arc website , where you can also read an essay by Ivana Milankov, and an interview with the translator James Sutherland-Smith.

Since it was founded in 1969, Arc Publications has adhered to its fundamental principles – to introduce the best of new talent to a UK readership, including voices from overseas that would otherwise remain unheard in this country, and to remain at the cutting edge of contemporary poetry. Arc also has a music imprint, Arc Music, for the publication of books about music and musicians. As well as its page on  Facebook , you can find Arc on  Twitter .

Visit  Arc’s website  to join the publisher’s mailing list, and to find full details of all  publicationsand writers . Arc offers a 10% discount on all books purchased from the website (except Collectors’ Corner titles). Postage and packing is free within the UK.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.

from Night Office

We were assembled on the station platform.
He told us not to leave, but rather wait
for his return, whose signs would take that form
we should know when we saw them. We should wait,
wait only, for that certain day; no storm,
however violent, should now create
an instant’s doubt of his assured return.
It was magnificent; we felt that we should learn

in due course every needed detail, nor
should we at this time question him, but stand
receiving & accepting, and know more
at just those times and seasons when his hand
should by his agents from that further shore
send news, signs, tokens, which might still strike land
here in our clandestine assembly, tell
us of the last new happenings in hell.

Whether in Khabarovsk or in New York,
some word should come, some emissary find
one of our number: as the stooping hawk
finds out the field mouse, so his keen love’s kind
and irresistible dexterity
should at each crossed road or each dubious fork
know how to reach that one of all our kind
who would with the correct celerity

alert the rest. The train began to leave.
The last I saw of him, through sparkling glass,
or what I could make out, where time can thieve
no particle of recollection, may not class
it with some set of likeness, nor bereave
me of one colour, one swift stroke or pass,
but still retains each single thought & gesture,
each hard-won glimpse & hardly-spoken texture,

was his retreating smile at once and frown:
where the cheek’s stoicism bore its gloss
set by the brow’s lines where they just turned down
but where the mouth’s serenity took loss
for gain in knowledge; so without a sound
his lips formed one word which it was impossible
to make out, though eye strain and ear
work its drums over so it might come near

that latest testament.

by Simon Jarvis

A reminder that several Poetry Centre events are taking place during the Oxford Human Rights Festival, including a talk by Poetry Centre Director, Dr Eóin Flannery, about the divisive political and human rights figure, Roger Casement, on Monday 24 February, and a reading and discussion with Jamie McKendrick about his 2007 collection Crocodiles and Obelisks on Friday 28 February. To book tickets, visit the festival page.

Oxford Brookes students from the Department of English and Modern Languages have launched a project to encourage year 7 and 8 Oxford Academy pupils to get excited about creative writing and literature – and they need your help to fund the project! The scheme could culminate in an event at the Oxford Literary Festival. You can find out more about the project – and how to make it happen – on the Hubbub site.

‘from Night Office‘ is copyright © Simon Jarvis, 2013, and reprinted from his book Night Office, published by  Enitharmon Books in 2013.

Notes from Enitharmon:

Simon Jarvis is Gorley Putt Professor of Poetry and Poetics at Cambridge University. He has published studies of Wordsworth, Adorno, and Shakespearean criticism. His previous poetry publications include The Unconditional (2005) and Dionysus Crucified (2011).

Simon Jarvis writes that: ‘Night Office is the initial publication from among a small set of long poems for which the collective title is The Calendar. Each poem relates to the others as the points, not in a line, but of a star: none need be considered as first or last. Each explores those manners in which the invisible life of the soul throws off from itself tunes, colours, times, histories and nations; each, from verse constraints upon syllable and intonation, works towards the concrete freedoms of poetic thinking. Night Office listens out, through its long white night, for the silencing of human sounds – as these last fall asleep into their signs.’ You can read a review of the book from the Cambridge Humanities Review on the Enitharmon website.

‘William Blake dreamed up the original Enitharmon as one of his inspiriting, good, female daemons, and his own spirit as a poet-­‐artist, printer-­‐publisher still lives in the press which bears the name of his creation. Enitharmon is a rare and wonderful phenomenon, a press where books are shaped into artefacts of lovely handiwork as well as communicators of words and worlds. The writers and the artists published here over the last forty-­‐five years represent a truly historic gathering of individuals with an original vision and an original voice, but the energy is not retrospective: it is growing and new ideas enrich the list year by year. Like an ecologist who manages to restock the meadows with a nearly vanished species of wild flower or brings a rare pair of birds back to found a colony, this publisher has dedicatedly and brilliantly made a success of that sharply endangered species, the independent press.’ (Marina Warner.)

You can sign up to the mailing list on the  Enitharmon site to receive a newsletter with special offers, details of readings & events and new titles and Enitharmon’s Poem of the Month.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.

On the Fell

Winds have
so cut it it
can give
an edge
to wind

a sand

to a blade         a breathless bone
releasing these              sharp grains      of sand

by John Birtwhistle

Two reminders from the Poetry Centre: the Department of English and Modern Languages is offering one three year, full-time PhD studentship. For the successful candidate the home/EU fee will be paid by the Faculty and the student will receive an annual stipend of £7000 for three years beginning in 2014/15. The deadline for applications is Monday 10 March, and there are more details on the Department’s website. Please spread the word!

Don’t forget too that the Poetry Centre and the Ashmolean Museum have launched ‘Picture This!’, their Pre-Raphaelite poetry competition, open to all Sixth Formers studying in Oxford. More details can be found on the Ashmolean’s website. 

‘On the Fell’ is copyright © John Birtwhistle, 2013. It is reprinted by permission of Anvil Press from Eventualities (Anvil Press, 2013).

Notes from Anvil Press:

This is John Birtwhistle‘s first collection of poems since Our Worst Suspicions (1985), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. In the meantime much of his writing has gone into libretti, including The Plumber’s Gift, performed by English National Opera. He has not, however, been neglecting poetry – as can be seen from the energetic variety of form and tone displayed here. Birtwhistle accepts from modernism the duties of visual clarity, concision, and originality of phrase; but he unites this with a romantic commitment to feeling and to organic form. His subject matter is wide-ranging as ever, but shows a new intensity about the life cycle. You can read further selections from Eventualities on the Anvil website.

John Birtwhistle was a Writing Fellow at the University of Southampton before becoming a Lecturer in English at the University of York. He now lives in Sheffield with his wife, son, and daughter.

Anvil Press, founded in 1968, is based in Greenwich, south-east London, in a building off Royal Hill that has been used at various points in its 150-year history as a dance-hall and a printing works. Anvil grew out of a poetry magazine which Peter Jay ran as a student in Oxford and retains its small company ethos. Visit Anvil’s website here, where you can sign up to their mailing list to find out about new publications and events.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.

Knitting Time

She sings those star-garments into shape
in her sleep on nights when there is light
enough to birth a new universe.
But now, her melody won’t settle.

Like Lot’s wife she looks back at glass dripping upwards,
hears the movement whisper,
the pane slipping slowly into sand
as echoes yield an unflinching moment.

Inhabiting a raw time, of all tomorrows, yesterdays,
she breathes, but nothing will hold;
and once the terror takes, Hell takes over
with a host of illusions, tenebrous voices
cutting the belly of her self-belief.

And so back to the knitting vessel
carrier of her soul into the living land,
the safe place of cross stitch, cable and twist
where the breath can be measured
just one step, one small step, beyond fear.

by Colin Hambrook

News of an upcoming poetry event: ‘People and Places: a poetry reading at the Albion Beatnik Bookshop’, on Sunday 9 February from 6.00-7.30pm, Walton Street, Oxford. There will be readings by David Attwooll, Kayo Chingonyi, Pey Colborne, Catherine Faulds, Lucy Ingrams, Jenny Lewis, Rachel Piercey, and Lyn Thornton. 

‘Knitting Time’ is copyright © Colin Hambrook, 2013. It is reprinted from Knitting Time by Colin Hambrook (published by Waterloo Press in 2013) by permission of Waterloo Press.

Notes from Waterloo Press:

Knitting Time recounts the author’s experience of growing up in a household dominated by religious beliefs, where the world was scheduled to end in 1975. Hambrook charts his mother’s deterioration after being expelled from the Jehovah’s Witnesses faith, as she descended into psychosis. A series of striking black and white drawings by Hambrook complement the texts, adding extra depth and dimension to this compelling collection. With echoes of William Blake, Ted Hughes, Spike Milligan, and Jeanette Winterson, Knitting Time provides powerful insights into millenarianism, psychosis, and the bonds of love when they are tested by trauma and loss.

Colin Hambrook is a writer, editor and artist. He established DAO in 2004 and continues to develop the journal as a platform giving a voice to arts practitioners who identify with disability and the issues which underpin arts practice from a disability perspective. In 2013 he produced Knitting Time – a project exploring concerns around psychosis – and exhibited the resulting body of work at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester in November 2013. His second illustrated collection Knitting Time, published by Waterloo Press, was one of the bodies of work, which came out of this research and development project. You can follow his work on his blog.

Waterloo Press offers readers an eclectic list of the most stimulating poetry from the UK and abroad. We promote what’s good of its kind, finding a commonality amongst the poets we publish. Our beautifully designed books range from lost modernist classics, translations and vibrant collections by the best British poets around. Our translation list is growing to 25% of our output.

Waterloo Press brings radical and marginalised voices to the fore, mirroring their aesthetics in outstanding book design, including dust jackets; large font; and original artwork. With its growing list, Waterloo Press promotes at last a permeable membrane between contemporary schools, quite apart from archiving a few sacred vessels for good. WP fosters a poetics based on innovation with respect for craft, bloody-mindedness and as founder Sonja Ctvrtecka put it: ‘An elegant unstuffiness – a seagull perched on a Porsche.’  Now the major poetry publisher of the south-east, we also believe strongly in a community of like-minded independent presses. We’ve become a land.

Find out more about Waterloo Press via its website, or ‘like’ the publisher on Facebook.

Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.