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Voyage for Solo Trumpet. Musical Collaboration with Deborah Pritchard and Simon Desbruslais

Sunday, 30 April 2017 at 09:49

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Nine of Cliff's poems form part of a collaborative work with composer Deborah Pritchard in response to the Voyage statue created by Icelandic sculptor Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir. Trumpeter Simon Desbruslais will give the world premiere of Voyage for Solo Trumpet accompanied by Cliff and Deborah reciting the poems.

The performance takes place at 12.30 on 1 May 2017 at the Voyage statue, Victoria Pier, Nelson Street Hull HU1 3XE.

Cliff's poems connect the Voyage statue overlooking the Humber at Victoria Pier with its sister statue in Vik, Iceland. Cliff was one of the poets originally commissioned to write a poem when the statue was erected in Hull in 2006. Cliff has now developed the original piece into a sequence which includes some of the Hull poems from Pilgrim Tongues together with new pieces about the Vik statue.

An exhibition of life-sized scupltures by Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir form Cairns, a new sculpture trail, at Hull University. The exhibition continues until 8 October 2017.

The picture shows the Vik sculpture against the Northern Lights.

Satyr

Tuesday, 11 April 2017 at 19:15

Cover of Cliff Forshaw's Satyr

My new book Satyr, a sequence of satirical poems illustrated by paintings and drawings confronts the world in a week or two at the University of Hull.

There's a double book launch with Sarah Stutt, whose Winter Born has recently come out from Poetry Salzburg Press.

Sarah has been a PhD student of mine for the last couple of years; she's been mixing creative writing, translation from German poets, and a critical approach to the notion of Heimat. She's an excellent poet and has contributed fine work to our Humber Writers' collaborations.

Do come to the launch if you can:

Middleton Arts Cafe, University of Hull, 6pm Tuesday 25 April, Free. All Welcome.

There are some poems from Satyr in a previous post. I'll add another one or two over the next few days and some illustrations.

Here's the cover: a painting of mine you could think of as "Satyrday Night".

Versions from Rimbaud and Baudelaire

Friday, 27 January 2017 at 19:15

The Literateur online

Click below for a link to The Literateur online journal which has some of Cliff's versions from Rimbaud and Baudelaire

http://literateur.com/versions-of-rimbaud-and-baudelaire/

The poems are part of Cliff's ongoing translation project French Leave, which also includes versions, perversions, and variations on themes by Gautier, de Nerval, Corbière, Laforgue, Apollinaire, Queneau and Houellebecq.

Some of the Apollinaire versions are on other pages on this webside, together with the Raoul Dufy woodcuts which accompanied the original publication. Other poems by Baudelaire and Corbière appear on The Common online:

http://www.thecommononline.org/synaesthesia

http://www.thecommononline.org/toad

Larkin in Poets' Corner

Thursday, 1 December 2016 at 18:55

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Philip Larkin gets his place in Poets' Corner today.

Any poet associated with Hull naturally has to deal with him one way or another. I was amused by a review of Wake, which described my work as having "the spirit of Larkin, perhaps, re-emerging, muscular and revitalised". Nice to be more muscular than Larkin.

Anyway, my most recent collection Pilgrim Tongues plays around with some of Larkin's themes, and includes two sequences about him. Here are some fragments from those sequences:

Still Here

You’d hardly recognise some parts,
though other streets would take you back
between the bombers and the planners.
We needed then, of course, a brand new start;
those times would soon be history, we thought.
The shining future was already overdue
the day you lugged your case of shirts, socks, suits,
books, LPs, spare specs, those Soho mags;
that struggling with umbrella, flapping mac
− all the impedimenta of being you.
We may have lacked the phrase, but, boy, we knew,
before your train stopped shy of our docile buffers,
we were already ready. It was time to move on,
the day you hailed that cab at Paragon.

Awkward Reverence

In the shed, the bike, upright
with honest crossbar awaits: bolts tight,
chain oiled beneath the trouser guard;
wheels ready to slice
off-days into dull glitterings: life,
like sun, somewhere between the spokes.

Geoff the Leveller

A February Sunday brings the snow;
crash-landed, sky means soft debris,
tiny mountains, your head at thirty
thousand feet. All that was high brought low.

Forget extinction’s alp, Western Cemetery’s dead flat.
− Not quite: the hallowed ground is riddled, holed;
headstones so intent on touching base they further fall
where earth is truant, plays hide and seek with the ground
of our being, shrinks into the voids between drained clay.
Think absences, the waves that drop, the shoreless days.

This is Hull. (Nor are we out of it in Cottingham.)
Acquainted with this great suburban spirit-leveller, did you,
chatting to the grave, yet matey overseer,
finally find your level too?

Welcome to my blog

Friday, 22 January 2010 at 11:26

When time permits I hope to be in a position to update my blog.
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