Saturday, 9 October 2010

Discovery! C K Williams in Manchester


On 4 October 2010, I went to a reading by C K Williams in the Manchester literatue festival with my friend, Heather, a Canadian - invited, I suppose, because she is a North American, extremely bright and likely to be in tune with Williams's ethical concerns (a literary way of saying the uncomfortable 'p' word, POLITICAL).

I'd read a couple of poems by Williams and I loved the way his poetry modulates through an experience touching on thoughts and analysis as well as emotion, but in a way which stems from the experience at the root of the poem, not as comment upon it. What amazed me at the reading was also his capacity for empathy. He is an existential poet because his poetry is about existence and the choices which underlie it. Somehow this approach enables him to write political and philosophical poetry AND love poetry, although of course there's no reason why those categories are mutually exclusive. Indeed, their interweaving reminds me of 17th century metaphysical poetry.

There's some good reviews by Michael Hofman and Chase Twitchell on the amazon site: these say as much as I could, rather more elegantly.

Anyway, I've ordered a collected poems from the USA in hardback at half the price of the paperback in this country and I can't wait till it comes.

And Heather, who isn't a big poetry fan like me really loved the evening, which made it even better!

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