Dear Charlotte Ansell, please publish more poetry

Today I finished reading one of my favourite books of poetry, ‘Deluge’ by Charlotte Ansell. I think I’ve read this book about three times now, and each time I love it even more. My only complaint is that I would really like Charlotte Ansell to publish some more. I just can’t keep reading this book over and over.

Deluge by Charlotte Ansell
Deluge by Charlotte Ansell

For the time being I will satisfy myself by reading ‘After Rain’, which I think I have only read once so far.

So, please Charlotte, publish some more, I’m waiting.

Brian Patten, Selected Poems

I bought this collection late last year after reading ‘Vanishing Trick’ again after decades. I enjoyed it so much I had to have more of his work, and I wonder why I haven’t read this sooner. His work is incredible, insightful, poignant and beautiful. Some of these poems just bring me up short, like they were written entirely to speak to me in the very moment that I find myself reading them. They are incredible.

In some ways I just want to read it all over again, but I should probably wait. Instead I might just buy more of his books and satisfy myself with those.

If you don’t know his work, change that.

After Rain by Charlotte Ansell

I have been meaning to buy this book since last year and I finally got around to it. I loved her book ‘Deluge‘, which I have read twice now.

After Rain is a slimmer volume, but no less beautiful for that. I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every poem in this collection and I am sure that it is a book that I will return to many times.

A portable paradise

This collection of poetry from Roger Robinson won the TS Elliot prize in 2019. I got it from the Poetry Book Society, which I would recommend. I had never read his work before this collection, but I am now very glad that I have.

The collection was at once challenging and moving, and also, at times, somewhat impenetrable, although that probably says more about me than about this collection of poetry. But it is powerful, really powerful.

I recommended this to a friend recently, and, after finding just an excerpt of it, she was sold and wanted to read more. I think that it can have that kind of an impact.

Deluge by Charlotte Ansell

Deluge by Charlotte Ansell
Deluge by Charlotte Ansell

This year I’ve been really enjoying reading poetry again this year. Both revisiting poetry that I’ve always enjoyed, and also finding new poets and collections. One such is Deluge by Charlotte Ansell. It’s a great collection.

I’ve never read her work before, but I may well go back and read some of her other work based on this. From the first poem onward it has been brilliant. Insightful and penetrating, funny at times, gentle and revealing.

I think that this is a collection of poems that I’ll read again, and again.

Uncommon Deities

This is undoubtedly my favourite album of all time. It is a work of tremendous and rare beauty, and every time I listen to it I am stunned by just how complete and unique it is.

I listen to it only when I have the time to devote myself entirely to listening to it without distraction, as it just isn’t the kind of music that you can listen to in the background. At least that’s my opinion.

However, I’ve recently just sat down and read the poems that are an integral part of Uncommon Deities. On their own they are incredibly beautiful. As a part of the whole they’re even better. But even so, I really enjoyed reading them in isolation.

I haven’t listened to this in years

Christopher Logue, Audiologue
Christopher Logue, Audiologue

Christopher Logue, Audiologue
Christopher Logue, Audiologue

I had completely forgotten that I had this signed numbered copy of Christopher Logue’s ‘Audiologue’. I haven’t listened to it in years and years and it was retrieved the other day to my surprise. It’s a lovely thing to have and I’m thinking about listening to it again soon, although I seem to remember that some of it was heavy going.

Edinburgh Fringe 2015: Under Milk Wood (Semi Skimmed)

Ed Fringe 2015: Under Milk Wood
Ed Fringe 2015: Under Milk Wood

Under Milk Wood is one of my favourite poems, if not my favourite of all. One of the best live performances of it that I’ve ever seen was by Guy Masterson. I saw it years ago and it was truly brilliant. So I’ve been going to see Guy Masterson every year at Edinburgh to see his shows, and they’ve all been brilliant. But I’ve always wanted to see his Under Milk Wood again.

So when I found that it was on again this year I knew I had to see it, and I did. It was a shortened version, or as he puts it the “Semi Skimmed” version. It was brilliant. Utterly brilliant. A complete joy to watch, and I loved every minute of it.

In fact, I had thought that it couldn’t really get any better than this, until the end when Guy Masterson said that he had CDs of the complete, unabridged performance for sale.

Ed Fringe 2015: Under Milk Wood CD
Ed Fringe 2015: Under Milk Wood CD

I had to have one, and so I did, but it got even better, because he signed the CD for me, and I got to chat to him, albeit briefly.

Ed Fringe 2015: Under Milk Wood signed CD
Ed Fringe 2015: Under Milk Wood signed CD

Uncommon Deities … a work of incredible beauty


I’ve had this album for some time but never spent enough to really listen to it deeply, but I did that the other week and found it was a work of almost intense beauty and depth. The words and the concepts are unique and wonderful and executed in such a subtle way it has to be one of the most thought provoking albums I’ve heard in ages.

I really want to listen to it again, in the same sort of environment, with the same attention to listening. It isn’t always something that’s easy to do.