Iliassa Sequin: Collected Complete Poems

Iliassa Sequin’s unique way of writing is at last available in a publication from Grey Suit Editions

More details about her work and her life here

Now available on Amazon and on Abebooks.

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Less than a Day from April

Winter's Not Gone


Less than a day from April,

The wax white, compact

Hyacinth is up.

And petals in a sky


Trailing a fringe of drizzle,

Cling to the gusty almond.

Daffodil clumps are swept

Like weed combed by a brook.


The loam underfoot is mish-mash

Pasted over with oakleaf.

Knocked-about drives with potholes

Go where the barns moulder.


Pert above waterlogged gravel,

Blue tits flit at table;

Woodpeckers cheerfully hammer

Cantankerous morning together.


Lichen stains the leeside

Of boles near draughty marshes

Where nothing but walkable tussocks

And adequate boots make a passage.


Anchored by only their shadows

Cast on the fields’ floor,

Armadas of cumulus-nimbus

Ride in the sun’s glare.

*    *    *

From the mildewed seams of a rag-doll’s

Ill-stitched, lenient thighs,

Rotting apart since August

By the concrete military road,


Hair sprouts as the shoots do;

Minuscule ivy glides

Among the fizzy parsleys

And the embryonic grasses.


Less than a day from April,

Odd leaves are stuck

Where they first were blown

Onto the hedges: a hawk


Spies upon pasture edged

By birches lozenge-clad

In criss-cross net,

And spangled at the garter;


Lifting a sheer leg,

Stretching into the fingers

Of twigs turning red

Behind the trim estate.


Caught in the wrecked masts

Of last year’s thistles,

Aghast blown skirls

Spill from the rear trestles


In gardens back to back:

Radio 1 and a chain-saw

Attack and counter-attack

Children curdling blood;


While tendrilly vibrations

With dwarf orange balls

Offset brick walls

And camouflage the eyesore.


But garages padlock hardware;

For Primrose Way’s Elect,

City-employed and gerbilled,

Are all too easily burgled.

*    *    *

Less than a day from April,

The ‘pressure cooker’ effect

Builds in the twigs and the neighbour

Just on the brink of sobriety.


A hedgerow high society,

Less than an hour from the centre;

Saved by its Alps and Bahamas

From merely English winter.


A countrified sort of urbanity,

Seen on a dark afternoon

As the stamp of our national sanity.

Prunus blossom in porcelain


Falls on the splintering ice there

Beneath its unglazed biscuit

On the sideboard where each sits it,

Which is actually not Formica.


From a pamphlet published by John Welch’s Many Press in 1984 with a wonderful cover by Peter Tingey. I have just a few copies left.

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The Sarah Maguire Prize Announcement on Zoom

The Poetry Translation Centre invites you to attend the announcement of the winner of the Sarah Maguire Prize for Poetry in Translation.
Incomprehensible Lesson by Fawzi Karim, translated by Anthony Howell is among the five books short-listed.

Join the shortlisted poets, translators and publishers live on Zoom for conversation, readings and find out the inaugural prize winner.

 SAVE THE DATEThursday 25 March, from 5pm GMTWinner announcement at 6pm

The public can watch here: I think at 7.30 pm on Youtube.

Click here for further links to books by Fawzi Karim and essays about him 

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Grey Suit Editions – two new publications!

There are two new publications by Grey Suit Editions UK. Collected Complete Poems by Iliassa Sequin and The Cross of Carl by Walter Owen.

Thanks to Peter Jay, Ken Sequin, Peter Gizzi, Catherine Somers and everyone who has contributed expertise and time to these two projects we are very pleased to have published.

Scroll down the Grey Suit Editions Blog for details about more of our publications – including our chap-books. The stock of our chapbooks is being mailed from Canada, where they were originally printed and stored, and all will be available shortly.

More details about Iliassa Sequin here.

More details about Walter Owen here.

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Three Poems (now with recordings) at the Fortnightly

These three poems

published by The Fortnightly Review are now accompanied by very good sound recordings.

Further recordings can be found here where a link can be found to my poems on the National Poetry Archive.

A favourite recording of mine is Beverley at Iguazu from Dancers in Daylight. It can be found on my youtube channel videos.

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A Reading of Poets short-listed for the Sarah Maguire Prize

Click this link for the STANZA translation event, which is a reading open to view online on Monday eighth of March. I shall be reading at this event.



My versions of Incomprehensible Lesson by Fawzi Karim (published by Carcanet) are among the shortlisted books for this prize.

Also, The Poetry Translation Centre invites you to attend the announcement of the winner of the Sarah Maguire Prize for Poetry in Translation.
Join the shortlisted poets, translators and publishers live on Zoom for conversation, readings and find out the inaugural prize winner.
Thursday 25 March, from 5pm GMT
Winner announcement at 6pm
Zoom details:

Click here for further links to books by Fawzi Karim and essays about him 

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A Dance from the Tang Dynasty

I have just discovered the poetry of Tang Dynasty Dance

Suggests clouds to me.

Here is another extraordinary dance – if perhaps not so authentic.

The Tang dynasty: 唐朝, or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Historians generally regard the Tang as a high point in Chinese civilization, and a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Tang territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, rivalled that of the Han dynasty.


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Clouds and Cranes

Clouds and Cranes

Click the link above for this slideshow. 

Background Art? It can be watched in silence, or, if you prefer, choose your own music for it to accompany.

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New England and the Maritimes

horse in stable

Very happy with these poems now published in The High Window

Can’t resist adding a link to Woody Allen.

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A response to a tweet

I know I’m a fan of one word poem titles & it’s not for everyone, but there really are…a lot…of poems with titles like “Six Years After My Husband Left Me, My Daughter Comes Home From School & Asks Me About Walruses”.

So tweeted Clarissa Aykroyd – who gave me permission to use her exemplary title.



I am not doing the dishes. I don’t believe in it.

That’s why I have a housekeeper. I have my practice

To keep abreast of. My daughter is very independently-minded.

At eight, she is already proud of her eccentricity.

Why is she asking? And how exactly did she put it?

I was only half listening as I was watching some programme

About a pogrom – which somehow seemed more urgent –  

A pogrom against owners of bitcoin. She repeats it:

Mum, what do you think about walruses?

Now is that Walruses with a capital W? A brand maybe.

Mums have to be so cool these days. Some species

Of footwear? Perhaps she wants to keep one as a pet.

That would in all likelihood prove expensive,

You’d have to build a pool for it. And though I provide

For us comfortably enough with my practice,

Since Ken buggared off, put it this way, I’m mindful.

That’s why in the evenings I like to relax by listening to

Financial views and familiarising myself with

Such phrases as the Gulag Casino. I wouldn’t want to have

Anything to do with them, I respond grumpily.

Why can’t she ever ask me about something more

Educational, more stature building, more

Up my street, like Thomas Jefferson? At her age

I knew all about him. I could seriously expand

If she came and said, Mum what do you think about

Thomas Jefferson? And I could round it off by saying

I believe that banking institutions are more

Dangerous to our liberties than standing armies!

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