The High Window Press has now published three books of my poetry. I am very grateful to David Cooke and to Peter Jay who designed them so beautifully.
From Inside – 2017 – Chilcot, Arkan, Dick Cheney, the Middle East: subjects that find expression in these poems which explore the genre of “Immoralism” – a notion developed from the writings of André Gide and the personae of Robert Browning. We are taken beneath the external face of society. They employ a trope perhaps more sinister than irony. Their author taught in prisons until he was taken off the books for helping the inmates write material the authorities deemed inappropriate. Meaning here has a swingeing accuracy, which is remarkable, coming from a poet who pioneered abstraction in the seventies. Further information ISBN incorrect – £9.95
Songs of Realisation – 2019 – In this book, urban imagery gives way to the muddled ground just beyond London: woods and marshes, villages on the up and estates fallen into dilapidation. Central to the collection are three Songs of Realisation. In Indian literature, a “Song of Realisation” is a poem that realises divinity. The nature of matter on, below and above the earth provides inspiration for a description of Epping forest, the Chauvet cave and the Hubble telescope. These “songs” draw on mythology, archaeology and particle physics. A leitmotif is the notion of Shiva as creator and destroyer, conceived as a dancer, on axis. Meaning is both created and destroyed in each section, while the intention is to cause thought to express itself as a dance. Family history and childhood get explored in the poems that conclude the book. Further information ISBN 978-1-903006-16-0 – £9.95
Invention of Reality – 2022 – “An editor once told me that when it came to my work she was apprehensive about turning the page. I mix reassurance with uncertainty. I doubt she’d be able to cope.” A sequence of dizains celebrates Hawthornden Castle. After that, we take a tour of Europe – as did the castle’s owner William Drummond. Returning to an England mired in confusion prompts a shift towards a darker tone bearing witness to the state of affairs. A final sequence imagines a poem from the afterlife by Iraqi Fawzi Karim who died in 2019. Further Information ISBN 978-1-913201-28-9 – £14.95
Anthony Howell’s first collection, Inside the Castle, came out in 1969. In 1973 he was invited to the International Writers Program in Iowa. In 1997 he was short-listed for a Paul Hamlyn award. His versions of the poems of Fawzi Karim were a PBS Recommendation for 2011. He was the founder of The Theatre of Mistakes and is editor of Grey Suit Editions.
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