culture wars logo archive about us links contact current
about us


This page is no longer in use, as of summer 2008 - if you have it bookmarked, please change it now: go to the new Culture Wars site, or use the archive button to look for older content.




The words on the page Archive Hour: The Larkin Tapes, BBC Radio 4, 1 March 2008
The poems recorded are from the more romantic, life affirming end of the Larkin spectrum. An inordinate number of people know him only as the poet who wrote that your mum and dad fuck you up. Probably an equal number know him only as the poet who said that deprivation was to him what daffodils were for Wordsworth.
Alistair John

The steely progression of entropy Los Alamos Mon Amour, by Simon Barraclough
This collection was born in the first nuclear test in 1945, and, according to Barraclough, life has been a string of explosions ever since. Culture is fissile stuff, and with every watershed it gets blasted into smaller and still more disparate fragments. We can try to make sense of the pieces or embrace the swirling madness.
Chris Kerr

Man in Black by David Caddy
The book is very much set up as a one which is trying to say something. There are six separate epigraphs, which suggests Caddy is trying to tell us something. Invoking the names of Coleridge, Donne and the Renaissance alchemists John Dee and Robert Fludd is trying to say something. What?
David Bowden

Following our coverage of the Forward Poetry Prize, and discussions on poetry at the Culture Wars forum and Battle of Ideas festival in London, Culture Wars is soliciting further articles about contemporary poetry and its place in the broader culture, with a view to expanding and improving our coverage of poetry in 2008.

A Look Around, A Look Back, At Critics and Poets An essay
If questions want answers asked for and unsettle answers given, that is patently good for a subject like ours, historically approached. It may be good, too, that the question is basic, and that it hardly appears here and now for the first time: as I look around, I have to look back.
Peter James

What poetry is and can be A response to the Battle of Ideas poetry discussion
Poets are not legislators, even unacknowledged ones. But if they can’t practise legislation, the bringing of law, they can practise jurisdiction, the speaking of right. Society doesn’t exist except as we make it; we are not atomised selves; the practice of speaking really changes the world as experienced.
James Wilkes

Poetry has lost its meaning An Australian perspective
The idea of what poetry is still seems to be alive, then, but for the most part, the word poetry is seen and heard in a sporting vernacular, not in the artistic - at least in Australia. How did it happen that the word poetry got to be about everything but poetry?
Robert Kennedy

Forward Poetry Prize Best Collection shorlist reviews and more
This year’s shortlist inclusion of young poets alongside their peers raises some interesting questions about what we want from poetry and how we think of poets today. Is the younger generation exploding the stereotype of a poet as a weathered old alcoholic by innovating with style and delivery. Should they be?
Various authors

The Drowned Book by Sean O'Brien
He comes to bury Thatcher, not to praise her. The message implies that we should move on, but in many ways it seems like the poem is another elegy – not for Thatcher, but for the angry young man O’Brien was, and the old political discourse.
David Bowden

The Habour Beyond the Movie by Luke Kennard
A thing made is a thing created. Kennard’s poems are hugely intelligent, sympathetic, and moving things, in free verse and prose. We love what we do not understand—the beloved, to begin with, the classics of literature, art, music, and philosophy, too.
Tim Markey

Birds with a Broken Wing by Adam Thorpe
Thorpe’s explains our failure to take flight through the lives of the ordinary man. Disasters are invoked with the mention of Hitler or Chamberlain, yet these are not the individuals who experience the true course of life.

Ion Martea

Domestic Violence by Eavan Boland
It would be foolish to think that Domestic Violence ignores the past. Like most Irish writers, the poet is acutely aware of how intertwined past and present can be in Ireland, 'as though the past could be present and memory itself / a Baltic honey'.
Andrew Wheelhouse

Gift Songs by John Burnside
Burnside strives to depict the meaning of words, rather than their physical reference. This yearning to define the indefinite - like art, like religion - is both cause and consolation for a puzzling existence.
Jay Bernard

Carbon Atom by Alexander Hutchison
Hutchison wields total mastery over English (and Scots) and shows imaginative and moving use of it (of them), invention within a gamut of genres and subjects, emotional variety and depth, and unforgettable, inexhaustible words, phrases, images, stanzas, passages, and poems instant in their force and lasting in their significance.
Tim Markey

Generation Txt by Tom Chivers (Editor), Joe Dunthorne, Inua Ellams, Laura Forman, Abigail Oborne, James Wilkes, Emma McGordon
What is striking is that these are, first and foremost, poems. The hip, modern references serve a decorative or contextual purpose, rather than stemming from the patronising notion that the reader couldn't understand poetry unless it's given a relevant twist.
David Bowden


All articles on this site � Culture Wars.