things i’m reading while waiting for an emotional starlit cheque

‘I was ashamed, but undaunted (my epithet?).’

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson is killing me sentence by sentence.


‘I read it again, from cover to cover, lying in bed on a grey morning. I looked ay my dressing grown, the turquoise towel hanging on the door, the North Pacific Ocean on the map above my bed reflecting in the mirror on the opposite wall and, very suddenly, the mid-January sky blue through the shreds of the trees.’

& while we’re on Maggie Nelson, Rebecca Perry writes beautifully on her Bluets in the latest The Poetry Review.


‘If we can’t have everything what is the closest amount to everything you can have?’

From a new poem by Emily Berry, which you can watch online thanks to a new reading series The Poetry Extension, founded by poet Natalya Anderson. The first event features Rebecca Perry, Jack Underwood, Matthew Tierney, Ada Limon, Emily Berry, Sara Peters. You can watch the event here.


‘do you know what it’s like to live / someplace that loves you back?’

from Danez Smith’s “summer, somewhere” first published in Poetry but also in the latest The Poetry Review thanks to their regular exchange with Poetry magazine.


‘Okay guys see you in a while’

Joey Connolly wants to read more books from other countries. I am very impressed. You can watch his progress & pick up book recommendations here. There’s also loads of good stuff on Joey’s blog. LATE ADDITION: Joey’s just made his entire reading list public which takes account of gender, ethnicity, countries etc with the objective of reading more broadly. It’s amazing! Take a look.


‘The new me would not talk about her feelings so publicly anymore’

from Julia Scheele’s brilliant comic on mental health and autobiography.


‘Sometimes, it feels like every day brings a new statement on abortion from someone whose opinion you really don’t want to hear.’

Stephanie Boland writes on Donald Trump and the UK’s own abortion problem in The New Statesman.


‘I looked like the mad wife in Jane Eyre / who was locked in the attic: hair crazy, / wearing my bathrobe over trousers / (I’d run out of clothes), crying & laughing / like there was no difference.’

This is from Kathryn Maris’s pamphlet 2008 published by If a Leaf Falls Press, which is run by Sam Riviere. The press publishes very limited edition poetry with an emphasis on appropriative and arbitrary writing processes. I am very excited to see what Monica McClure’s involves, which is coming soon.


‘if you’re lonely, this one’s for you’

so reads the dedication of Olivia Laing’s beautiful The Lonely City.


‘No space for body in the poetry. No / space for body at the cool kids party. No space for body / on the exam table. Definitely no space for body in the family / plot. Body all that potential.’

from The Fat Sonnets by Samantha Zighelboim.


‘How does it feel to be a problem? The mute centuries shatter in my ear.’

Safiya Sinclair’s winning poems from The Boston Review poetry competition.


‘we learned to speak of our own souls with great candour, so close did we feel to them, when before they had seemed like trick staircases to nowhere, sealed behind glass.’

A new poem by Sara Peters in The Walrus.


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