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Poetry pair release their Graft books
There are people who write poetry and there are poets. The latter – Dante, Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, W B Yeats – are vastly outnumbered by the former.
The difference between poets and people who write poetry is that the former’s work makes a significant universal impact for all time, whereas the bulk of poetry by people who write rarely lasts beyond the lifetime of its creator – and never as entertainment.
Nevertheless poetry of the second and third rank – Roger McGough, Ian McMillan, Simon Armitage, right – is important because it is accessible and helps to keep language charged.
Last year, the T&A reviewed a poetry anthology called Mind And Body: Forty Years Of Pennine Poets – poems from contributors to the Pennine Platform poetry magazine, which started life in Bradford in 1973.
One of the things that surprised me was the subject matter of some pieces. Far from being the musings of troubled souls set fast in a drystone wall landscape, there were poems about Van Gogh, Jan Van Eyck, Edvard Munch, Jane Austen and Bradford City FC.
The volume was evidence of a very high standard among people writing poetry in Yorkshire. One of the contributors was Nicholas Bielby, editor of Pennine Platform, which comes out twice a year.
The magazine is spreading its wings with a new poetry publishing venture called Graft.
Two volumes are the immediate fruit of this venture, thanks to the phenomenon of digital publishing: Reader, Help Me, by Andrew Boobier (£5.95) and Without A Dog, by Julia Deakin (£5.95).
Nicholas said: “I have long been impressed by the quality of our contributors and have felt that some of them richly deserve to have a first collection and a wider audience.
“Julia Deakin’s work has been well-received in many magazines and competitions – most recently as a winner of the 2007 Poetry Business Competition.
“Andrew Boobier has something of an international reputation because, for some time, he was editor of the American Alsop Review’s online poetry magazine Octavo.”
They are well-produced little books by two very different writers. Julia Deakin’s poetry is more directly influenced by causes of public concern, although not exclusively so. Andrew Boobier, more conscious of making a cultural splash, is excited by modern French and American literature.
No evidence of dry stone walls, quaint villages and dialect poetry. Yorkshire is where they happen to live; the range of interests for their subject matter comes from much further afield.
Both books may be obtained at Pennine Platform. Visit pennineplatform.co.uk or e-mail: email@example.com.