Category Archives: Poetry

-273.15 by Peter Reading – Audio

-273.15, Peter Reading, 2005
Publisher: Bloodaxe Books

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-273.15 [absolute zero] is a lament, a tirade, a disaster warning, and an anthropologist’s catalogue of our final expedition addressed to an earlier survivor of global catastrophe, Noah of the Flood.
“Despair, both environmental and political, is never absent; but this is an appreciative, defiantly humane volume.” – Robert Potts, The Guardian.

Portions of this podcast are explicit and may contain adult language.

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You may learn more about Peter Reading on the Lannan website. You may also watch a video of these poems being read by Peter Reading there as well.

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by Peter Reading – Audio

, Peter Reading, 2003
Publisher: Bloodaxe Books

graphic for Peter Reading 2003, "delete"

Reading’s death statement features his “death mask on the cover.” His own consolations of “verse, viticulture and love” are mirrored in the extended swansong of Chinoiserie, a sequence of versions of the 8th-century Chinese poet Li Po, while the blunter associations of his title are encrypted in the book’s progressively shorter lyrics: obsolete, obscene and obit (he died). Now out of print, this book is included in Collected Poems Volume III: Poems 1997-2003 (2003, Bloodaxe).

Portions of this podcast are explicit and may contain adult language.

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You may learn more about Peter Reading on the Lannan website. You may also watch a video of these poems being read by Peter Reading there as well.

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Faunal by Peter Reading – Audio

Faunal, Peter Reading, 2002
Publisher: Bloodaxe

graphic for Peter Reading, Faunal

This new volume opens with a quote from Charles Darwin: “We will now discuss in a little more detail the struggle for existence.” Faunal is a book of poems about animals, or more specifically about Reading’s real or imagined experiences of the beasts of the earth, and of the most powerful beast of all, humanity. The poems are peppered with Latin names which function as tags marking the animal world as the property of the linguistic universe constructed by people, and Reading’s main attention here is to the ways in which people interact with animals, usually to the detriment of the latter.
(Courtesy of John Sears)

Portions of this podcast are explicit and may contain adult language.

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You may learn more about Peter Reading on the Lannan website.

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Civil by Peter Reading – Audio

Civil, Peter Reading, 2002
Publisher: Bloodaxe Books

graphic for Peter Reading, Civil

This book, now out of print, is included in Collected Poems Volume III: Poems 1997-2003 (2003, Bloodaxe).

Portions of this podcast are explicit and may contain adult language.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You may learn more about Peter Reading on the Lannan website. You may also watch a video of these poems being read by Peter Reading there as well.

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[Untitled] by Peter Reading – Audio

[Untitled], Peter Reading, 2001
Publisher: Bloodaxe

graphic for Peter Reading, Untitled

During his writing residency year in Marfa, Texas, Reading produced three pamphlets which together comprise [Untitled]. Apophthegmatic is inspired by Chinese poetry and in haiku and tankas, muses on the brevity of life and the poet’s anticipated death; Repetitious, only 6 pages long, is a summary of Reading’s themes, and refers to or repeats lines from other volumes; Copla a Pie Quebrado, 4 pages long, featuring Reading’s poems overlaying photographs of Marfa.

Portions of this podcast are explicit and may contain adult language.

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Length: 43:33; Size: 13.8 MB

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Marfan by Peter Reading – Audio

Marfan, Peter Reading, 2000
Publisher: Bloodaxe

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Peter Reading called Marfan, a “straightforward topographical travelogue”. The book has photographs by Jay Shuttleworth, collages by Reading, and a single book-length poem, written as a result of a yearlong Lannan Foundation residency in the small, high plains town of Marfa, Texas. The poem investigates, researches, observes and describes–often with great humor–the history, geology, topography, folklore, politics, superstitions, art, commerce and contemporary life in this US/Mexican border area.

Portions of this podcast are explicit and may contain adult language.

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Ob by Peter Reading – Audio

Ob, Peter Reading, 1999
Publisher: Bloodaxe

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This book followed various birding trips to the Gulf of Mexico, Canada, and the mountains of Arizona, where he saw species of birds and migrations on a scale new to him. While many poems celebrate these journeys, others treat death and pseudo-death, suicide, and even a funeral in very personal and introspective terms.

Portions of this podcast are explicit and may contain adult language.

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Work in Regress by Peter Reading – Audio

Work in Regress, Peter Reading, 1997
Publisher: Bloodaxe

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Shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and a Poetry Book Society Choice, Work in Regress is still committed to the epic, steeped in and championing the wisdom and poetic forms of the ancient cultures – Greeks, Anglo-Saxons, Chinese. A slim volume of impressive poems, this is a wonderful distillation of Reading’s themes and powers as a poet.

Portions of this podcast are explicit and may contain adult language.

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Eschatological by Peter Reading – Audio

Eschatological, Peter Reading, 1996
Publisher: Bloodaxe (included in Collected Poems 2: Poems 1985-1996)

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In her indispensable book, Reading Peter Reading, Isabel Martin writes, “Eschatological as a title is a distillation of the book’s agenda: scatology, classicism, and the contemplation of three of the Last Four Things: Death, Judgement, and Hell. [The book] shows Reading casting last glances over his shoulder and erecting a pyre of all the images of ‘Last Things’ he happens to see on earth.”

Portions of this podcast are explicit and may contain adult language.

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Last Poems by Peter Reading – Audio

Last Poems, Peter Reading, 1994
Publisher: Chatto & Windus

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Last Poems, written at a time of great change in Peter Reading’s personal life, presents itself as a posthumous collection prepared by John Bilston after the poet’s suicide. Here the pages have numbers, the poems have titles, for Reading had said he wanted to “get back to writing individual poems.” The death of the last hero, Beowulf, opens the book, and as Isabel Martin writes in Reading Peter Reading, “nothing has changed since then: fraud and disappointment, hunger and misery, havoc and pestilence, murder and slaughter. The apocalypse is on the horizon, accelerated in the 20th century.”

Portions of this podcast are explicit and may contain adult language.

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You may learn more about Peter Reading on the Lannan website.

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