Category Archives: Poetry

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.

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

Length: 43:33; Size: 13.8 MB

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Marfan by Peter Reading – Audio

Marfan, Peter Reading, 2000
Publisher: Bloodaxe

graphic for Peter Reading, Marfan

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

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Ob by Peter Reading – Audio

Ob, Peter Reading, 1999
Publisher: Bloodaxe

graphic for Peter Reading, Ob

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

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Work in Regress by Peter Reading – Audio

Work in Regress, Peter Reading, 1997
Publisher: Bloodaxe

graphic for Peter Reading, Work in Regress

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

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Eschatological by Peter Reading – Audio

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

graphic for Peter Reading, Eschatological

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

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Last Poems by Peter Reading – Audio

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

graphic for Peter Reading, Last Poems

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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Evagatory by Peter Reading – Audio

Evagatory, Peter Reading, 1992
Publisher: Chatto & Windus

graphic for Peter Reading, Evagatory

Peter Reading says of this volume. “It started life as an intention to produce a mixture of a picaresque Odyssey travelogue. Well, I’ve fallen miserably short of that idea, not least in length, but the idea of wandering and repetitive occurrences of the same voice under different circumstances I have managed to keep.”

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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Shitheads by Peter Reading – Audio

Shitheads, Peter Reading, 1990
Publisher: Squirrelprick Press

graphic for Peter Reading, Shitheads

In November 1989, Peter Reading announced, “a very short limited edition of about a dozen poems, which I found myself with. They are all slightly separate and they all have titles. I wasn’t going to expand them into anything larger. But they all, as it turned, out, go together. They include some translations of short pieces by Catullus into the original metres…and some of my own. They’re all about unsatisfactory people. It’s called Shitheads.”

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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Perduta Gente by Peter Reading – Audio

Perduta Gente, Peter Reading, 1989
Publisher: Secker & Warburg

graphic for Peter Reading, Perduta Gente

Perduta Gente, a Poetry Book Society Choice, garnered international attention for Reading. The book has a strong single vision put forward in untitled poems, prose pieces, photocopied newspapers, and excerpts from secret documents, all on unnumbered pages, so that it can be read in any order. “Perduta Gente is the unmitigated summation of human catastrophe Reading has been moving towards…the ills of humanity, unmitigable though inflected by changing times, are Reading’s theme, and this time he’s managed to get most of them in.”

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.

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