Vendange Tardive, Peter Reading, 2010
Publisher: Bloodaxe Books
“Vendange Tardive is a late harvest of vintage Reading in disaster mode. Here is a rueful crop of valedictory poems in which man reaps what he sows: shipwreck, ruin, death, war, ignomony and extinction. But somehow, amid all that, there is still the fruit of the vine and the bittersweet spirit of life.” – Bloodaxe Books
“A vendange tardive is a late-harvest wine, and the title poem records the gift of a bottle on the poet’s 62nd birthday. Another poem, ‘All Is Safely Gathered In’, in which he offers thanks for a birthday bottle of champagne, bluntly begins: ‘Morituri te salutant’ (we who are about to die salute you). While this book marks Reading’s return to a collection of individual pieces, it still coheres as he weaves multiple threads in which deaths of family members and friends mix with the deleterious effects of oil-dependent economies, compounded by a day-to-day awareness that not only is the self at the age of ‘late harvest’, but in the face of climate change, so is the whole human race.” – Carrie Etter, The Guardian.
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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.