Tag Archives: Peter Reading

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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Final Demands by Peter Reading – Audio

Final Demands, Peter Reading, 1988
Publisher: Secker & Warburg

graphic for Peter Reading, Final Demands

Final Demands, Peter Reading’s thirteenth volume, continues with his theme, “an on-running meditation on the impotence of his art.” The book has unnumbered pages containing a collage of untitled poems and prose from various voices, including a chapter from a novel (pseudo-found) and letters Reading describes as found material “some reworked, some verbatim.” Reading created visual differentiation of the voices by use of type style, from ornate handwriting to italics, large children’s book typeface, and typewriter print.

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

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

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Stet by Peter Reading – Audio

Stet, Peter Reading, 1986
Publisher: Secker & Warburg

graphic for Peter Reading, Stet

Stet, which won the Whitbread Prize, is short, only 40 pages, the poems are untitled, and it is the first Reading book without page numbers. There are 79 “units”, scattered across the pages, in collage format. Here memories of childhood, wars, the arms industry, the state of the British economy, politics, destruction of rainforest are presented as disparate themes in a cohesive vision.

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

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

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C by Peter Reading – Audio

C, Peter Reading, 1984
Publisher: Secker & Warburg

image for Peter Reading, C, 1984

C was Reading’s seventh book and the fourth to receive a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. It consists of 100 100-word units, some in prose form, some in diverse verse forms: haiku, sonnet, iambic pentameter, amongst many others. Reading said of it, “C is about having a terminal illness and ways in which people confront death and dying.”

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

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

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Diplopic by Peter Reading – Audio

Diplopic, Peter Reading, 1983
Publisher: Secker & Warburg

graphic of Peter Reading, Diplopic

For Diplopic, his sixth book, Peter Reading received the Dylan Thomas Award. The judges explained their decision in these words: “The judges’ decision is that the Award should go to Peter Reading for poems in his collection, Diplopic. In these we especially admired the combination of comedy, intellectual inventiveness, fantasy (reaching for a shared reality) and energy of expression.” In explaining the book’s title, Reading wrote, “Diplopic means pertaining to double vision. Every subject is treated from two sides. The funny and the ghastly are symbiotic…The book is meant to work as a whole, not just a gathering of poems, so that sub-plots recur throughout a bit like a novel. The book is meant to be funny and horrible.”

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

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

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