Tag Archives: Peter Reading

5x5x5x5x5x by Peter Reading – Audio

5x5x5x5x5x, Peter Reading, 1983
Publisher: Ceolfrith Press

graphic for Peter Reading, 5x5x5x5x5x

5x5x5x5x5 was conceived as collaboration with artist, David Butler, and originally published with his images. It consists of 5 sections, each section of 5 units, each unit 5 stanzas, each stanza 5 lines, each line 5 syllables (there is one hypercatalectic line in 2 v). 5 personae are observed in 5 (licensed) locations.
The following is the first two stanzas of Unit 1, Section 1:
A dead wombat, stuffed
with contemptuous
disregard for all
anatomical
possibility,
is nailed to a beam
with a Davy lamp
and a World War I
gas-mask and a glass
fashioned like a boot.

Portions of this podcast are explicit and contain adult language.

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

Tom O’Bedlam’s Beauties by Peter Reading – Audio

Tom O’Bedlam’s Beauties, Peter Reading, 1981
Publisher: Secker & Warburg

graphic for Peter Reading, Tom O'Bedlams Beauties

Tom O’Bedlams’s Beauties was the first Reading volume to garner a long review in the Times Literary Supplement. The TLS review was positive, “Reading has steadily made his way into a territory explores by no one less in contemporary British poetry.” The volume is also considered by Isabel Martin as the first “typical Reading: variations on one large, unusual theme are bound into a mosaic structure by novelistic devices.”

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

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

Fiction by Peter Reading – Audio

Fiction, Peter Reading, 1979
Publisher: Secker & Warburg

graphic for Peter Reading, Fiction

Fiction was Peter Reading’s fourth published volume of poems and contains 23 poems. The epigraph sets the central theme:
Verse is not Fiction
Ask any librarian.
“Reality” and fiction are always in question and the work deals with the absence of centers of meaning, even including this last line in the first poem, Fiction, “Even one’s self is wholly fictitious.”

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

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

Nothing for Anyone by Peter Reading – Audio

Nothing for Anyone, Peter Reading, 1977
Publisher: Secker & Warburg

graphic for Peter Reading, Nothing for Anyone

The epigram for Nothing for Anyone says:
Mercifully, we’re only
molested by the Big Issue
in the watches of the night;
in daylight hours we busy
ourselves with the Trivial.
A mixture of poems and prose works full of social satire, “Reading’s book is an oasis of intellect and wit. Experimenting with styles and word games, he achieves some very entertaining and interesting effects. A bitter wit marks all these poems.”

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

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

For the Municipality’s Elderly by Peter Reading – Audio

For the Municipality’s Elderly, Peter Reading, 1974
Publisher: Secker & Warburg

graphic for Peter Reading, For the Municipality's Elderly

Peter Reading’s book, For the Municipality’s Elderly, shows evidence of Reading’s literary mentors, Frost, Hopkins, Auden, Eliot, and Larkin amongst others, as well as a distinctively individual voice and style. The poems’ interest in decay and death presages Reading’s permanent themes of transcendence through nature alone, and the all-pervasiveness of death. The book also contains almost all the poems included in the Outpost Publications book (1970), Water and Waste.

Mr. Reading has said, “Amongst the places I tried to bombard with stuff was Outposts Magazine. Howard Sergeant wrote to me saying, ‘I don’t want to use the enclosed, but would you like to produce a small book?’. That was how Water and Waste came about.”

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

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

Peter Reading, Vendange Tardive, Reading, 2010 – Video

Recorded at the home of Peter Reading in October, 2010.

Peter Reading is one of Britain’s most original and controversial poets: angry, uncompromising, gruesomely ironic, hilarious, and heartbreaking. In Spring 2001, the Lannan Foundation traveled to England and recorded Peter Reading reading his entire body of poetry to that time, i.e. through the collection Faunal. In 2010 the Lannan Foundation commissioned British filmmaker Pamela Robertson-Pearce to record Mr. Reading reading from his subsequent collections at his home in Ludlow, Shropshire, England. The Lannan Foundation is delighted to bring the voice and work of Peter Reading to a world-wide audience.

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.

You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website.

Peter Reading, -273.15, Reading, 2005 – Video

Recorded at the home of Peter Reading in October, 2010.

Peter Reading is one of Britain’s most original and controversial poets: angry, uncompromising, gruesomely ironic, hilarious, and heartbreaking. In Spring 2001, the Lannan Foundation traveled to England and recorded Peter Reading reading his entire body of poetry to that time, i.e. through the collection Faunal. In 2010 the Lannan Foundation commissioned British videographer Pamela Robertson-Pearce to record Mr. Reading reading from his subsequent collections at his home in Ludlow, Shropshire, England. The Lannan Foundation is delighted to bring the voice and work of Peter Reading to a world-wide audience.

-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

You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website.

Update: We previously had an incorrect video file and have replaced it with the correct version. We apologize for any confusion. 13 September 2011)

Peter Reading, ∂, Reading, 2003 – Video

Recorded at the home of Peter Reading in October, 2010.

Peter Reading is one of Britain’s most original and controversial poets: angry, uncompromising, gruesomely ironic, hilarious, and heartbreaking. In Spring 2001, the Lannan Foundation traveled to England and recorded Peter Reading reading his entire body of poetry to that time, i.e. through the collection Faunal. In 2010 the Lannan Foundation commissioned British videographer Pamela Robertson-Pearce to record Mr. Reading reading from his subsequent collections at his home in Ludlow, Shropshire, England. The Lannan Foundation is delighted to bring the voice and work of Peter Reading to a world-wide audience.

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).

You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website.

Peter Reading, Civil, Reading, 2002 – Video

Recorded at the home of Peter Reading in October, 2010.

Peter Reading is one of Britain’s most original and controversial poets: angry, uncompromising, gruesomely ironic, hilarious, and heartbreaking. In Spring 2001, the Lannan Foundation traveled to England and recorded Peter Reading reading his entire body of poetry to that time, i.e. through the collection Faunal. In 2010 the Lannan Foundation commissioned British videographer Pamela Robertson-Pearce to record Mr. Reading reading from his subsequent collections at his home in Ludlow, Shropshire, England. The Lannan Foundation is delighted to bring the voice and work of Peter Reading to a world-wide audience.

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

You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website; you may also listen to the audio recording of this event there.