Saturday, January 06, 2007

Going Back

I've been leafing through a few old books; anthologies and the like - you don't always read them in full when they come out. Conjunctions is one of my favourite magazines, though its issues are often the size of encyclopedias. Its 25th anniversary issue is just out, but before ordering it, I decided to have a re-read of a couple of issues that it published a few years ago, collecting together a snapshot of current American poetry in one and fiction in another. I say a snapshot, but Conjunctions, as lot of the better magazines with a web presence are, is about the American avant garde. Interesting that a couple of British writers, Jim Crace and Will Self, make the 25th anniversary edition. Anyway, re-reading their "American poetry: state of the art" collection from a few years ago I came across a brilliant poet I'd not read before, C.D. Wright. It appears she's never been published in England, but the prose poems I read - from "One Big Self" a collaboration with a photographer about Louisana prisoners - were rich in language, invention and emotion. She's got a "new and selected" "Steal Away", so I'll hopefully find out more. Going back to the point I made a few posts ago, about the difficulty of keeping up with American poetry, Conjunctions is one way.

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