Sunday, August 21, 2011

Free Verse: The Poetry Book Fair

Saturday, 24 September 2011 
Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QE

Do come along to the Poetry Book Fair – it’s free if you are.

More than 20 poetry presses will be represented there, including Carcanet.

I’ll be reading from Emporium around 2.30 p.m.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Emporium review

There's a review of Emporium in the Boston Review:

Ian Pindar
Carcanet, $19.95 (paper)

Emporium, the darkly genial debut collection from London native Ian Pindar, exhibits a variety befitting its title and its author’s range as a critic, editor, and translator. Luring the reader in with deceptive informality, these poems delight in surprises, not always happy: “Youth and beauty have left me / a full packet of cigarettes / and this balcony.” Though some poems feel limited by the effervescence of jokes—to be cracked only so many times before losing their fizz—others, such as the grisly “Advice for Travellers” or the tale of hapless Big Bumperton, sustain rereading with their tremulous unease. Subtle sound patterning, including unobtrusive rhyme, adds a vocal dimension, as does astute parody of worn-out speech: “I don’t recall the last time / we met. I think it was in Berlin.” In many poems, Pindar the ironist and satirist becomes a gadfly, sometimes displacing exhortation into dramatic utterances (for instance, ventriloquizing ancient Indian materialist philosophy). At other times, apparently speaking in his own voice, Pindar displays keen timing in both the comedic and historical senses: “every royal wedding is a funeral / for democracy.” If these poems tend to burst like bubbles, they delight, before doing so, with their livid iridescence. Pindar’s inventiveness and sense of linguistic and literary history make this an enjoyable collection, holding promise for the future.
Paul Franz

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Emporium review

There's a review of Emporium in the Guardian today:

Emporium, by Ian Pindar (Carcanet, £9.95)

Here's a poetry that's light, clear, at times almost throwaway, full of political scope and menace. The two sonnets that make up "The Prophecies", for example, relish surprising connections, their images coming in and out of focus – "In June the instincts will go / backwards, dragging the economy. Riches / will turn to rags and winos will be sober, ushering in / an era of Total Responsibility." Pindar's writing gestures towards a public language ("There are no / virtuous people / only good acts") though this is regularly undermined by the comic and sardonic ("Everywhere I go / People are talking about Antonin Artaud"). The poetry thrives on this flexibility of tone, its declarations constantly being shifted, contested and contradicted. See the poem "Parable", where the blithe hope of "you are your own / purpose, / at ease with a life / incomparable" is immediately undercut by "(So much leads to thinking otherwise)". Much of the book is made up of elusive, uneasy parables, such as "Snow" or "Advice for Travellers", that hover between pessimism and hope, and the potential of language to articulate this predicament: "All founded on / nothing, like you / said. Only your words / found it."
Charles Bainbridge