Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Paco de Lucia

A few minutes ago, I was looking at my 2009 list of jazz artists I have heard live (a list which needs updating), and one of the names I stopped at was Paco de Lucia. I paused for a moment and remembered the concert: the John McLaughlin-Paco de Lucia-Al Di Meola trio, with Steve Morse opening on solo 12-string guitar. I tell two stories about this show: first, the trio's arrangements of the compositions were all very similar. After they played the head, McLaughlin would usually start, and his solo always felt like it was asking a question. De Lucia would then explore the ramifications of that question in his solo. All this was at incredibly high speeds, but then Di Meola would play his solo, and it always seemed like it was even faster—and like he was completely ignoring McLaughlin and de Lucia's previous discussion. From the back, voices could be heard: "Go, Al!" I assumed these were the voices of all the young guitarists who liked to play fast.

The second story: for the encore, Steve Morse came out with his 12-string guitar and sat in with the trio. It was a Chick Corea tune, though I don't remember which one. And Morse took the first solo. For what seemed like the entire first chorus of his solo, he played one note over and over again, bending it to various degrees. It was like a revelation, as not one of the players in the trio had played a single bent note in their two long sets! It was like Morse was saying, "Hey, guys, what about the blues?"

All that went through my head fairly quickly when I was looking at the list, but just now I read that de Lucia died today. I'll always remember his beautiful elaborations on McLaughlin's questions, even if Di Meola seemed to be ignoring John and Paco's conversations.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Poetry Book Society Choices, 1953-2014

As I could not find a complete list of Poetry Book Society Choices anywhere online, I cobbled together this list from three lists on the PBS website (of Choices and Recommendations from 1953-1960, 1961-1970, and 1971-1980) and a Pinterest page of photos of covers of PBS Choices (apparently put together by PBS as well). There are a few gaps in it, so if anyone knows what to put in those gaps, I'd be happy to fill them in. If anyone wants a tabular version of it, feel free to contact me.

Spring 1953 Vernon Watkins The Death Bell Faber
Summer 1953 George Barker A Vision of Beasts and Gods Faber
Autumn 1953 Frances Cornford Collected Poems Cresset
Winter 1953 Sheila Wingfield A Kite's Dinner Cresset
Spring 1954 Laurie Lee My Many Coated Man Andre Deutsch
Summer 1954
Autumn 1954
Winter 1954
Spring 1954
Summer 1955 Lawrence Durrell The Tree of Idleness Faber
Autumn 1955 Robin Skelton Patmos and other Poems Routledge
Winter 1955 Herbert Read Moon's Farm Faber
Spring 1956 Edwin Muir One Foot in Eden Faber
Summer 1956 Spender, Jennings and Muir New Poems 1956 Joseph
Autumn 1956 W S Merwin Green with Beasts Hart Davies
Winter 1956 John Holloway The Minute Marvell
Spring 1957 C A Trypanis The Stones of Troy Faber
Summer 1957 Louis MacNeice Visitations Faber
Autumn 1957 Ted Hughes The Hawk in the Rain Faber
Winter 1957 Theodore Roethke Words for the Wind Secker & Warburg
Spring 1958 Thomas Kinsella Another September Dolmen
Summer 1958 John Smith Excurcus in Autumn Hutchinson
Autumn 1958 A S J Tessimond Selection Putnam
Winter 1958 Macniece, Dobree, Larkin New Poems 1958 Joseph
Spring 1959 Patricia Beer Loss of the Magyar Longmans
Summer 1959 20th Century Women's Verse Faber
Autumn 1959
Winter 1959 Donald Davie The Forests of Lithuania Marvell
Spring 1960 Peter Levi The Gravel Ponds Andre Deustch
Summer 1960 Patrick Kavanagh Come Dance with Kitty Stobling Longman
Autumn 1960 Dom Moraes Poems Eyre & Spottiswoode
Winter 1960 John Betjeman Summoned by Bells John Murray
Spring 1961 David Holbrook Imaginings Putnam
Summer 1961 Elizabeth Jennings Song for a Birth or a Death Andre Deutsch
Autumn 1961 R S Thomas Tares Hart Davis
Winter 1961 Peter Redgrove The Nature of Cold Weather Routledge
Spring 1962 Patrick Creagh A Row of Pharoahs Heinemann
Summer 1962 Dannie Abse Poems Golders Green Hutchinson
Autumn 1962 Thomas Kinsella Downstream Dolmen/OUP
Winter 1962 Michael Baldwin Death On A Live Wire Longmans
Spring 1963 Richard Murphy Sailing to an Island Faber
Summer 1963 Alexander Baird Poems Chatto
Autumn 1963 Louis MacNeice The Burning Perch Faber
Winter 1963 Patricia Beer The Survivors Longmans
Spring 1964 Philip Larkin The Whitsun Weddings Faber
Summer 1964 Donald Davie Events and Wisdoms Routledge
Autumn 1964 C A Trypanis Pompeian Dog Faber
Winter 1964 Patric Dickinson The Cold Universe Chatto
Spring 1965 Sylvia Plath Ariel Faber
Summer 1965 Roy Fuller Buff Andre Deutsch
Autumn 1965 John Holloway Wood and Windfall Routledge
Winter 1965 Kathleen Raine The Hollow Hill Hamilton
Spring 1966 Charles Tomlinson American Scenes and Other Poems OUP
Summer 1966 Anne Halley Between Wars and Other Poems OUP
Autumn 1966 Norman MacCaig Surroundings Chatto
Winter 1966 Peter Redgrove The Force and Other Poems Routledge
Spring 1967 Austin Clarke Old Fashioned Pilgrimage OUP
Summer 1967 John Fuller The Tree that Walked Chatto
Autumn 1967 Thom Gunn Touch Faber
Winter 1967 Thomas Kinsella Nightwalker and Other Poems Dolmen
Spring 1968 Charles Causley Underneath the Water Macmillan
Summer 1968 Roy Fuller New Poems Andre Deutsch
Autumn 1968 Derek Mahon Night Crossing OUP
Winter 1968 R S Thomas Not That He Brought Flowers Hart Davis
Spring 1969 Peter Wiggum The Blue Winged Bee Anvil
Summer 1969 Geoffrey Grigson Ingestion of Ice-Cream
Autumn 1969 Douglas Dunn Terry Street Faber
Winter 1969 David Holbrook Old World New World Rapp & Whiting
Spring 1970 W S Graham Malcolm Mooney’s Land Faber
Summer 1970 Ian Hamilton The Visit Faber
Autumn 1970 Peter Porter The Last of England OUP
Winter 1970 Elizabeth Jennings Lucidities Macmillan
Spring 1971 Thom Gunn Moly Faber
Summer 1971 Geoffrey Hill Mercian Hymns Andre Deutsch
Autumn 1971 Sylvia Plath Winter Trees Faber
Winter 1971 Gavin Ewart The Gavin Ewart Show Trigram
Spring 1972 William Plomer Celebrations Cape
Summer 1972 D J Enright Daughters of Earth Chatto
Autumn 1972 Norman Nicholson A Local Habitation Faber
Winter 1972 Stewart Conn An Ear to the Ground Hutchinson
Spring 1973 John Smith Entering Rooms Chatto
Summer 1973 Edwin Morgan From Glasgow to Saturn Carcanet
Autumn 1973 Michael Burn Out on a Limb Chatto
Winter 1973 Alasdair Maclean From the Wilderness Gollancz
Spring 1974 Geoffrey Holloway Rhine Jump London Mag Ed.
Summer 1974
Autumn 1974 Charles Tomlinson The Way In OUP
Winter 1974 Andrew Waterman Living Room Marvell
Spring 1975 John Cotton Kilroy Was Here Chatto
Summer 1975 Seamus Heaney North Faber
Autumn 1975 Peter Porter Living in a Calm Country OUP
Winter 1975 Vernon Scannell The Loving Game Robson
Spring 1976 George Barker Dialogues etc Faber
Summer 1976 Hugh Maxton The Noise of the Fields Dolmen
Autumn 1976 Thom Gunn Jack Straw's Castle Faber
Winter 1976 Kevin Crossley-Holland The Dream House Andre Deutsch
Spring 1977 Tom Paulin A State of Justice Faber
Summer 1977 Michael Hamburger Real Estate Carcanet
Autumn 1977 W S Graham Implements in Their Places Faber
Winter 1977 Frank Ormsby A Store of Candles OUP
Spring 1978 Peter Porter The Cost of Seriousness OUP
Summer 1978 D J Enright Paradise Illustrated Chatto
Autumn 1978 Geoffrey Hill Tenebrae Andre Deutsch
Winter 1978 Roy Fisher The Thing About Joe Sullivan Carcanet
Spring 1979 Terence Tiller The Singing Mesh Chatto
Summer 1979 Peter Redgrove The Weddings at Nether Powers Routledge
Autumn 1979 Seamus Heaney Fieldwork Faber
Winter 1979 Michael Longley The Echo Gate Secker
Spring 1980 Peter Scupham Summer Places OUP
Summer 1980 Alan Ross Death Valley London Mag Ed.
Autumn 1980 Paul Muldoon Why Brownlee Left Faber
Winter 1980 Alan Brownjohn A Night in the Gazebo Secker
Spring 1981 David Sweetman Looking into the Deep End Faber
Summer 1981 Norman Nicholson Sea to the West Faber 
Autumn 1981 Douglas Dunn St Kilda’s Parliament Faber 
Winter 1981 Peter Redgrove The Apple Broadcast and Other Poems Routledge 
Spring 1982 George Macbeth Poems From O Secker 
Summer 1982 Thom Gunn The Passages of Joy Faber 
Autumn 1982
Winter 1982 Derek Mahon The Hunt by Night OUP 
Spring 1983 John Fuller The Beautiful Inventions Secker 
Summer 1983 Carol Rumens Star Whisper Secker 
Autumn 1983 Paul Muldoon Quoof Faber 
Winter 1983 George Szirtes Short Wave Secker 
Spring 1984 Tom Disch Here I am There You Are Where Were We Hutchinson 
Summer 1984 Iain Crichton Smith The Exiles Carcanet 
Autumn 1984 John Ash The Goodbyes Carcanet 
Winter 1984 Blake Morrison Dark Glasses Chatto 
Spring 1985 Douglas Dunn Elegies Faber 
Summer 1985 Anne Stevenson The Fiction Makers OUP 
Autumn 1985
Winter 1985 Paul Durcan The Berlin Wall Cafe Harvill 
Spring 1986 Frank Orms A Northern Spring Secker
Summer 1986 Dannie Abse Ask the Bloody Horse Hutchinson 
Autumn 1986 Alan Moore Opia Anvil Press 
Winter 1986 Michael Hofmann Acrimony Faber 
Spring 1987 Eavan Boland The Journey and Other Poems Carcanet 
Summer 1987 Seamus Heaney The Haw Lantern Faber 
Autumn 1987 John Ash Disbelief Carcanet 
Winter 1987 Jean Earle Visiting Light Poetry Wales 
Spring 1988 Les Murray The Daylight Moon Carcanet 
Summer 1988 Phillip Gross Air Mines of Mistilla Bloodaxe 
Autumn 1988 Douglas Dunn Northlight Faber 
Winter 1988 Helen Dunmore The Raw Garden Bloodaxe 
Spring 1989
Summer 1989 Peter Reading Perduta Gente Secker 
Autumn 1989 Ted Hughes Wolfwatching Faber 
Winter 1989 Simon Armitage Zoom! Bloodaxe 
Spring 1990 Andrew Greig The Order of the Day Bloodaxe 
Summer 1990 Glyn Maxwell Tale of the Mayor's Son Bloodaxe 
Autumn 1990 Vikram Seth All You who Sleep Tonight Faber 
Winter 1990 Eavan Boland Outside History Carcanet 
Spring 1991 Les Murray Dog Fox Field Carcanet 
Summer 1991 Gerard Woodward Householder Chatto 
Autumn 1991 Dana Gioia The Gods of Winter Peterloo 
Winter 1991 Julie O'Callaghan What's What Bloodaxe 
Spring 1992 David Wright Poems & Versions Carcanet 
Summer 1992 Chase Twichell Perdido Faber 
Autumn 1992 Jo Shapcott Phrase Book OUP 
Winter 1992 Stephen Romer Plato's Ladder OUP 
Spring 1993 Patricia Beer Friend of Heraclitus Carcanet 
Summer 1993 Don Paterson Nil Nil Faber 
Autumn 1993 Stephen Knight Flowering Limbs Bloodaxe 
Winter 1993 James Fenton Out of Danger Penguin 
Spring 1994 Eavan Boland In A Time of Violence Carcanet 
Summer 1994 Hugo Williams Dock Leaves Faber 
Autumn 1994 Paul Muldoon The Annals of Chile Faber 
Winter 1994 Gerard Woodward After the Deafening Chatto 
Spring 1995 Maurice Riordan A Word from the Loki Faber 
Summer 1995 Michael Longley The Ghost Orchid Cape 
Autumn 1995 Bernard O'Donoghue Gunpowder Chatto 
Winter 1995 Glyn Wright Could Have Been Funny Spike 
Spring 1996 Alice Oswald The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile OUP
Summer 1996 Adrian Mitchell Blue Coffee Bloodaxe 
Autumn 1996 Ciaran Carson Opera Et Cetera Bloodaxe/Gallery 
Winter 1996 Susan Wicks The Clever Daughter Faber 
Spring 1997 Jamie McKendrick The Marble Fly OUP 
Summer 1997 Selima Hill Violet Bloodaxe 
Autumn 1997 Peter Reading Work in Regress Bloodaxe 
Winter 1997 John Hartley Williams Canada Bloodaxe 
Spring 1998 David Harsent A Bird's Idea of Flight Faber 
Summer 1998 Ruth Padel Rembrandt Would Have Loved You Chatto 
Autumn 1998 Ken Smith Wild Root Bloodaxe 
Winter 1998 Jo Shapcott My Life Asleep OUP 
Spring 1999 Bernard O'Donoghue Here Nor There Chatto 
Summer 1999 Michael Hofmann Approximately Nowhere Faber 
Autumn 1999 Carol Ann Duffy The World's Wife Picador 
Winter 1999 Tom Paulin The Wind Dog Faber 
Spring 2000 Alan Jenkins The Drift Chatto 
Summer 2000 Roddy Lumsden The Book of Love Bloodaxe 
Autumn 2000 Michael Donaghy Conjure Picador 
Winter 2000 Douglas Dunn The Year's Afternoon Faber 
Spring 2001 Gillian Alnutt Lintel Bloodaxe 
Summer 2001 Seamus Heaney Electric Light Faber 
Autumn 2001 Selima Hill Bunny Bloodaxe 
Winter 2001 Geoffrey Hill Speech! Speech! Penguin 
Spring 2002 David Harsent Marriage Faber 
Summer 2002 Paul Farley The Ice Age Picador 
Autumn 2002 Geoffrey Hill The Orchards of Syon Penguin 
Winter 2002 Paul Muldoon Moy Sand and Gravel Faber 
Spring 2003 Billy Collins Nine Horses Picador 
Summer 2003 Ian Duhig The Lammas Hireling Picador 
Autumn 2003 Don Paterson Landing Light Faber 
Winter 2003 Jacob Polley The Brink Picador 
Spring 2004 Michael Longley Snow Water Cape 
Summer 2004 Ruth Padel The Soho Leopard Chatto 
Autumn 2004 Kathleen Jamie The Tree House Picador 
Winter 2004 George Szirtes Reel Bloodaxe 
Spring 2005 John Stammers Stolen Love Behaviour Picador 
Summer 2005 Alice Oswald Woods etc Faber 
Autumn 2005 Carol Ann Duffy Rapture Picador 
Winter 2005 Polly Clark Take Me With You Bloodaxe 
Spring 2006 Robin Robertson Swithering Picador 
Summer 2006 Seamus Heaney District and Circle Faber 
Autumn 2006 Paul Muldoon Horse Latitudes Faber 
Winter 2006 Jane Hirshfield After Bloodaxe 
Spring 2007 Ian Duhig The Speed of Dark Picador
Summer 2007 Sarah Maguire The Pomegranates of Kandahar Chatto 
Autumn 2007 Sean O'Brien The Drowned Book Picador 
Winter 2007 Sophie Hannah Pessimism for Beginners Carcanet 
Spring 2008 Ciaran Carson For All We Know Gallery Press 
Summer 2008 Moniza Alvi Europa Bloodaxe 
Autumn 2008 Peter Bennet The Glass Swarm Flambard 
Winter 2008 Mark Doty Theories and Apparitions Cape 
Spring 2009 Alice Oswald Weeds and Wild Flowers Faber 
Summer 2009 Fred D'Aguiar Continental Shelf Carcanet 
Autumn 2009 Hugo Wiliams West End Final Faber 
Winter 2009 Sinead Morrissey Through The Square Window Carcanet 
Spring 2010 Derek Walcott White Egrets Faber 
Summer 2010 Simon Armitage Seeing Stars Faber .
Autumn 2010 Seamus Heaney Human Chain Faber 
Winter 2010 Annie Freud The Mirabelles Picador 
Spring 2011   David Harsent Night Faber 
Summer 2011         Sean O'Brien November Picador 
Autumn 2011   Leontia Flynn Profit and Loss Cape 
Winter 2011  John Kinsella Armour Picador
Spring 2012 Simon Armitage The Death of King Arthur Faber 
Summer 2012 Paul Farley The Dark Film Picador 
Autumn 2012 Jorie Graham P L A C E Carcanet
Winter 2012 Sharon Olds Stag's Leap Cape 
Spring 2013 George Szirtes Bad Machine Bloodaxe 
Summer 2013 Michael Symmons Roberts Drysalter Cape
Autumn 2013 Anne Carson Red Doc > Cape
Winter 2013 Moniza Alvi At the Time of Partition Bloodaxe
Spring 2014 John Burnside All One Breath Cape

Monday, February 10, 2014


I wonder if anyone will be able to identify the source of all these similes. It's a complete list of all the similes in the source.


like a thief
like a plea, not a challenge
like a thirsty beast
like a stranger
like an impatient spectator
like a board
like a sailor
like a man stung by a bee
like a child
like a clerk
like torture
like a President of a Court
like a jewel
like an ignorant child
like a lawyer
like a reproach
like a litany
like an empty niche
like a mute
like a light
like a dog

Four years of productivity from Miles Davis

From November 1955 to November 1959, Miles Davis recorded 12 brilliant albums in a row:

Round About Midnight
Miles Ahead
Porgy and Bess
Kind of Blue
Sketches of Spain

I doubt there are many periods, in any art form, that can compare with this.

(Spun off from an FB comment stream with GEL.)