Loydell, Rupert M.

Rupert M Loydell - A Conference of Voices



Available only direct from Shearsman Books.

Rupert M Loydell - A Conference of Voices

Paperback, 137pp, 9x6ins

Download a PDF sampler from this book here.

The latest collection by this energetic poet-artist-editor-publisher, whose poetic voice is one that has to be reckoned with in the new century. Rupert Loydell is editor of Stride and publisher of Stride Books. Conference includes two full collections — one, the title collection, which concentrates on his more lyrical voice, and the second, Multiple Exposure, which is devoted to a more experimental turn of work.


"Be awake. There is nothing much better a poem can remind you of than to be awake. I don't know about you, but I don't care for poems that remind me the poet is cleverer than I am, knows the names of rare and exotic stones, has read everything in the original language, went to Oxford (not only for the shopping, which I gather is the same as elsewhere) or has mastered the shape if not the spirit of some obscure poetic form I can't name and wouldn't recognise if it came up and bit me on the nose. In the same way as I ache for music to put its finger lightly but determinedly on that brilliant spot where you know a truth has been told even though you can't ever say quite what it is, so too with poems — let them, in whatever way is possible (and there are infinite ways, I'm sure) touch that spot, open hearts and eyes, be mysterious and untouchable and indispensable. And let a poem be one of those things that remind you why you want to be alive and play an active role in the pantomime. It isn't much to ask, and since it's a set of criteria that lets you out of reading around 90% or more of all known poems, it's kind of practical, too.

There is (it is obvious to say but I'll say it anyway) no formula for how a poem might do what I want a poem to do, in the same way as there is no formula for a song to do what I want it to, or a painting. And when it happens it is (and this is equally obvious, I think) very difficult to explain quite how what has happened has happened. And of course, a poem may do this thing for me and not for you. Life is nothing if not various and argumentative. Which is why it's good to be awake.

Rupert Loydell's poems say this, and they say this, and they say this — Be awake. Which is not to say they say the same thing over and over again. One might compare the experiencing of them to going outdoors each morning — it is never the same twice, if you care to notice. It is only the same twice if you have your eyes closed." (Martin Stannard)

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