Miscellany: The Iraq War, poetry and Hank The Angry Dwarf
The Guardian's Not the Booker Prize is having something of a Hank the Angry Dwarf moment, with supposedly 'organised' voting boosting some of the entries (including my friend Justine Kilkerr's excellent novel, Advice for Strays). This has resulted in a 'recount', with a further vote to pick between 'promoted' and 'unpromoted' shortlists. It seems strange to see such controversy at this stage in the web's life. How can you exclude new members from a forum without turning it into a clique? And why would you want to, since some of these new people may stay around? I liked Justine's comment on the recount and will be fascinated to see how this plays out (particularly since the first shortlist broke no explicit rules). I'm very glad I don't have to make the decisions here.
Speed Dating Four Poetry Pamphlets is an interesting review of some poetry books, including Ellen de Vries' pamphlet Girl in the Air. I find the idea of objective poetry reviews seductive, and am tempted to add up the cost-per-poem of some of my favourites. I like to think of Ellen as reassuringly expensive, the Waitrose of the poetry world.
Iain Sinclair on Marine Court in St Leonards which he describes as "one of the glories of the south coast". I used to work for an IT company in this building, and a friend lived in the residential part. A small group of us held a champagne breakfast one morning on the balcony, with a beautiful view of the ocean. Sinclair's novel, Dining on Stones, features some scenes set in St. Leonards around the time I was there, and I recognised some of the passers-by he described.
I feel appropriately chided by Matt Sheret's post Beyond 'Peak Culture', as I've been guilty of the same promotion of 'Austerity Culture'. His counter-argument has set me questioning myself.
The Brighton Life Drawing Sessions have some incredible plans for White Night. I've also heard that the clowns I saw on Friday will be returning. It's already starting to look like White Night 2010 will be amazing: