PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
Digital Access to PN Review
Access the latest issues, plus back issues of PN Review with Exact Editions For PN Review subscribers: to access the PN Review digital archive via the Exact Editions app Exactly or the Exact Editions website, you will first need to know your PN Review ID number. read more
PN Review Prize winners announced
Carcanet Press and PN Review are delighted to announce the winners of the first ever PN Review Prize. read more
Most Read... Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing
‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing

(PN Review 236)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott
1930–2017

(PN Review 235)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Kate BinghamPuddle
(PN Review 236)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Gratis Ad 2
Next Issue CELEBRATING JOHN ASHBERY Contributors include Mark Ford, Marina Warner, Jeremy Over, Theophilus Kwek, Sam Riviere, Luke Kennard, Philip Terry,Agnes Lehoczky, Emily Critchley, Oli Hazard and others Miles Champion The Gold Standard Rebecca Watts The Cult of the Noble Amateur Marina Tsvetaeva ‘My desire has the features of a woman’: Two Letters translated by Christopher Whyte Iain Bamforth Black and White

This review is taken from PN Review 222, Volume 41 Number 4, March - April 2015.

North Atlantic Turbines The Writing Occurs As Song: A Kelvin Corcoran Reader, ed. Andy Brown (Shearsman) £14.95
ron silliman, Northern Soul (Shearsman) £8.95
janet sutherland, Bone Monkey (Shearsman) £8.95
john seed, Some Poems 2007–2013 (Gratton Street Irregulars, distributed by Shearsman) £6.50

Lyrical and light, political, personal, sophisticated but everyday, moving in its (then unfashionable) honesty about his troubled childhood, Kelvin Corcoran’s poetry struck me as fresh and new and essential when I encountered it first in the mid-eighties. It was hugely influenced by the American poets we’d both studied at Essex University, so that, although I didn’t know him at the time, reading him was sometimes like looking through a window into my own past, but with a more powerful focusing lens. Book after book of this stuff was streaming forth effortlessly from his home in Cheltenham. Who was this schoolteacher from beyond the mountains, tucked away in some lost enclave where one could speak one’s mind, where ‘articulate speech’ was ‘buried and shining in the streets’, taught by a ‘kind king’ to anyone who wished to learn it? A supreme ironist? Or just a lover of fairytales?

Almost thirty years later Kelvin Corcoran is a retired Deputy Head, and this book of essays and commentary by admirers and fellow poets has been published to explore the phenomenon, including interviews with the subject, who explains laconically that he spent most of the Thatcher decade ‘shouting at the television’. One of the most interesting pieces is by Scott Thurston, who first encountered Corcoran’s work as a schoolboy due to the coincidence of having been taught by one of his publishers at A-level. Interesting to me because he determinedly explicates some of the poems that eluded him at that age: the same ones that intrigued me. Thurston’s accounts of ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image