PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
OUP PNR 246 Banner
PNR CAPILDEO PROMO MARCH 2019
Next Issue Alex Wong embarks on Ausonius's Moselle Christine Blackwell recalls Jonas Mekas Lives of Graves, Trilling and Curnow visited New poems by Lisa Kelly and Jodie Hollander Andy Croft on the 'poetry industry'

This review is taken from PN Review 244, Volume 45 Number 2, November - December 2018.

Cover of Solo
Gregory WoodsCock-crow
Richard Scott, Solo (Faber), £10.99
Richard Scott opens a library copy of The Golden Treasury and, to compensate for its lack of gay poems, writes ‘COCK’ in the margin. In an act of queering that prefigures the writer he will later become, he doodles obscenities and adds a few choice quotations of his own, to supplement what must have seemed a pretty tinny treasury. I say Richard Scott does this, but it may only be the speaker of his poem ‘Public Library, 1998’, the first in this collection, who does. At any rate, it is Scott who writes ‘COCK’ in the margin of the poem.

There is more than whiff of the library about Soho. In his up-front Acknowledgements page, Scott goes the whole Kate Winslet, thanking not only the usual magazines, funders, editors and loved ones, but also Shakespeare, Socrates, Rilke, Hopkins, Genet, Eliot, Freud; and a whole swag of queer theorists: Valerie Traub, Eve Sedgwick, David Halperin, Leo Bersani, Michel Foucault...

In an interview on the Forward Arts Foundation website, Scott calls this ‘an openly queer book, which is about gay shame, the search for homosexual ancestry and the vulnerability of queer bodies’. This sets it outside the boundaries of the the rainbow-flaggy, commercial version of gayness. ‘I am the homosexual you / cannot be proud of’, he says in one poem. No doubt uncomfortably for some readers, he is engaged in a serious task of putting the shame back into shameless. (One of the epigraphs dotted through the book is from Sedgwick: ‘Shame, too, makes identity’.) ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image