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Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this item to editor@pnreview.co.uk

This item is taken from PN Review 146, Volume 28 Number 6, July - August 2002.

News & Notes
Canada's main book distribution company, General Distribution, has been declared bankrupt. The news is expected to have a huge effect on Canada's small presses, which are owed over forty million dollars in total. Many of them will not be able to survive unless their outstanding bills are paid. In the short term, imported books from Canada will not be readily available in the UK.

Harvill Press has announced that it has joined the Random House group. Harvill, which will now operate as a Random House imprint, was founded as a literary press in 1946 and has built its reputation on the work of a range of well-respected authors such as James Buchan, W.G. Sebald, Richard Ford, José Saramago and Nicholas Shakespeare. Harvill's editors will work from the Random House offices and the Random House sales team will take responsibility for promoting the list, while the paperback list will be published by Vintage.

The Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize 2002 has been awarded to Greta Stoddart for her collection At Home in the Dark (Anvil, 2001). The £1,000 prize was judged this year by Hugh Haughton, Bernard O'Donoghue and Dennis O'Driscoll. It is awarded annually but given to a work of fiction and a volume of verse in alternate years.

A review copy of a new selection of Philip Larkin's poems, chosen by Harold Pinter, has arrived in the PN Review offices. The limited edition pamphlet, which is published by the Greville Press, includes a short note by Pinter which states that he had hoped to include another four poems from The Less Deceived, but that George Hartley of the Marvell Press refused to grant permission. There is no Introduction or Contents list but the thirteen poems which are printed and which include 'Mr Bleaney', 'Love Songs in Age', 'High Windows' and 'The Old Fools' cast an interesting light on Pinter's relationship with Larkin's poems. The warmth of the Greville Press's future relationship with the Marvell Press remains open to speculation.

Best New Zealand Poems 2001 is now viewable at http://www.vuw.ac.nz/modernletters/ bnzp. The project, which is to be updated each spring, showcases the best poetry to be published in New Zealand magazines and books in the course of the previous year. The project has been set up by the poet Bill Manhire and is supported by a grant from Creative New Zealand. It will include twenty-five poems a year, as well as biographical information about the featured poets where possible. Iain Sharp, who is the books editor of New Zealand's Sunday Star- Times as well as a poet and critic, has made the 2001 selection. Best New Zealand Poems 2002 will be edited by the poet Elizabeth Smither.

The London Magazine has appeared in its new incarnation, under the editorship of Sebastian Barker. The introductory note states that the magazine was first published in 1732, that it flourished in the nineteenth century and was later praised by T.S. Eliot; but it is Alan Ross's long reign as editor (from 1961 until 2001) that is felt to have defined the magazine and it is his back numbers that the new issue will inevitably be compared to. Observers have already lamented the fact that though the magazine retains a similar format to Ross's editions, the size of fount in the articles and especially in the poems is surprisingly large, but the content itself, which includes poems by Dannie Abse, Marilyn Hacker, Andrew Motion, Paul Muldoon and John Heath- Stubbs and articles by Iain Sinclair and Theodore Dalrymple, is impressively solid.

Our correspondent from Bordeaux writes to tell us that the region's Spring poetry festival, the week-long Printemps des Poètes marché 2002 has been a great success. The poets who read included Carl Norac, Jean- Pierre Verheggen and Serge Delaive (from Belgium), as well as the French poets Jacques Abeille and Charles Pennequin. A number of debates and lectures also took place. Poetry events are increasing in the region and the Canadian poet Patricia Keeney (whose work has been published in translation in Poesie) recently gave a well-attended reading at Bergerac, while Alex Suzanna appeared at the Marguerite Duras salon of poetry, also in Bergerac.

The Wordsworth Trust's summer season is now well underway. Events include a summer conference, chaired by Jonathan Wordsworth, which will take place from 27 July until 10 August. Contemporary poetry readings will also take place every Tuesday evening from 6.30 pm at the Thistle Hotel, opposite Dove Cottage. Poets scheduled for July and August include Simon Armitage, Tom Paulin, Moniza Alvi, Imtiaz Dharker, Fiona Sampson, Peter Robinson and Glynn Maxwell. The Trust's new writer in residence is Jack Mapanje, a poet from Malawi and the winner of the African Literature Association of America's Fonlon-Nichols Award, whose most recent collection, Skipping without Ropes, was published in 1998 by Bloodaxe. A previous collection, Of Chameleons and Gods, led to Mapanje's being imprisoned without trial in Malawi. He will be lecturing on 6 August. For further information on the summer readings, contact the Trust by telephone on 015394 35544 or by email at: poetryreadings@ wordsworth.org.uk.

This year's Essex Poetry Festival will be held on 11 and 12 October 2002 at the Cramphorn Theatre in Chelmsford (Box Office 01245 606505). The poets due to appear include Carol Ann Duffy, George Szirtes, Stephen Knight and Michael Laskey. There will also be a festival poetry competition, which will award a first prize of £300. Full details about the festival are available either at http://come.to/ the-essex-poetry-festival or by post (send an SAE to Essex Poetry Festival, 69 Orchard Croft, Harlow, Essex CM20 3BG for further information).

The Aldeburgh Poetry Festival will take place this year from 13 November 2002. The poets already confirmed to appear include Anne Carson, Fred D'Aguiar and Mark Doty.

Entries are invited for the Daily Telegraph / Arvon competition, which is to be judged this year by Geordie Greig, Jackie Kay, Helena Kennedy, Tom Payne and Jo Shapcott. The first prize will be £5,000 and five smaller prizes are also available. The deadline for entries is 16 August 2002. The winning poems will be published in the Daily Telegraph will also be published, alongside others the judges select for special commendation, in a Competition Anthology.

The fifteenth annual Gerard Manley Hopkins Society conference will take place in Ireland from 1926 July this year. The lecturers include Francesco Marroni, Giuseppe Serpillo, Edna McDonagh and Peter Milward. For more information, contact the organisers at info@gerardmanleyhopkins. org.

An evening of readings and reminiscences to celebrate the launch of the new edition of Sidney Keyes's Collected Poems (Carcanet, June 2002) will take place in Dartford, Kent, in early July (the date and venue are yet to be confirmed). The event will be hosted by Anthony Smith, Headmaster of Dartford Grammar School, where Keyes was educated. Readers will include Jeffrey Wainwright and John Heath-Stubbs. The event will be free and refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact Sarah Eyre by email at sarahjane@carcanet. u-net.com or by telephone on 0161 834 8730.

Deaths Noted

The poet VICTOR WEST, who was as passionate a schoolteacher as he was a poet, has died at the age of eighty-two. West was captured by German troops in Crete in 1941 and spent the rest of the Second World War in prisoner-of-war camps. This was where he first began to write poetry, while helping other prisoners to escape and lecturing to them on anti-fascism. After the war he continued to write, and also worked as a teacher in a junior school, where he developed a particular talent for helping troubled children. West's work focused on war and imprisonment and was written in a colloquial and extremely accessible style. His best poems were collected in The Horses of Falaise (1975).

DAVID SWEETMAN, a biographer, poet, novelist and film-maker, died on 7 April at the age of fifty-nine. Sweetman, who worked at the BBC until 1982, wrote highly successful lives of Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gaugin and Mary Renault in the 1990s and also published a novel, A Tribal Fever. He had written poetry seriously since 1969 and his best poems are collected in Looking into the Deep End, which was published by Faber in 1981.

News & Notes is compiled by SARAH RIGBY.

This item is taken from PN Review 146, Volume 28 Number 6, July - August 2002.



Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this item to editor@pnreview.co.uk
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