“Once upon a time I was a poet”

Basil Bunting. Photo: National Portrait Gallery, Creative Commons licence Letters of Basil Bunting Selected and edited by Alex Niven, Oxford University Press, 2022, £35 LIAM GUILAR welcomes new insights into a little-studied modernist's mind Basil Bunting died in 1985. Despite having been praised as one of the twentieth century’s ‘greatest poets’ critical attention to his…

Highwire poetry

Wildcat Dreams in the Death Light Reagan M. Sova, First to Knock, 2022, 265 pages, US$17 LIAM GUILAR takes a ringside seat for a dazzling extravaganza ‘Wildcat Dreams in the Death Light is an incantatory work of narrative poetry. Infused with hobo melancholy, Jewish lore, bloodshed and hilarity…’. It’s rare for a blurb to be…

A Queen in the Wilderness

LIAM GUILAR's epic of post-Roman Britain enters its eighth chapter The Story So Far (Chapters 2-7 inclusive have all previously been published on this site, starting here). The complete poem will be published as A Man of Heart in 2023, by Shearsman. Mid Fifth Century Britain. After the legions have withdrawn, the island is facing…

The good old days?

This is chapter Seven of LIAM GUILAR’s almost completed epic of Britain. Chapter One was published in Long Poem Magazine #25 Spring 2021, and Chapters Two, Three, Four,  Five and Six in The Brazen Head. For more information about Hengist, Vortigern and the Legendary History, see www.liamguilar.com The story so far. Mid Fifth Century Britain. After the legions have withdrawn, the island is facing civil…

Images of Bacon

Francis Bacon, by Reginald Gray. Wikimedia Commons After/Après Francis Bacon Alexander Adams, Bristol: Golconda Fine Art Books, 2022, 60 pages, £10. English and French (French translation by Peggy Pancini) LIAM GUILAR follows an influential artist’s flamboyant trajectory through verse Some years ago, the Canadian critic, Hugh Kenner, in conversation with Charles Tomlinson, lamented the disappearance…

Chapter Six. The Wedding

This is chapter Six of LIAM GUILAR’S almost completed epic of Britain. Chapter One was published in Long Poem Magazine #25 Spring 2021, and Chapters Two, Three, Four and Five in The Brazen Head. For more information about Hengist, Vortigern and the Legendary History, see www.liamguilar.com The story so far. Mid Fifth Century; Hengist and his brother Horsa have sailed to Britain where they have…

Chapter Five – An age of wood

This is Part Five of LIAM GUILAR’S almost completed epic of Britain. Part One was published in Long Poem Magazine #25 Spring 2021, and Chapters Two, Three and Four in The Brazen Head. For more information about Hengist, Vortigern and the Legendary History, visit www.liamguilar.com The story so far. Mid Fifth Century; Hengist and his brother Horsa have sailed to Britain…

Chapter 4 – Vortigern and Hengist

This is Part 4 of LIAM GUILAR’s almost completed epic of Britain. Chapter One was published in Long Poem Magazine #25 Spring 2021, and Chapters Two and Three in The Brazen Head The story so far: 449 AD in the Roman province of Britannia. The Legions have long gone and raiders and civil war are…

Battles royal

The statue of King Alfred at Winchester Image: Shutterstock Eþandun Epic Poem William. G. Carpenter, Beaver’s Pond Press, 2021, 252pp LIAM GUILAR finds much to admire in an ambitious new epic of Alfred, but fears it misses the mark Eþandun ((The title, with a modernised spelling would be Ethandun. The place of the battle is…

Adolf of Gloucester goes to the Wall

This is Part 3 of LIAM GUILAR's still-being-written epic of Britain. Chapter 1 was published in Long Poem Magazine #25 Spring 2021, and you can read Chapter 2 in the previous issue of The Brazen Head. The story so far: 449 AD. The Roman province of Britannia is tottering. The Legions have long gone and…