Term 3 poet in residence

George Szirtes

Place and soul By George Szirtes
13 Jun 2008 - 02:18 PM

I have just returned from my fifth visit to Romania, to a festival where writers read and talk about matters that concern them. Each time I go though I am struck by the difference, the slightly down-at-heel intoxicating air of the place. That is compounded of buildings, streets, rooms, fields, skies, faces, voices, gestures, and all those countless things that constitute individuality. I have written poems about Romania as a kind of extension of the soul, the poems made up chiefly of detail that seems to hang together in a way that conjures something of the meaning of the place to me.

2 comments latest by Irina
Academies By George Szirtes
30 May 2008 - 07:14 PM

Only since Bill raises it - Most poets need to earn money, because there really is not much money in poetry. Universities over the last five years have been hoovering up poets and novelists because students want to do creative writing at both degree and postgraduate level. Though, personally, I dropped English at age 15 and studied art instead, I too have been hoovered up. So there you are, one and all. Is this a good thing, or do you think we should be starving in garrets? But can you find garrets now? Can writing be taught at all? Or what, if anything, can be taught about writing? What would you like to learn, Bill? I mean from a decent poet.

10 comments latest by George
Jesting Pilate asks what is truth By George Szirtes
6 May 2008 - 01:41 PM

He asked but would not stay for an answer. In fact there is no appropriate waiting time because we don't know. Nevertheless, we feel and are, sometimes, for a while, convinced. It is not that we think there are no truths, only that they are often complex and provisional. We may think of the truths of the imagination, but I suspect that, as far as poetry is concerned, it is a form of truth to language. What does that mean? And is that so?

9 comments latest by Terri
Welcome By George Szirtes
24 Apr 2008 - 10:26 AM

Welcome. Thank you for reading this. This is my first post as poet in residence for the Poetry Archive. My name is George Szirtes. As some of you might know I was a child when our family arrived in England as refugees from Hungary in 1956, following the defeat of the revolution of that year. Hungarian was therefore my first language but I grew up in England speaking English, with English poetry as my formative poetic experience, though my degree is in fine art of the practical sort.

5 comments latest by Gwilym W

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