Publication Date: 15-Jul-06 | ISBN: 1844711064 | Trim Size: 216 x 140 mm | Extent: 292pp | Format: Paperback
UK Distribution: | USA Distribution: | Publishing Status: Active
Not Everything Remotely is the widest-ranging gathering of Halsey’s poems to date. Some have not previously been published while many appeared in fugitive editions and collections now out of print. It brings together poems which slowly developed into broadly-related sequences such as the verse-letters begun in 1979 as communiques from the Welsh border and continued into the ’90s tracking the savageries of the Thatcher years. It also collects his ‘emblem’ poems, in which traditional devices are reworked within the modernist perspective; these and other short poems veer between political epigram and an Ars Poetica. Of his recent work there is a selection from the sequence in progress A Looking-Glass for Logoclasts. Halsey’s poems often draw on familiar forms of discourse such as the financial, philosophical and journalistic, set alongside the specialist and marginal vocabularies used in such studies as linguistics, ufology and the paranormal; they may or may not be a satire which is enacted ‘in the absence of a validated hierarchy of discourse’ (Tim Woods).
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
At the Front; 55 Texts for the Journey; Six Letters on Change & Exchange, Hay-on-Wye, 1979; Another Loop in our Days; 4 Rounds for Springtime after Lorine Niedecker’s ‘Wallace Stevens’; From an Albion Notebook; Perspectives on the Reach; Bilateral Poem from The Interpretation of Dreams; Uncollected Lyrics of the Individual Soul; Display; Transcript; Summer Solstice ’81; January: Aphorisms, Proverbs and Presocratic Fragments; Translation of the Heraclitean Fragment 53; As of Military Domains & Salvation Rituals; The Future of Poetry 1982; Bilingual; Narrative Beginning ‘Pure and best mind’; Five Accounts of the Arrest of English Poetry; Auto Dada Café: Apologies for Absence; Auto Dada Café: Set-piece; ‘Views to Follow’; Remarks on Substance (Random Re-entries & Accessions); Continuo; Ars Poetica: Geo. Puttenham to JW; A Book of Changes (Auguries & Telegrams); 27.1.84; Ars Poetica after Peter Huchel; Linked Verses 1984; Klondyke; Further Letters on Change & Exchange, Hay-on-Wye, 1984-85; Benefit of Hindrance; An Alphabet of Emblems; On Raleigh’s ‘External fancy time alone recureth’; Fragments of the Soul leaving Beulah & preparing for the Chapels of North Wales; In Cusop Dingle, on Change & Exchange; Consolations of Philosophy; Three Moves between High & Low Pressure; Untitled; i.m. LZ; Three Attempts at an Epitaph for Geoffrey Grigson; Trailers & Nightsongs; Mimes for January; A Song for George Younger, Minister of State for Defence; Five Dedications for the Six Weeks of Lent; Broad Street Drag ’87; ‘Formerly the Nineteenth Century and After’; Pastoral Incursions; The Capitalist Twilight Revisited; Eleatic Alert; Mayday Letter: Hay-on-Wye 1988; Re-reading Lorine Niedecker; An Eleatic Dirge for William Empson; Companion Studies; Table Talk; Answering a New Year Letter, 1989; Self-Portrait in a ’90s Bestiary; Illuminations for the De Règle Group (Tax & Financial Planning Division); On Change & Exchange: A Letter to JM, back in England, 1990; Subject to Terms; Summer 1990: An Eclogue; An Imitation, in a Prospect of Reasonable Distance, for KC; Song-Cycle 1991; Ashley Hayles: Twelve Poems from Los=Angeles=Notebooks; Notes on the Chapter of Light Removal; Travels in Four Parts; Ars Poetica; Hints for the New Year 1993; Table Talk Reunion: A Prose-Song; An Essay on Translation; Shadow Recension; Campaign Manoeuvres (Spells against Green Field Development); Coffin Text, Radnor Recension; Short Attention Span: Committee Room Poems for Kelvin Corcoran; Ars Poetica; After R. F. Langley: The Upshot; An Alphabet for Karen Mac Cormack; Forest & Underwoods: Ars Duquesne U.P.; Three Texts after Bryan Wynter’s Imoos VI; Text-Book Remedies; Late Closing Friday; ’Round Midnight take two: for GM; Ars Poetica; After Spicer; Ignorantia Elenchi; Bardo Panavision 1949; Ballads in the Days of ’49; Malcolm Lowry: An Uncollected Poem; Poem on his Birthday; Coherent Light; Syllabus of Errors; STC: Initials as Structure; Syllables of Recorded Time, for Gavin; Squibs for 1st January 2000; Easter Sunday 2000; Made in Sheffield: Two Lives; Ars Poetica after Maynard Mack; Dear Johan; From ‘Lives of the Poets’; Hollow Swaps; ‘What is your understanding of the cultural and political moment you find yourself in?’: ; Answers to a Questionnaire; Monk for Monk; Ars Poetica 2003; Dear Ric; Ars Poetica: A Life of Joseph Warton; The Hunting of the Lizopard Resumed: Emblems from the Ship of Fools Logbook; Ars Poetica after Mercurialis the Younger; Entries & Extracts Volume M; The Fragments concerning Dichotomedes; At Sixes & Sevens; Ars Poetica; Mercurialis the Younger, frag. LXVII; Ars Poetica for ‘Gutenberg: The Movie’; Ars Poetica: Empsonics including a remark by George Saintsbury; A Looking-Glass for Logoclasts: Life Studies; The Frankenstein Franchise; A Looking-Glass for Logoclasts When Broken; Arias & Duets from ‘Loagaeth, An Opera’; A Looking-Glass for Logoclasts: Contra Memoriam; Fragments Doubtfully Ascribed to Mercurialis the Younger; A Looking-Glass for Logoclasts: Horatian Reflections; Fin de Siècle: Three Lives; A Looking-Glass for Logoclasts from the Phoenician; Ars Poetica;
PRAISE FOR PREVIOUS BOOKS
“Wittgenstein’s Devil showcases work that exhilaratingly explores language and ideology, running different jargons and discourses together, playfully using near- and half-rhyme to explore difference and identity, in a poetry of passionate and stoical resistance.” — The Guardian
“Wittgenstein’s Devil is essential reading for anyone interested in what has been happening in British poetry in the last thirty years.” — PN Review
“The few attempts I’ve seen at dealing with his work seem to throw their hands up and regard him as a force of nature. I think I can agree with that. His writings are the dark side of the moon, and reading them from the front isn’t very profitable.” —
“Pure intelligence of various means of departure, refined and sharpened up, exactly located, appropriately geared, and cutting right into ore as we dream. Here is a normally secret and invisible antiquarian language spy, print-mining insect, lizard watcher and dovetailed pistachio piss taker, book dealer and forger, editor and printer’s devil, emblem inventor, chiastic satirist, light-fingered anti-lyricist, lingering among the keywords and search engines. It is maybe the last real sense we’ll get about how we got to the late last days of New Labour and it is our poetry, in English, not at all what is usually packaged and put out around here.” —Stride
“On Marginalien: ‘This is a truly exhilarating volume, delphic and intractable in places, in other parts limpid and lyrical … In the end, one is brought back to Halsey’s enormous respect for words and their antonyms, echoes, ghost histories, spectral futures. He continues to create a kabbalah of cultural signs, a dictionary of linguistic possibilities, a stylish verbal music, in his essential role as courteous gadfly.” — Chicago Review
Alan Halsey was born in London. He ran The Poetry Bookshop in Hay-on-Wye from 1979-96 and moved to Sheffield in 1997, continuing to work as a specialist bookseller and as editor of West House Books. His major publications include Five Years Out (1989), The Text of Shelley’s Death (1995), A Robin Hood Book (1996) and Wittgenstein’s Devil (2000). He has written several short studies of Thomas Lovell Beddoes and re-edited his Death’s Jest-Book in 2003.