Quote of the Day
Carcanet Press is our most courageous publisher. When you look at what they have brought out since their beginnings, it makes so many other houses seem timid or merely predictable.
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Summer Festivals: Ledbury Poetry Festival (3-12 July)
Everyone knows that summertime means festival time and Carcanet writers from around the world will be engaging audiences at two of the most prestigious events in the literary calendar: the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Ledbury Poetry Festival . Flying the flag for Carcanet this year at the Ledbury Poetry Festival (3-12 July) are a polymorphous group of poets including the previous Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams , Radio 3 presenter, Ian McMillan , Sophie Hannah , whose 5th collection Pessimism for Beginners was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot prize, and Togara Muzanenhamo , the renowned Zimbabwean poet. read more
Sinead Morrissey reads from T S Eliot Prize-winning Parallax at the Royal Fesitval HallListen
Welcome to Carcanet Press, one of the outstanding independent literary publishers of our time. Now in its fifth decade, Carcanet publishes the most comprehensive and diverse list available of modern and classic poetry in English and in translation, as well as a range of inventive fiction, Lives and Letters and literary criticism.
Poem of the Day
The girl who smelled like bubblegum admired the sky.Taken from 'New Poetries II'...
The telephone rang loudly. Moss grew on the roof.
The neighbours from across the lake would straggle by
for parties in the winter. Pairs of girls would goof
around the gardens where the paths were pebbled green.
The gummy girl would hardly talk. The night it rained
she danced a hula, fingering a tangerine.
She showed her teeth. The sky is faultless , she explained.
The drunken uncles glooped around the garden-house
then went indoors and offered round their loose cigarettes
and hammered out some practice-piece and sang like cows.
The grey canary-gulls, they said, they kept as pets.
At night the smell of apricot would drowse the rooms.
But now the radio comes on and plays some march
with scrawly cellos, gasps of organ, piles of drums.
The trays of seedlings flourish in the kitchen porch.
All night they talked of breakfast. When the morning came
they cut the meat which tasted more like swedes, or beer.
The bony man with monkey-teeth was blue as blame,
as caned as custard, juiced as jellied-eels. But here
the air takes on a taste of kaolin, or yeast,
or starch, or lemon-leaf. The evenings drop like plums.
As spruced as sprouts. As waxed as wasps. Completely spliced.
The breezes soften. Rain comes down. The heating hums.
The upstairs smelled of biro ink. The kitchen smelled
like rained-on wool. The gardens smelled like boiling milk.
The wind that blew blew slowly, and the circuits failed.
The rug was rashed with sun. The dark-faced girl would walk
about the bright and rainy streets. She peeled a pear.
The cousins in the kitchen played their reel of tape:
an hour's recorded silence. Shirts hung on a chair.
The sky was deep, and soft. The sky was chocolate soup.
The clouds collapse like coals. The sausage-dog that ate
the pears collapses by the trees, then comes inside.
The phone rang loudly. Papers blackened in the grate.
She answered Yes. A moment, please - and walked outside
and swam around the lake. The gardens smelled like tin.
A smudge of sun, a whiff of wind; the rain that falls
falls early in the day. The afternoon wears in.
The shadow shifts in sheets, and daylight blues the walls.
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