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Oxford Poets 2010: An Anthology

Edited by David Constantine, Robyn Marsack and Bernard O'Donoghue

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  • Awards
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  • Including poetry by:

    Robert Black
    Jim Carruth
    Ellen Cranitch
    Philip Hancock
    Pippa Little
    Kathryn Maris
    M.R. Peacocke
    David Shook
    Ryan Van Winkle

    The first OxfordPoets anthology established as an editorial principal ‘no programme beyond a desire to represent the best’. The series has unfolded as a record of contemporary poetry, and this sixth collection maintains the qualities of lively eclecticism, inventiveness and intelligence that have made the anthologies one of the most engaging samplers of current writing. 

    The poets here include new writers and those who have become more widely known; writers whose imaginative and linguistic worlds span decades and continents; those who remake traditional forms and those who experiment beyond them. Their individual voices are distinctive; they share a commitment to the possibilities of poetry to explore and translate the world.

    Cover photograph: copyright ©



    Robert Ray Black
    Life Like Green
    Nothing Unknown
    Briseis’ Daddy
    What is argued
    Growing Bones
    Dick Gamble
    Saturday’s Child

    Jim Carruth
    Signing for the Deaf
    Picking up the Song (in a break in the harvest)
    Black Cart
    The Progressive Canadian Barn Dance
    Prince of Tinkers
    Old Ploughman
    Farm Sale

    Ellen Cranitch
    Dying Time
    The Aftermath
    Ghost Bikes
    Valentine’s Day, Regent’s Park
    Deep Blue
    My Mother’s Hair
    The Suicide’s Defence
    The New Cemetery, Killarney

    Philip Hancock
    Double Art
    Applied Physics
    Woodruff & Sons
    Over 21s
    Demolition of the Power Station
    To Carry a Ladder

    Pippa Little
    The Only of Himself
    Beijing Flight, Thursday Morning
    The Flowering
    Stella Maris
    The Captain Plays Shostakovich on an Upright Piano,
    Field Hospital, Helmand Province
    This was the year
    The Night-Flying Bees
    Spending One Day with Patrick Kavanagh

    Kathryn Maris
    Knowledge Is a Good Thing
    Hilary Has Left the Building, Unless She Hasn’t
    If You Relive a Moment You Cannot Outlive It
    The Tall Thin Tenor
    On Returning a Child to Her Mother at the Natural History Museum
    Doubting Thomas
    This Is a Confessional Poem

    M.R. Peacocke
    Les Pompes Funèbres
    Seaside Stories
    Child’s Play
    Shall We Dance?
    Thirteenth Night

    David Shook
    Postcard from Weslaco
    Four Ash Fall Questions
    Silvestre Adán
    Postcard from El Paso: Night Shift at the Hotdog Factory
    Offerings to Tule
    The Rest of the Cow
    Peluqueria Poema

    Ryan Van Winkle
    It Is Summer and in Connecticut the Grill Is Grilling
    Falling #71   
    They Tore the Bridge Down a Year Later   
    Ode for a Rain from Death Row   
    My 100-year-old ghost   
    The day he went to war    


    David Constantine
    David Constantine is a novelist, poet and translator of Hoelderlin, Goethe, Faust and Brecht. He is also an editor of Oxford Poets, an imprint of Carcanet Press, and of the magazine Modern Poetry in Translation . Born in Salford, Lancashire, in 1944, he is a Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford, ... read more
    Robyn Marsack
    Robyn Marsack began her long association with Carcanet Press by editing the first edition of Edmund Blunden’s Selected Poems in 1982, and worked as a publishers’ editor until she became Director of the Scottish Poetry Library 2000–2016. She was a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the University of Glasgow 2016–2018. ... read more
    Bernard O'Donoghue
    Bernard O'Donoghue teaches Medieval English at Wadham College, Oxford,and has published seven books of poems, including Gunpowder, which won the Whitbread Prize for Poetry in 1995, and his Selected Poems (Faber, 2008). His verse translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was published by Penguin Classics in 2006. ... read more
    Awards won by David Constantine Short-listed, 2010 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award (The Shieling) Winner, 2013 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize
    (Tea at the Midland)
    Winner, 2010 BBC National Short Story Award
    (Tea at the Midland)
    Praise for David Constantine 'I started reading these stories quietly, and then became obsessed, read them all fast, and started re-reading them again and again. They are gripping tales, but what is startling is the quality of the writing. Every sentence is both unpredictable and exactly what it should be. Reading them is a series of short shocks of (agreeably envious) pleasure...'
    AS Byatt, Book of the Week, The Guardian
    'Flawless and unsettling.'
    Boyd Tonkin, Books of the Year 2005, The Independent
    'Touched at times with humour and infused with compassion, these complex, nuanced stories speak repeatedly of lives lived in some form of exile, yet manage to keep in play the possibility that exile is not, contrary to appearances, our true condition.'
    New Welsh Review
    'A. S. Byatt has described reading a previous collection of Constantine's short fiction as akin to experiencing ''a series of short shocks of (agreeably envious) pleasure''. Tea at the Midland shows the author to be on equally sparkling form again.'
    The TLS
    'The excellence of the collection is fractal: the whole book is excellent, and every story is excellent, and every paragraph is excellent, and every sentence is excellent. And, unlike some literary fiction, it's effortless to read.'
    The Independent on Sunday
    Praise for Robyn Marsack 'Readers will be drawn to this book for the poets' letters, but what really dominates is the personality of Schmidt; at the end we are left with a prevailing sense of his editorial vision and an appreciation of his influence and accomplishment in the world of contemporary poetry publishing and criticism... Fifty Fifty is full of energy and play, and not a few crossed swords.'

    Kevin Gardner, Wild Court

     'A window into the award-winning world of Carcanet'
    Tristram Fane Saunders, The Telegraph
    'In celebration of the Manchester-based press' 50th anniversary, a fascinating collection of letters... tracing the eventful history of this small, ambitious and excellent press.'
    The Bookseller
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