Ian Parks, by John Foggin

Ian Parks didn’t win the Michael Marks Pamphlet Award a week ago, but to be one of the shortlisted five from the original 160 is testimony to the quality of If Possible (Cavafy Translations). There was a moment when we thought the prize was ours. Sasha Dugdale, the chief judge, said they had compared Ian’s translations favourably with others, which presumably included Auden. Her praise for the poems was warm and generous.

John Foggin, in this week’s edition of The Great Fogginzo’s Cobweb, writes about the Ian Parks of that great collection, Citizens, published by Smokestack Books. Follow this link:

The best of 2018: February. Ian Parks and Matthew Stewart

Last year’s Michael Marks winner Charlotte Wetton (I Refuse to Turn into a Hatstand – Calder Valley Poetry; copies still available on the Bookshop page) was at the Awards Dinner at The British Library, reporting on her writing residency in Greece, which is part of the prize, and reading a poem, The Cave-Precipice of Andritsa, which came out of that residency.

The photograph below shows Ian, Charlotte, Mick Jenkinson and Steve Ely sharing a post-award drink in O’Neill’s on Euston Road, opposite the library. Ian, Charlotte and Steve are all published by Calder Valley Poetry; Mick is on the list for 2019. (Steve was there because the illustrations which accompany his 2018 collection Zi-Zi Taah Taah Taah, about the willow tit, won the illustrator’s prize for Ruth from Sheffield. (Can’t remember her surname, and she is credited only as PR in the pamphlet, which is available from Wild West Press.)

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