My last memory of my famous cousin John Masefield dates from the early 1960s, when I visited him at his home, Burcote Brook, on the Thames at Abingdon near Oxford. As the author of over seventy works of poetry, non-fiction, novels, plays and children's books, and as Poet Laureate for more than thirty years, John was already a literary legend.
The tragedy here really lies in the bureaucracy that has surrounded this decision and the loss to Pennard to offer a fitting memorial to a man who had spent his life creating a psycho-geographic legacy, not only of this corner of Wales, but the breadth and depth of the land, and its history through his work.
There are so many wonderful American poets who have not achieved the fame (or notoriety) sufficient to carry their names or poems across the pond. Here are five such diamonds in the rough, selected for their energy, tenacity, and all-around fine work, that are worth keeping an eye on in the coming year.
This month, Alice Oswald and John Kinsella withdrew themselves from the TS Eliot Prize shortlist. Their reasoning? The funding behind the TS Eliot prize now comes from Aurum, a hedge-fund investment company, rather than the recently withdrawn Arts Council Funding that used to keep the Poetry Book Society afloat.