Stephen Edgar

Stephen Edgar’s latest collection is Exhibits of the Sun (Black Pepper, 2014). His previous book, Eldershaw, was joint winner of the Colin Roderick Award for 2013 and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards in 2014.

Stephen Edgar reviews 'Along the Line' by Vivian Smith

February 2007, no. 288 01 February 2007
Stephen Edgar reviews 'Along the Line' by Vivian Smith
There are not many ways, I imagine, in which Vivian Smith puts one in mind of Walt Whitman, but one which occurs to me is that Smith’s successive volumes, at least since Tide Country (1982), have been, like Leaves of Grass (1855), a work in progress, in which previous poems reappear, sometimes in modified form, and new work is added, so that the whole corpus is re-presented in different ways ove ... (read more)

'Second Circle', a new poem by Stephen Edgar

April 2021, no. 430 23 March 2021
Diamond Beach         Heads down and shoulders hunched, we set off, tramplingThe footstep-gripping sands of Diamond Beach,Into the flat refusal of the gale,Squinting into a distance we would fail,Surely, ever to reach, However far we trudged, like Charlotte RamplingIn that French film – what was it? – Sous le sable,Running, and yet not getting anywher ... (read more)

Stephen Edgar reviews 'The New Faber Book of Love Poems' edited by James Fenton

April 2007, no. 290 01 April 2007
Stephen Edgar reviews 'The New Faber Book of Love Poems' edited by James Fenton
The dust jacket describes James Fenton as ‘rightly praised for his own love poetry’. Evidently, Fenton does not demur, because he has found room for six of his own poems when other likely names are represented less generously or not at all. But more of that anon. The introduction begins by quoting Michael Longley: ‘I have believed for a long time … that love poetry is at the core of the e ... (read more)

'The Haunted Pane' a poem by Stephen Edgar

September 2010, no. 324 01 September 2010
Ghost Road
As when the governessClutched to her bosom the damp head of Miles,Who squirmed, unseeing, frantic for a hint,Not able yet to guessWhat she appeared to see in the haunted paneBesides the backlit sky: the shape of QuintTrying to find his way past her denial’sHard stare, not quite in vain. ... (read more)

'Dawn Solo', a new poem by Stephen Edgar

June–July 2020, no. 422 26 May 2020
First light beside the Murray in Mildura,Which like a drift of mist pervadesThe eucalypt arcades,A pale caesura Dividing night and day. Two, three clear notesTo usher in the dawn are heardFrom a pied butcherbird,A phrase that floats So slowly through the silence-thickened air,Those notes, like globules labouringThrough honey, almost clingAnd linger there. Or is it that the notes themselves prol ... (read more)

Stephen Edgar reviews 'Collected Poems' by Vikram Seth

August 2016, no. 383 21 July 2016
Stephen Edgar reviews 'Collected Poems' by Vikram Seth
In one of the poems in Summer Requiem, the most recent of the books in this capacious volume, Seth recalls when he decided to write, 'What even today puzzles me by its birth, / The Golden Gate, that sad and happy thing, / Child of my youth, my first wild fictive fling.' Written in the difficult stanza form of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin, it was published to great acclaim and probably remains the best ... (read more)

Stephen Edgar reviews 'Waiting for the Past' by Les Murray

May 2015, no. 371 27 April 2015
Stephen Edgar reviews 'Waiting for the Past' by Les Murray
My first reaction on picking up Les Murray’s new collection, Waiting for the Past, was to note how handsomely produced it is, in hardback – a rare privilege for any book of poetry these days. The jacket image, a drawing of the portico of a stately house, in sepia tones, will be taken up later in one of the poems. A photograph of the author, also washed in sepia, occupies the back cover. Sepia ... (read more)

Stephen Edgar reviews 'The Open Door: One Hundred Poems, One Hundred Years of Poetry Magazine' edited by Don Share and Christian Wiman

February 2013, no. 348 27 January 2013
Stephen Edgar reviews 'The Open Door: One Hundred Poems, One Hundred Years of Poetry Magazine' edited by Don Share and Christian Wiman
‘Reading through a hundred years of Poetry, week after week of issue after issue after issue, some forty thousand poems in all, Don and I, when we weren’t rendered prone and moaning, jolted back and forth between elation and depression.’ So Christian Wiman writes in his introduction to this elating, and never depressing, new anthology celebrating one hundred years of Poetry Magazine. Bear in ... (read more)
Page 1 of 2