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Drop in by Sanjeev Sethi

It is generally the practice in this blog to invite poets to reflect on their debut collections. Just occasionally, however, I have invited more established poets whose work has been recognised nationally. Today, however, I am honoured to invite a poet with an international reputation, the remarkable, Sanjeev Sethi to reflect upon his latest publication, Wrappings in Bespoke (Hedgehog Poetry Press, 2022)

Let me begin by thanking Nigel Kent, the stellar poet, for this opportunity. In our global village, we have much to thank for technology and its subsidiary: Socmed. Nigel and I ‘met’ on Twitter, which is the genesis of my being on this blog.

Wrappings in Bespoke is my seventh book of poems. It was launched on August 14, 2022, by the Hedgehog Poetry Press, UK.  Mark Davidson, as all of you reading this know, is the brain and bazooka behind Hedgehog. I participated in the Full Fat Collection Competition-Deux and was fortunate to be the joint winner. Wrappings is the award.

Wrappings in Bespoke carries 40 poems. For the purpose of this piece, I have chosen the postlude. As it is a short poem, I will post the poem.

Stylistically speaking or in terms of theme, it may not reveal esoteric allusions, but in its essence, the poem exhales the verities of my existence. Since 2013 what I call the second phase of my creative life, I have been producing poem after poem. In this phase, I have authored five books of poetry and have published close to 2000 poems in over 30 countries in about 400 journals. I have no life outside of poetry. So Tuneful is an apt representation of my current state and its anxieties.

In an otherwise robust professional journey before 2013, I have done other things: been a journalist, a film critic, featured in myriad radio programs, and produced television programmes; basically, everything connected with words and ideas which broadly fall under the media umbrella. As we all know, there is no money in creative writing; when circumstances found me in a situation where I could manage without a fresh flow, I had two options: continue following the dictates of the marketplace or take another path. I chose the other.

That is why Tuneful is close to me, and I have chosen it for this piece. The reason why I have placed it at the end of the book as it’s symbolic of the birth of many more poems for future volumes.

Next week read my review of this very special collection.

Catch up with Poets Previously Featured: Gerry McGrath

Life On Another Planet

Life On Another Planet (Dreich, 2022) is my second chapbook. The poems in it are very similar to my first, Love All The People, also published by Dreich, which came out last year. What can I say? It has seemed to me for a long time that language is not a given. We don’t really understand it and basically live with the consequences of trying. Poetry is best when it’s being honest. In that regard, LOAP is something of a failure, something of a success.

The twenty poems contained in it are wry, tender, intimate, courageous. They are also tough and unsettling. They seem to be looking for something that can be said; perhaps already has been. They have a certain quality of restrained optimism rather than sententiousness, like glimpsing a weir in the shift of leaves. If you do read the poems,

I hope you enjoy them. I hope they talk to you from the riverside.

Life On Another Planet can be purchased from www.hybriddreich.co.uk. The asking price is £6.

AVAILABLE NOW ‘UNMUTED‘ by Nigel Kent!

Nigel Kent’s collection of ekphrastic poems, Unmuted (Hedgehog Poetry Press), is inspired by a gallery of famous works by artists from the present and the past. Each artwork acts as a frame in a storyboard which he unfreezes and unmutes to reveal the narrative he imagines lies behind it. Even for those who have no interest in art these direct, accessible and moving poems will stand alone and promise to engage with issues that truly matter.

Kent’s poetry is succint, never bloated and always delivered with a poignant and very human point of view.Priss Bliss, Dreich Broad No. 3

For details of how to purchase a copy, click here

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