My previous report about Lee Harwood and Ric Caddel at SVP has, I see,
received a mauling, and it seems as if it has been taken as an attack at
SVP in general. This particular report was not intended to be, and should
not be taken as, an attack on SVP. It was meant as a "pithy vignette" about
my visit to the event. Looking back at it, it ws probably too pithy and
thus left room for a broader interpretation than was meant to be taken. I
have no bone to pick with the series in general and would not want to
attack any courageous attempts to introduce innovative poets and poetry to
a wider audience. If the posting has a down-beat tone to it, it was
probably because I'd had my yearly appraisal at work that day. For any
perceived slight, I apologise.
As to any "analysis" and "personal dislikes and likes", I can only give you
what I felt about what I saw. If I did anything else, then I would be
dishonest, and doing myself, the event and those involved an injustice.
At 03/07/98 21:16:59, "Lawrence Upton." <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
# SVP, Sub Voicive Poetry, is an odd beast. It was common a few years back
# attack it, especially if you didn't attend; but that seems to have
# stopped... There's a lot wrong with SVP, which I separate from the
# that could be done with it, but it survives. The venue is a bit of a
# problem, but then so are all the venues I go to...
# Because SVP has been going so long, nearly 20 years, it is or seems to
# institution; yet I believe it still runs largely counter to
# institutionalisation, takes risks - if a series can take risks, and
# an outlet for poets who might otherwise not get an outlet - there are
# of those than of those who are widely known.
# I think that its strength is, in part, that it keeps going. The
# with which it is treated does threaten its existence; worse, in my eyes,
# what seems to be a tendency to second guess what one will like so that
# hard to introduce new poets to people... poets new to them that is...
# SVP links us with n america and elsewhere. It ignores the cambridge v
# thing. In so far as it can it brings poets from all over. The bias
# SE England is purely financial. SVP is international in its outlook
# has been
# I have my preferences, enthusiasms and so on. I'll tell you now that I
# hoping to get Colin Simms out of his hilly fastness in 99... On the
# hand, I and those who help me go to some trouble to get a very wide
# Sometimes one gets weary of it - that happened the other night to some
# extent when I found myself without an introduction - and I am looking
# forward to the break. Not weary of it, but weary of the effort... By the
# autumn I shall be missing it
# For many years, there was only SVP. It is good that now we have One in
# the Other - and the VI bill is often v interesting... It's
# good to have variety of organisation and selection and venue and I wish
# could get to more gigs
# If you stay with it, SVP, a wide range and quantity of poets pass
# remember it being like that at Earls Ct Sq before the airheads took
# and SVP has continued that, steadily. We owe Gilbert Adair a
# lot. That he kept at it so long is a large part of its continued
# It is inconceivable to me that we should easily let it be after all
# years of hard and rewarded / rewarding work
# It seems that the series is important to poets, many of whom are
# generous in their response to svp, none of whom get anything out of it.
# I like SVP to be relaxed and friendly. I like an anything goes approach.
# the same time I believe that there is a *rigour to SVP. It can be a
# audience, when it turns up, sorry, but when it claps, you know it's
# would much rather have that concentrating silence that the mindless
# to every perceived joke or right on statement that one gets in some
# The rigour is in the selection and planning too; and, I hope, in the
# magazine. I hope to see the magazine expand which it certainly will if
# audiences hold up and there is the cash to expand it. It will publish
# reviews. It gives out selective information. The web pages will be
# as useful information accrues. The free distribution of issues as part
# the entrance guarantees a wide readership to the poets in the magazine
# would like to build on that...
# I have sought in reviving the colloquium a different kind of rigour -
# people talk rather than delivering papers, but where the talk is
# and open to ideas and not egocentric...
# The only reason I introduce poets is that it is difficult to get others
# The only reason that I review the gigs is that it is difficult to get
# to. We need involvement and exchange of informed views.
# Analysis of readings *should pay attention to the appearance and
# of the poets. We should take account of their voices. But all analysis
# should get beyond personal likes and dislikes. We need evidence. I would
# rather people who had nothing to say kept quiet - advice I could listen
# myself sometimes. So I'll stop now after one last comment - that if
# are willing to make the journey to SVP, having put in all the effort of
# preparation, for so little material reward, the smallest return we can
# them is to respond and exchange views on their output, for all our
# and the least restraint we can exercise is to avoid ignorant insults
# and now I am going to bed in the hope I can get up in time to go to this
# thingy tomorrow - ira why did you have to organ tomorrow of all days?
# May the tears of Diana open your hearts