Anthony Seidman reviews “The End of the Trial of Man”

“Readers familiar with such long masterpieces by Stubbs as Ex Nihilo have become familiar with the taut and searing intelligence in his poetry. His poems often appear in open sequences or long pieces, and the characteristics they share most with each other is the same piercing intelligence that examines a question or obsession from multiple … Continue reading

‘The Glorious Falsehood of Progress’ – An essay about Émile Verhaeren’s Poems

By Paul Stubbs * Poems Émile Verhaeren Translated and selected by Will Stone Arc Publications, 2014  * ‘We substitute one ghost for another, that the fables of the golden age are well worth the eternal present we dream of, and that the original ego, basis of our hopes, evokes the void and ultimately reduces itself … Continue reading

‘A Wonderful Thing’ – a review of ‘FLESH’ (Stride magazine)

‘Challenging concepts, developed into a project-length exploration. A rarity in contemporary poetry; even the experimental scene is patchier in these than it should be. Paul Stubbs’ poetry is full of such ambition – pursued with a terrifying metaphysical and theological energy. It comes from an almost forgotten (and intensely unfashionable) idea of poetry as the threshold, … Continue reading

‘The Eternal Procession’ – On ‘The Arrière-Pays’ by Yves Bonnefoy (excerpt)

THE ARRIÈRE-PAYS Yves Bonnefoy Introduced and translated from the French by Stephen Romer (Seagull Books, 2012)  * Yves Bonnefoy is first an abstract form, then a poet. Therefore a work such as The Arrière–pays is but a shadow giving notice of his shapes still to locate a sundial. He is what Jean-Paul Sartre said of … Continue reading

‘Cacophony of tongues’ – Paul Stubbs reviews ‘Liminal’ by Michael Lee Rattigan

LIMINAL Michael Lee Rattigan (Rufus books, September 2012)  ** ‘Poetry’, wrote Octavio Paz, ‘is the other voice. Not the voice of history or of anti-history, but the voice which, in history, is always saying something different’. He was of course talking of what is re-created in silence, beyond History and of what governs its conversations … Continue reading

Particles of Truth – Paul Stubbs reviews ‘Of Flies and Monkeys’ by Jacques Dupin

* Of Flies and Monkeys Jacques Dupin Introduced and translated from the French by John Taylor (Bitter Oleander Press 2011) * In 1871 in Charleville when Rimbaud, preparing to decimate two thousand years of poetical ‘tradition’, sat down to write his ‘letter of the seer’ to Paul Demeny, he was about to include, among other … Continue reading

The defeat of time – Paul Stubbs reviews “Quartet for the End of Time”

* Quartet for the End of Time Mark Wilson Editions du Zaporogue, 2011 a review by Paul Stubbs * In the period after the First World War Ezra Pound reached the conclusion that England as a central core-place of the creative arts was over, had become in fact “uninhabitable”. This was the moment of not … Continue reading

MATT SIMPSON’s review of THE THEOLOGICAL MUSEUM (May 2005)

MATT SIMPSON’s review of THE THEOLOGICAL MUSEUM by Paul Stubbs (Flambard Press) (published in Critical Survey, May 2005) Stubbs is another kettle of fish. You need to read him with the sort of intelligent attentiveness you bring to a reading, say, of Donne. The Theological Museum is an astonishing debut. I have to admit, however, that, … Continue reading

Already in front of you and far behind (Will Stone about ‘The Icon Maker’)

Will Stone about The Icon Maker by Paul Stubbs (Arc Publications) On arriving in Paris from the provinces and clearly faced with no other plausible reaction, Arthur Rimbaud urinated on the manuscripts of establishment poetasters and summarily destroyed the ‘poetic’ Parisian lodgings the Parnassians had provided for him. In our own era, where endless droves of … Continue reading

Let’s Get Visceral… (Nigel Parke about Ex Nihilo)

a review of Paul Stubbs’s Ex Nihilo by Nigel Parke (October 2010) I am in receipt of two volumes of poetry from the newly formed Black Herald Press. Blandine Longre and Paul Stubbs have taken the bold step into publishing and have begun by publishing their own recent work. I am yet to read Blandine Longre’s Clarities, though … Continue reading

Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Mark Wilson about Ex Nihilo)

by Mark Wilson Review published in 3:AM magazine, Wednesday, March 30th, 2011. The poetry of Paul Stubbs is like a severe volcanic eruption within the landscape of British poetry. In fact, to say that this small corpus of work (as to date, three books) is part of ‘British poetry’ seems a massive perversion of terminology. … Continue reading

Rimbaud and the New Inquisition

an essay by Paul Stubbs, first published in The Black Herald, issue 2 – September 2011 The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in arguing that the Western world was essentially dominated by the so-called ‘last people’—those who, without the arrow of propulsive time, saw only the pointless drudgery of repetition—could well have been paving the way … Continue reading

The Vortex of Being

* CLARITIES Blandine Longre (Black Herald Press, 2010) * By Paul Stubbs * The word ‘metaphysics’ derives from the Greek words (metà) (‘beyond’ or ‘after’) and (physikà) (‘physics’), all of which went into the creation of Aristotle’s books on physics. But the term soon came to be questioned by Latin scholiasts who deemed it to … Continue reading

Anticline – by Clayton Eshleman

Anticline Clayton Eshleman Black Widow Press, 2010 – 181 pages by Paul Stubbs The full essay can now be found in “Clayton Eshleman, The Whole Art“, edited by Stuart Kendall(Black Widow Press, 2014) *** Clayton Eshleman is one of America’s most pivotal visionary poets writing today, a word-creator and a language inventor whose work has … Continue reading

Return to the Light: “Bright Dusky Bright” by Eeva Liisa Manner

Bright Dusky Bright by Eeva Liisa Manner Translated by Emily Jeremiah – Waterloo Press 2009 a review by Paul Stubbs When reading the poems  of Eeva-Liisa Manner, and discovering  the landscapes that gave birth to them, I am reminded of these lines by the great Finnish/Swedish poet Edith Sodergran, lines in fact inscribed upon her gravestone, … Continue reading

Blood / Sugar by James Byrne

Arc Publications 2009 ISBN : 978-1-906570-28-6 – £9.99  (109 Pages) The way the Peruvian avant-gardist poet Cesar Vallejo described language as being the ‘dark nebulae of life that dwells on the turn of a sentence…’ can be applied here to the irrefutable poetics of James Byrne. For he has constructed a collection of poems of considerable … Continue reading

The reweaving of time, Bei Dao’s poetry

The Rose of Time: New and Selected Poems by Bei Dao Edited by Eliot Weinberger, Translated by Yanbing Chen, David Hinton, Chen Maiping, Iona Ma-Cheong, Bonnie S. McDougall and Eliot Weinberger – New Directions, 2010, $16.95 (288pp) A review by Paul Stubbs Just as Hölderlin through his writings wanted to make ‘disappear’ the ‘divisions in which … Continue reading

Gasoline – The Imaginary and the Pure

** ‘I think Corso is a more perfect poet, unique and independent of modes and manners’ – Allen Ginsberg ‘….it comes; I tell you, immense with gasolined rags and bits of wire and old bent nails, a dark arriviste, from a dark river within.’ – Gregory Corso ** by PAUL STUBBS It seems an almost … Continue reading

Lifting the mask

Meeting Dante by Ingrid Soren Ivy press, 2010 “The outward journey of the Commedia, simultaneously an interior one, took me down into a Hell that is Dante’s, mine and Everyman’s. Here he would show me the dark workings of the human psyche, projecting amazing imagery on to my mind…” Described by John Ruskin in the … Continue reading

To The Silenced – Georg Trakl

To the Silenced, selected poems of Georg Trakl, introduction and translation Will Stone (Arc Publications, 2005) by P. Stubbs The task set themselves by most major European poets of expressing what it feels like to be alive in any one epoch does not, on the whole, apply to the poetry of Georg Trakl. The world … Continue reading