A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed

June 22, 2016

OUT NOW! A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed: National Flash Fiction Day 2016 Anthology.

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A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed is an anthology of flash-fictions, published to celebrate National Flash-Fiction Day (UK), and showcasing the very best talents to have written in this challenging miniature literary form. The stories in A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed are in a variety of genres, styles and forms, ranging from horror to romance, from fantasy to dark reality, from urban terror to comedy. Many of the stories in A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed will resonate with readers long after reading.

 

A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed

Contents

Foreword: The Editors

Before the Sun Comes Up: Tim Stevenson

Miss Scarlet in the Shed: Tracy Fells           

Cold Hands: Rhoda Greaves

Ambush: Richard Holt       

Outsider: Laura Huntley     

Theseus in Belleville: Anne Elizabeth Weisgerber

Bocca Baciata: Ruth McKee        

Health and Pleasure, Glorious Sea!: Sharon Telfer      

Gingerbread: Virginia Moffat

A Marionettist’s Musings While on a Park Bench: Charley Karchin

Bubblegum Barbie: Emily Devane      

Lifer: Adam Trodd       

Shirts – A Fable: R J Dent

Sam, 29: Martha Gleeson

Three Kids, Two Balloons: KM Elkes            

Who? What?: Ashley Chantler

Pub Quiz: Alison Wassell

Sushi and Kitty Cats: Kaitlyn Johnson

Desert Blossom: Annie Mitchell

Premiums: Ian Shine             

Misunderstanding: Vivien Jones        

Wakes Week: David Hartley      

Burning Faith: Frankie McMillan

Pigeon English: David Cook         

Kittiwakes: Catherine Edmunds

The Door Closes: Kevlin Henney

Clippers: Debbi Voisey      

I Go on the Morrow to Murder the King: Joy Myserscough

Special Delivery: Calum Kerr         

Grains: Joanna Campbell

Panda: Fat Roland          

Fish Supper: Laura Tickle         

The Vineyard: Catherine McNamara

What We Threw Into the Lake: Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

The Pleasure Principle: Rob Walton         

Onion: Damhnait Monaghan

My Aunt Aggie: Paul McVeigh      

A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed: Jon Stubbington

A Collection: Diane Simmons

Kelly Loves Traffic Light Jelly: Jeanette Sheppard

Yellow: Nuala Ní Chonchúir

424 Likes: Jennifer Harvey

Manspreading: Marie Gethins 

Wake Up: Oli Morriss          

When Dreams are Large and Tusked: Ingrid Jendrzejewski

Ten Things that Happened After My Funeral: Santino Prinzi     

What the Therapist Said: Jude Higgins        

Gregor Samsa Quits the Track Team: Beverly C. Lucey

Honesty’s Not the Best Policy: Brendan Way       

Orphans: Chris Stanley       

And the Red Flower: Nina Lindmark Lie

One Last Pickup: Sarah Hilary         

Sunday Morning: John Holland      

About Unemployment and Rats: Bernard O’Rourke

Captain Strix: Zoe Gilbert         

Latchkey: Fiona J. Mackintosh

Lips: Nik Perring         

Map Reading: Jane Roberts        

How to Make Lolo: Michelle Elvy       

Family Values: Jonathan Pinnock

Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night: Claire Fuller         

Hornet’s Nest: Sally Burnette      

The Taste of Sock and Rubber: Cathy Bryant       

In the Café: Sherri Turner       

On the Invisibility of the Deaf: Debbie Young

Flying Ant Day: Judy Darley          

Marzipan Bride and Groom: Sal Page

I Believe in You: Meg Pokrass        

When She Was Good: Safia Moore         

Injuries in Dust: Poppy O’Neill     

We Can Be Asteroids: FJ Morris             

Purple with a Purpose: Amanda Saint      

Little Ghosts: Jan Carson           

The Night Life of Wives: Angela Readman

The Jumper: Anne Patterson

A One-Word Yet…: Ingrid Jendrzejewski

Storm: Gemma Govier

Jessie Learns How to Keep A Secret: Alison Wassell

Illumination: Judi Walsh           

When Words Aren’t Enough: Lucy Welch          

Christmas: James Watkins

Always One: Tracy Fells           

Notes: Elaine Marie McKay

Energy Efficient, Extremely Slim, Easy to Install: Ed Broom

 

A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed: National Flash Fiction Day 2016 Anthology is out now!

To purchase the paperback edition of the anthology, please follow this link here: A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed. (paperback)

To purchase the e-book edition of the anthology, please follow this link here: A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed. (e-book)

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

Website: http://www.rjdent.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent/e/B0034Q3RD4

Blog: https://rjdent.wordpress.com/

twitter: https://twitter.com/RJDent

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rjdentwriter

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/rjdent69

 

Voodoo Excess (Rolling with the Stones) by Jeremy Reed

April 21, 2015

 

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Voodoo Excess

(Rolling with the Stones)

by Jeremy Reed

with an introduction by R J Dent

 

Voodoo Excess, Jeremy Reed’s latest collection, is a history of the Rolling Stones in verse, prose and prose-poetry.

In Voodoo Excess, Jeremy Reed chronicles the Stones’ progress from the early days at the Crawdaddy Club in 1962 to the fiftieth anniversary in 2012; he explicates Mick Jagger’s dance steps and his accent; he examines the Rolling Stones’ logo; and the different ways Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood angle their cigarettes; he describes the emotional impact of the Stones’ Hyde Park performance; he details the Redlands bust and the anti-establishment stance and attitude of the band; and he looks unflinchingly at the violence of Altamont and the inevitable death of the summer of love.

Voodoo Excess is far more than a Rolling Stones biography and it is far more than a collection of Rolling Stones-themed poems and prose-poems – what Jeremy Reed has achieved with Voodoo Excess is to provide an incredibly in-depth, up-close and intimate chronicle of the life and times of a group of musicians who have – for fifty years – collectively and individually continued to define the term ‘rock and roll rebels’.

 

Product details:

Title: Voodoo Excess

Author: Jeremy Reed

Format: Paperback

Pages: 224 pages

Publisher: Enitharmon Press

Published: 12 June 2015

ISBN-10: 1907587500

ISBN-13: 978-1907587504

 

Contents

INTRODUCTION: The Rolling Stones and Jeremy Reed (by R J Dent)

PART 1 – THE GREATEST ROCK AND ROLL BAND IN THE WORLD

PART 2 – THE BRIAN JONES YEARS: 1962–1969

PART 3 – THE MICK TAYLOR YEARS: 1969–74

PART 4 – MEMORABILIA/BONUS MATERIAL

PART 5 – THE RONNIE WOOD YEARS: 1975–

 

Voodoo Excess is available at:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Voodoo-Excess-Jeremy-Reed/dp/1907587500

and at:

http://www.amazon.com/Voodoo-Excess-Jeremy-Reed/dp/1907587500

and at:

https://www.waterstones.com/book/voodoo-excess/jeremy-reed/9781907587504

 

Follow Jeremy Reed’s work on http://www.jeremyreed.co.uk/

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

Website: http://www.rjdent.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent/e/B0034Q3RD4

Blog: https://rjdent.wordpress.com/

twitter: https://twitter.com/RJDent

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rjdentwriter

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/rjdent69

 LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/r-j-dent-29a8a724?trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

 

The Blood Delirium: The Vampire in 19th Century European Literature

November 29, 2014

 

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‘R J Dent’s translations are fresh with an exciting raw sexual edge…’ (Candice Black)

 

The Blood Delirium is a definitive collection of 19th century European literature in which the vampire or vampirism – both embodied and atmospheric – is featured or evoked. Twenty-three seminal works by classic European authors, covering the whole of that delirious period from Gothic and Romantic, through Symbolism and Decadence to proto-Surrealism and beyond, in a single volume charged with sex, blood and horror.

 

The Blood Delirium contains a detailed introduction (by editor Candice Black) which not only examines these texts and their meaning, but which also charts the literary and cultural climate in which the new cult of the vampire was allowed to flourish.

 

The Blood Delirium includes texts by Bram Stoker, J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Oscar Wilde, J.M. Rymer, Charles Baudelaire, Le Comte de Lautréamont, Paul Féval, Maurice Rollinat, Guy de Maupassant, Count Stenbock, Jean Lorrain, Théophile Gautier, Charles Nodier, John Polidori, J.K. Huysmans, Charlotte Brontë, Ivan Turgenev, Jan Neruda, Augustus Hare, Cyprien Berard and Léon Bloy.

 

Several of the texts in The Blood Delirium are translated by R J Dent into English for the very first time, including those by Cyprien Bérard, Paul Féval, and Maurice Rollinat.

 

 

The Blood Delirium is the definitive collection for literate vampire-lovers.

 

The Blood Delirium is available from:

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Blood-Delirium-European-Literature/dp/0983884285

 

or from:

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Delirium-The-Candice-Black/dp/0983884285

 

 

www.rjdent.com

 

Myth by R J Dent

October 7, 2013

R J Dent’s Myth is a fantasy/horror novel set on a Greek island.

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R J Dent provides some information on his novel, Myth:

R J Dent reads an excerpt from his novel, Myth:

The book trailer for R J Dent’s novel, Myth:

A promotional poster for R J Dent’s novel, Myth:

myth r j dent poster

Myth is available as an e-book:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Myth-ebook/dp/B00FV6XBUY/ref=la_B0034Q3RD4_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381743927&sr=1-7

and as a paperback:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Myth-R-J-Dent/dp/1843862670/ref=la_B0034Q3RD4_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381743927&sr=1-4

http://www.rjdent.com

rjdent logo

Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments

February 15, 2011

 Translated by R J Dent

Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments – translated by R J Dent (ISBN 978-1-906451-53-0)

R J Dent’s sensitive modern English translation of the complete Poems & Fragments of Alcaeus is now available to download onto your Kindle at:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alcaeus-Poems-Fragments-ebook/dp/B007HT1ISA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1331151350&sr=1-1

and:

http://www.amazon.com/Alcaeus-Poems-Fragments-ebook/dp/B007HT1ISA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1331151639&sr=8-2

and in ePub format (Sony, Kobo, etc) at:

http://www.hive.co.uk/ebook/alcaeus-poems-fragments/14018263/

and:

http://www.tescoebooks.com/tescoweb/search/SearchSingletitle.aspx?E=9781906451547

Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments is also available in paperback from Circaidy Gregory Press at:

http://www.circaidygregory.co.uk/alcaeus.htm

and from Amazon.co.uk:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alcaeus-Poems-Fragments/dp/1906451532/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1329660575&sr=1-1

Alcaeus was a fellow countryman and contemporary of Sappho, and his beautiful and delicate poetry is often overshadowed by Sappho’s reputation. R J Dent has now translated all of Alcaeus’s Poems & Fragments from ancient Greek into lively modern English in an attempt to rescue Alcaeus’s ethereal poetry from obscurity.

There is no other published translation of Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments in existence.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZManZM65dGA&feature=plcp

Product Details:

Title: Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments – translated by R J Dent [Paperback Edition]

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-906451-53-0

Title: Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments – translated by R J Dent [Kindle Edition]

e-book ISBN: 978-1-906451-54-7

Translator: R J Dent

© R J Dent (2012)

Language: English 

Pages: 112

Paperback ISBN 978-1-906451-53-0 £7.49.  Orders available to trade and retail customers from http://www.circaidygregory.co.uk or to trade via Nielsen Teleorders. Contact sales@circaidygregory.co.uk for discount and SoR terms.

Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments (in paperback and kindle formats) is now available from Amazon, and in all other eformats from all i-stores. Orders available to trade from Gardners and Baker and Taylor.

Here’s a recent review of Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments:

http://hastingsonlinetimes.co.uk/arts-culture/creative-writing/a

R J Dent’s published works include a novel, Myth; translations of Charles Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil & Artificial Paradise; of Le Comte de Lautréamont’s The Songs of Maldoror; of Alcaeus’s Poems & Fragments; a Gothic novella, Deliverance; a poetry collection, Moonstone Silhouettes, and various stories, articles, essays, poems, etc, in a wide range of magazines, periodicals and journals, including Orbis, Philosophy Now, Acumen and Writer’s Muse. 

R J Dent’s Amazon page can be found at:

 http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent

Details of R J Dent’s other works – novels, novellas, translations, stories, poems, essays and songs – are available on www.rjdent.com

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

website: http://www.rjdent.com/

blog: https://rjdent.wordpress.com/

twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/RJDent

facebook:http://www.facebook.com/pages/R-J-Dent/344369095423?v=wall

youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/rjdent69?feature=mhum#p/a/u/0/CmnYHWJqQK4

 

 

Ritual of Filth: Georges Bataille’s The Dead Man (Translated into English by R J Dent) – a review by Tom Bland

June 22, 2020

RITUAL OF FILTH

A REVIEW OF GEORGES BATAILLE’S THE DEAD MAN (RAGGED LION PRESS, 2020)

by Tom Bland

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RJ Dent’s masterful translation of Georges Bataille’s The Dead Man opens the work to the English speaking world. The work is essentially about the explosive lust that arises from grief: it may seem alien to connect the two, but psychoanalysis has often proposed a correlation between eroticism and mourning. I once read a case-study of a woman who masturbated for two days after she lost her father, which made me think of Bataille’s My Mother, where the main character masturbates while standing over the corpse of his mother in the funeral parlour.

In the opening of The Dead Man:

When Edouard fell back back dead, a vast emptiness opened up inside Marie. A prolonged shudder went through her, and lifted her up like an angel.

 

Marie seduces a rich Dwarf (with the title of Count) entangling him in the sexuality that erupts out of the “shudder”:

 

What Marie saw in the Dwarf’s eyes was the insistence of death.

On unsteady legs, she trembled.

Staring at the [Dwarf], she backed away.

Without warning, she vomited.

She looked at the pool of vomit in front of her.

Her torn and ripped coat was barely covering her body.

 

The book becomes more extreme as Marie’s world falls apart. As her life twists out of shape so does her libido, as the loss manifests as pure unadulterated desire like the cocaine only Kate Moss or Quentin Tarantino can afford. Marie needs to fuck but not the normal kind of fucking; her body explodes in the spontaneous acts of pissing, shitting, vomiting, which rip apart the confines of her life. The Dwarf has an erection throughout, and he is not the only one.

 

Marie went wild. She bared her teeth and bit down on the [Dwarf’s] cock, hard.

Pierrot dragged Marie off the [Dwarf]. He held her by the wrists, dragging her.

The [Dwarf] guided Pierrot’s cock into Marie…

 

Bataille describes everything in exquisite detail as if writing the notes for a case study he is going to submit to a psychoanalytic journal but he has yet to obscure the sexuality with technical terms such as the id, “the seething cauldron of excitation” [Freud].

 

“Stop staring at me,” Marie said, “or I’ll piss on you…”

She clambered onto the table and squatted.

“If you do, you’ll get me even more excited,” the [Dwarf] said.

Marie pissed on him.

The [Dwarf] received the stream of piss full in the face as Pierrot vigorously wanked his big cock.

 

RJ Dent’s translation of Bataille’s neglected work is superb and opens and lays bare the philosophical backbone of the work while remaining faithful to Bataille’s erotic story-telling. It is quite obvious that R J Dent is a poet and novelist himself by the way he opens up the intensity and the beauty of the language.

 

The Dead Man is published by Ragged Lion Press in a limited edition.

It is available at: https://www.raggedlionpress.co.uk/product-page/the-dead-man-georges-bataille-translated-by-r-j-dent

R J Dent’s books and information on current projects can be found at: www.rjdent.com

 

Tom Bland’s The Death of the Clown came out with Bad Betty Press in 2018, and his next book, Camp Fear, will be out in 2021. He trained in psychotherapy and dream analysis at SOPH/Middlesex University, and studied live art at UEL. He edits the online magazine, Spontaneous Poetics.

https://badbettypress.com/product/the-death-of-a-clown-tom-bland/

https://www.spontaneouspoetics.co.uk

 

Ritual of Filth: A Review of Georges Bataille’s The Dead Man (translated into modern English by R J Dent) – by Tom Bland – June 2020

 

R J Dent’s translation of Georges Bataille’s Le Mort

May 16, 2020

Poet, novelist and translator R J Dent discusses aspects of his new translation of one of Georges Bataille’s neglected works:

“In my new English translation of Georges Bataille’s The Dead Man, there is a three-page afterword by Bataille, explaining the genesis of his story. In that afterword, Bataille writes of a plane crash he went to investigate:

‘I remember one day hearing an aeroplane whose engine was in trouble.

After a series of splutterings faded into the near distance, there was a heavy, percussive shock. I got on my bicycle and pedalled in the direction of the crash. It took me a while to find the crash site.

It was burning in the centre of a large apple orchard. Trees near to the plane had been scorched black. Three, maybe four, bodies flung from the wrecked plane, lay dead on the grass.

It was a German plane, probably shot down by an English fighter somewhere over the Seine Valley, which was only a short distance away from where I was staying, which was why it had managed to get to the orchard before crashing.

A dead German airman…’

Georges Bataille’s crashed plane anecdote wouldn’t be out of place in one of J.G. Ballard’s books; it has the same detached and dispassionate tone and style. It was clearly a defining moment for Bataille, and its depiction of the horror of violent death in the midst of everyday calm is the same tone (and the same theme) that infuses The Dead Man.”

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The Dead Man

Author: Georges Bataille

Translator: R J Dent

Language: English

Pages: 36

Format: A5

Published May 2020

Price: £3.75

 

The Dead Man by Georges Bataille

Originally published in 1967 as Le Mort by Jean-Jacques Pauvert

Translated into English by R J Dent

Translation Copyright © R J Dent (2020)

http://www.rjdent.com/

 

Cover Art by Alexander Adams

Image © Alexander Adams

https://www.alexanderadams.art/

 

Published by Ragged Lion Press in an edition of 100 copies

https://www.raggedlionpress.co.uk/product-page/the-dead-man-georges-bataille-translated-by-r-j-dent?fbclid=IwAR3G5uNz3gmkns0wGItoiCea4OQZ4YwLotVR7VNvBr5pHnSh_XxVfts-BuI

 

 

 

Georges Bataille’s The Dead Man translated into modern English by R J Dent

May 9, 2020

R J Dent’s brand-new modern English translation of Georges Bataille’s The Dead Man, originally published in France in 1967, is now available in modern accessible English from Ragged Lion Press.

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Georges Bataille’s The Dead Man, originally published as Le Mort, is the story of Marie, a woman who after witnessing the sudden death of her lover, Edouard, wanders naked and grieving through the night streets of a French town, sinking deeper and deeper into depravity as she seeks to escape the agony of loss…

 

R J Dent’s brand-new version of The Dead Man is the first twenty-first century modern English translation of Georges Bataille’s classic tale of devotion, depravity and damnation…

 

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Product details:

Title: The Dead Man (Le Mort)

Author: Georges Bataille

Translator: R J Dent

Language: English

Pages: 36

Format: A5

Published May 2020

Price: £3.75

 

The Dead Man by Georges Bataille

Translated into English by R J Dent

http://www.rjdent.com/

Translation Copyright © R J Dent (2020)

Cover Art by Alexander Adams

https://www.alexanderadams.art/

Printed by Ragged Lion Press in an edition of 100 copies

https://www.raggedlionpress.co.uk/product-page/the-dead-man-georges-bataille-translated-by-r-j-dent?fbclid=IwAR3G5uNz3gmkns0wGItoiCea4OQZ4YwLotVR7VNvBr5pHnSh_XxVfts-BuI

 

Palmistry by Christopher Ringrose – a review

February 3, 2020
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Microlives: A Compelling Collection of Flash Fiction Stories by Amanda Hodgson

December 1, 2019

A review by R J Dent

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In her previous collection of short stories, Feed the Need, Amanda Hodgson looked unflinchingly at eating, food, digestion and consumption in all of its various permutations.

Microlives, subtitled, A Compelling Collection of Flash Fiction Stories is exactly what it says it is; a very compelling, and a very contemporary, collection of flash fictions about people linked by a specific location. And in Microlives, Amanda Hodgson shows us around a small block of flats in an unnamed city and introduces us to a range of characters, all going about their lives, trying to cope, trying to live, trying to survive, all trying to find tiny slices of joy in their hard existences.

As Amanda Hodgson warns: ‘Ria is tired. Pat is praying. Liam likes feet and Billy likes films. Microlives takes the reader to a small block of flats to hear the voices within. Find out why Claire is screaming and Join Della as she revisits her past.’

And we, as readers, do find out, although Amanda Hodgson offers no easy or pat solutions to the myriad problems life throws at her characters, with several of them unable to achieve any real sort of redemption at all.

The stories in Microlives are realistic, but they are most definitely not from the George Eliot or Thomas Hardy school of realism. Amanda Hodgson’s prose, influenced as it is by Jenny Diski (The Vanishing Princess, Nothing Natural, The Dream Mistress) and J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey, The Catcher in the Rye), is more akin to J.G. Ballard (High-Rise, Concrete Island) with her iced-scalpel turn of phrase and her psychological insights.

The stories in Microlives reward close reading because they give us (as readers) a better understanding of certain human conditions, human needs, and minor, but nonetheless important, human achievements.

Product Details:
Title: Microlives: A Compelling Collection of Flash Fiction Stories
Author: Amanda Hodgson
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1207 KB
Published: August 2019
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Language: English
ASIN: B07YK1Z56T

Microlives: A Compelling Collection of Flash Fiction Stories by Amanda Hodgson is available to buy here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Microlives-Compelling-Collection-Fiction-Stories-ebook/dp/B07YK1Z56T/ref=sr_1_3?qid=1575210558&refinements=p_27%3AAmanda+Hodgson&s=books&sr=1-3

 

Tom Bland’s The Death of a Clown

November 5, 2019

A review by R J Dent

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Inside the striking covers of Tom Bland’s poetry pamphlet, The Death of a Clown, there is a challenging and unsettling series of poems. What is effective about this collection is the way in which Tom Bland uses his thought-provoking poetic juxtapositions to elicit, in some cases to force, new meanings from old words.

The poems in The Death of a Clown are full of references to objects from the present (YouTube, iPhone, a Channel 4 documentary), which Tom Bland neatly juxtaposes with objects from the past (a Polaroid camera, a radio tower, a Victorian house), in order to ensure that the poems in The Death of a Clown do what effective and moving poetry always does; to create an ongoing and meaningful dialogue between the present and the past.

Like Stephen King before him, Tom Bland carefully, but seemingly casually, litters his work with cultural references. In The Death of a Clown, Tom Bland’s use of the brand name detritus of modern culture via his invocation of the names of familiar household products deepens the intense realism of his poetry.

This is not to suggest the poems are in the realist school of poetry. They are most definitely not. Throughout the collection, there are references to various religions and systems of belief: Sufism, the Church of Satan, The Rajneesh movement, Islamism, Christianity. Religious leaders are invoked: Jesus, Osho, St. Paul, Muhammad, and then they are adroitly, although possibly inevitably, juxtaposed with serial killers: Ted Bundy, Dennis Nilsen, and Ed Gein. These pointed references and these juxtapositions raise serious questions about the natures of the revered and the reviled, the followers and the followed.

In the same way that the ‘confessional’ poets wrote accounts of their lives by putting fictionalised versions of themselves into their poetry, Tom Bland is also totally unafraid, possibly even eager, to put himself in his own poems:

‘Don’t be afraid to scream, Tom,’

she said/I said to myself.

Mark Waldron says that ‘these poems aren’t confessional, they don’t seek absolution’, and in that, he is correct, although Tom Bland does utilise the ‘confessional’ device in order to give the appearance of speaking directly to the reader (and to himself).

With regards to subject matter, Tom Bland, like Jeremy Reed, is using poetry to push at the genre’s self-imposed boundaries and seems to be trying and succeeding in extending poetry’s subject remit.

The poems themselves are very England-based. The places are name-checked: Bethnal Green, Dalston, Hertfordshire – even the Roundhouse gets an honorary mention; English newspapers and magazines are used as props: The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Sun, Teen magazine, Hello magazine. In this respect, the poems are very cinematic, the imagery is strikingly clear, and the light is always good, even when it’s dark.

The collection is saturated in sex; paraphilias abound; the sex in The Death of a Clown is pan-sexual: hetero, homo, bi:

It was and wasn’t fetishism, it was and wasn’t

sexuality; it was and wasn’t perversion…

A later line in the same poem suggests that ‘it’ might very well be ‘the desire to be something other’.

Consequently, the writers cited are mostly referenced as the creators of texts on or about sexuality, often troubled or complex sexuality: D.H. Lawrence, the Marquis de Sade, Edward Edinger, Colin Wilson; the clothing that gets mentioned is often fetishistic: body paints, a monochrome dress, see-through knickers, faux-leather corsets, a policeman’s helmet, satin and PVC G-strings and PVC cowboy boots.

The title of the collection, The Death of a Clown, underscores every human’s inevitable demise. Tom Bland lists some of the stimulants and depressants that humans use to dull their awareness of their own mortality: acid, coke, speed, ketamine, cigs, Weston’s Old Rosie cider, and brandy.

The gods Hekate and Ra get invoked, but they seem to have no discernible power over human destiny, because ultimately, Tom Bland puts the responsibility for being human squarely onto each human being. The poems in The Death of a Clown reveal precisely what it means to be human, and what it means to be mortal, with each human being aware of their own inevitable and imminent death.

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Product Details:

Title: The Death of a Clown

Author: Tom Bland

Publisher: Bad Betty Press

Date: November 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9997147-5-8

Pages: 50

Format: Paperback

Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.3 x 21.6 cm

About Tom Bland: Tom Bland completed an MA in Contemporary Performance Practices at the University of East London where he blended poetry with live art practice. He has performed at The Solo Theatre Festival, Bar Wotever, Festival at the Edge, Velvet Tongue, and Franko B’s Untouchable. He is currently devising performances and is currently working on a verse novel with the title Peeling the Apocalypse.

Tom Bland’s website: www.spontaneouspoetics.co.uk

Bad Betty Press website: https://badbettypress.com/the-death-of-a-clown-tom-bland/

R J Dent’s website: http://www.rjdent.com/

 

Rodney Matthews: Another Time, Another Place

April 11, 2019

R J Dent’s in-depth article about fantasy and science fiction artist, Rodney Matthews.

 

 

Jean Genet (1910-1986)

August 10, 2016

Jean Genet (19 December, 1910-15 April, 1986) was a French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist.

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Early in his life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but he later took to writing.

Throughout his five early novels, Genet works to subvert the traditional set of moral values of his assumed readership. He celebrates a beauty in evil, emphasizes his singularity, raises violent criminals to icons, and enjoys the specificity of gay gesture and coding and the depiction of scenes of brutality and betrayal.

NOVELS:

By 1949, Genet had completed five novels, three plays, and numerous poems, many of them considered controversial for their explicit and often deliberately provocative portrayal of homosexuality and criminality.

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Our Lady of the Flowers (Notre Dame des Fleurs, 1943) is a journey through the prison underworld, featuring a fictionalized alter-ego by the name of Divine, usually referred to in the feminine, at the center of a circle of queens with colourful sobriquets such as Mimosa I, Mimosa II, First Communion and the Queen of Rumania.

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The Miracle of the Rose (Miracle de la rose, 1946) is a fictionalized autobiography which describes Genet’s time in Mettray Penal Colony.

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The Thief’s Journal (Journal du voleur, 1949) is also a fictionalized autobiography and it describes Genet’s experiences as a vagabond and prostitute, as he wanders across Europe.

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Querelle of Brest (Querelle de Brest, 1947) is the story of a murder set in the midst of the port town of Brest, where sailors treat life with brutal carelessness.

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Funeral Rites (Pompes funèbres, 1949) is a story of love and betrayal across political divides, inspired by the death of the narrator’s lover, Jean Decarnin, who was killed by the Germans during the Second World War.

PLAYS:

Jean Genet’s plays present highly stylized depictions of ritualistic struggles between outcasts of various kinds and their oppressors. Social identities are parodied and shown to involve complex layering through manipulation of the dramatic fiction and its inherent potential for theatricality and role-play.

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In The Maids (1947), the eponymous maids imitate one another and their mistress.

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In Deathwatch (Haute Surveillance, 1947), three prisoners are locked up in the same cell. One is to be guillotined. Confinement traps each of them in solitude and immense unhappiness, which lends them a certain dignity.

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Splendid’s (1948) is a full-length drama, and

Her (Elle, 1955) is a one-act play.

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In The Balcony (1957), the clients of a brothel simulate roles of political power before, in a dramatic reversal, actually becoming those figures, all surrounded by mirrors that both reflect and conceal.

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In The Blacks (1959), Genet offers a critical dramatization of what Aimé Césaire called negritude, presenting a violent assertion of Black identity and anti-white virulence framed in terms of mask-wearing and roles adopted and discarded.

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The Screens (1961), Genet’s most overtly political play, is an epic account of the Algerian War of Independence.

NON-FICTION:

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Genet wrote an essay on the work of the Swiss sculptor and artist Alberto Giacometti entitled The Studio of Alberto Giacometti (L’Atelier d’Alberto Giacometti, 1957).

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It was highly praised by Giacometti himself and by Pablo Picasso. Genet wrote in an informal style, incorporating excerpts of conversations between himself and Giacometti.

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Prisoner of Love (Un Captif Amoureux, 1986) is a memoir of Genet’s encounters with Palestinian fighters and Black Panthers. In 1970, he had spent two years in the Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan. Visiting Beirut in September 1982, Genet found himself in the midst of the Israeli invasion of the city. He was one of the first foreigners to enter Shatila refugee camp after the massacre of hundreds of its inhabitants.

POETRY:

Genet also wrote several poems.

  • “The Man Condemned to Death” (“Le Condamné à Mort”) (written in 1942, first published in 1945)
  • “Funeral March” (“Marche Funebre”) (1945)
  • “The Galley” (“La Galere”) (1945)
  • “A Song of Love” (“Un Chant d’Amour”) (1946)
  • “The Fisherman of the Suquet” (“Le Pecheur du Suquet”) (1948)
  • “The Parade” (“La Parade”) (1948)

These poems have been translated into English by Jeremy Reed and George Messo and published as Jean Genet: The Complete Poems.

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Jean Genet developed throat cancer and was found dead on 15 April 1986, in a hotel room in Paris. He is buried in the Spanish Cemetery in Larache, Morocco.

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ca. 1980-1997, Larache, Morocco --- Jean Genet's Grave on the Coast --- Image by © K.M. Westermann/CORBIS

Jean Genet’s books are available at:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jean-Genet/e/B000APBLYE

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

Website: http://www.rjdent.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent/e/B0034Q3RD4

Blog: https://rjdent.wordpress.com/

twitter: https://twitter.com/RJDent

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rjdentwriter

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/rjdent69

No Echoes by R J Dent

August 4, 2016

Villa Anamaria is an ornate Art Nouveau-style villa in Pefkos, on the Greek island of Rhodes. It is at the end of a beach road overlooking Askeftos Bay. The villa used to belong to Pink Floyd guitarist, David Gilmour, who sold it to an Italian couple several years ago.

 

Villa Anamarie 1990

Villa Anamaria 1990

 

On Pefkos maps, Villa Anamaria is still referred to as the ‘Pink Floyd Villa’.

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It has been on the market for nearly five years, and is currently valued at 1.1 million Euros. So far, no one has offered to buy it, and Villa Anamaria is gradually beginning to look like an unloved, derelict building.

 

No Echoes

 

Once, Villa Anamaria, an ornate house

above a rocky, remote Rhodian bay,

was neat, discrete, resplendent in hot sun,

with turquoise wrought-iron gates and walled garden,

olive tree-lined stone drive and marbled paths

that led to subtly-arranged glades of shade,

past Grecian urns, manicured lawns, statues.

 

Now, just a millionaire’s discarded toy,

empty, abandoned, unwanted, disowned,

no echoes of the distant past resound

or sound in rooms now empty but for dust.

Silence, shutters askew, sun-faded walls,

cracked paving, overgrown groves, creeping weeds,

an empty swimming pool, lawns gone to seed.

 

 

Villa Anamarie 2016

Villa Anamaria 2016

 

No Echoes

by R J Dent

 

Copyright © R J Dent (2016)

 

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

 

Website: http://www.rjdent.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent/e/B0034Q3RD4

Blog: https://rjdent.wordpress.com/

twitter: https://twitter.com/RJDent

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rjdentwriter

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/rjdent69

 

The Love Song of Daphnis & Chloe by Nigel Humphreys

July 3, 2016

Daphnis-and-Chloe

A review by R J Dent

The Love Song of Daphnis and Chloe

by Nigel Humphreys

Edited by Catherine Edmunds

Published by Circaidy Gregory Press

ISBN: 9781906451882

 

 

Daphnis and Chloe (Greek: Δάφνις καὶ Χλόη, Daphnis kai Chloē) is the only known work of the 2nd century AD Greek novelist, Longus.

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The Love Song of Daphnis & Chloe began when Nigel Humphreys read George Thornley’s 1670 English translation of Longus’ Greek novel, Daphnis and Chloe, written on Lesbos.

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Nigel Humphreys became obsessed with the task of re-interpreting Longus’ pastoral romantic novel into an epic modern poem that would appeal to twenty-first century readers and retain the beauty, charm, romance and humour of the original.

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First and foremost, The Love Song of Daphnis & Chloe is the story of a boy (Daphnis) and a girl (Chloe), each of whom is exposed at birth along with some identifying tokens. A goatherd named Lamon discovers Daphnis, and a shepherd called Dryas finds Chloe.

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Each decides to raise the child he finds as his own. Daphnis and Chloe grow up together, herding the flocks for their foster parents.

And so it was preordained –

decreed by divine intercession –

that they raise them as their own.

And having shared their dreams…

they introduced their children

to their work as herdsmen…

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Inevitably, Daphnis and Chloe fall in love, but being naïve, do not understand what is happening to them.

Yet among them Daphnis

was unable to settle since

he had seen Chloe naked,

honeyed, tender, scented

and more lovely than Venus

in all her sensuousness.

Philetas, a wise old cowherd, explains to them what love is and tells them that the only cure is kissing. They do this.

All they saw was that kisses

had endangered Daphnis

and day-dreaming Chloe

in that mazy month of May.

Eventually, Lycaenion, a woman from the city, educates Daphnis in the skills of love-making.

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And so Lycenia…

finding him primed and greedy,

slipped slickly beneath him

and shepherded his limbs

to where they longed to be.

What followed came naturally…

Throughout the book, Chloe is courted by suitors, two of whom (Dorcon and Lampis) attempt with varying degrees of success to abduct her. She is also carried off by raiders from a nearby city:

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Yet Chloe was with her herd

and fled from the invaders

to the Nymphs’ Cave begging

them to spare her and her kin

in the name of the Goddesses.

And she is only saved by the intervention of the god Pan.

Oh, you most cruel dissolute

of mortals! … restore

Chloe to the Nymphs with all

her flocks. Awake therefore

and send the maiden ashore

with her sheep and goats,

and I will steer her home,

and guide her to her lands.

The story concludes with both Daphnis and Chloe being recognized by their birth parents, after which, the couple get married and happily live out their lives in the country. On their wedding night:

… the stars,

moon and planets hurrahed.

The married pair were squired

to their room in rush light

by pipes and flutes, and Daphnis

lay with Chloe skin against skin.

Cuddling tightly and kissing,

entwining and twisting…

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Nigel Humphreys’ The Love Song of Daphnis & Chloe is a beautifully written modern epic version of an Ancient Greek classic. Humphreys has taken Longus’ prose and given us a delightful poem of incredible warmth, wit and wisdom.

 From the back cover:

Bucolic shenanigans on the Island of Lesbos

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Poet Nigel Humphreys has done something unique and surprising with the ancient text of Daphnis & Chloe, taking a rambling 2nd century prose narrative and transforming it into an epic poem in the oral tradition of Ancient Greece.

Daphnis & Chloe is complemented in this edition by five new Daffyd ap Gwylim translations, which Humphreys has returned to the original cywydd form in order to recapture the colour and humour of the 14th century Welsh troubadour poet.

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THE LOVE SONG OF DAPHNIS & CHLOE

by Nigel Humphreys

Edited by Catherine Edmunds

Published by Circaidy Gregory Press.

ISBN: 9781906451882

Daphnis-and-Chloe

Follow Nigel Humphries:

Website:

http://nigelhumphreyspoet.webs.com/daphnis-and-chloe-2015

Circaidy Gregory Press:

http://www.circaidygregory.co.uk/nigel_humphreys.htm

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Song-Daphnis-Chloe-Dafydd/dp/1906451885