Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

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

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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

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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

 

A Collaboration of Unlike Minds: William Blake’s and Robert Graves’ The Tyger by R J Dent

April 15, 2016

 

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The Tiger

 

Tiger tiger burning bright

In the forests of the night

What immortal hand or eye

Could frame thy fearful symmetry

 

In what distant deeps or skies

Burnt the fire of thine eyes

On what wings dared he aspire

What the hand dared seize the fire

 

And what shoulder and what art

Could twist the sinews of thy heart

Did he smile his work to see

Did he who made the lamb make thee

 

Tiger tiger burning bright

In the forests of the night

What immortal hand or eye

Dared frame thy fearful symmetry

 

Robert Graves

 

Even the most cursory glance will reveal some fundamental differences between the above two poems. Graves’ rewrite came about due to a number of flaws he felt existed in Blake’s poem. He writes of these in ‘Tyger, Tyger’, an essay collected in The Crane Bag and Other Disputed Subjects. In the essay, Graves is particularly scathing of Blake’s tendency to mix his tenses, remain ‘imprecise and ambiguous’, ‘grammatically incoherent’ and to not care about the rhetorical focus of the poem.

More importantly, however, Graves neglects at any time to mention that he has ‘made his own arrangement of The Tyger’. After interviewing Graves, Christopher Burstall claims that Graves’ ‘arrangement’ includes ‘cutting out two verses and putting the whole poem in the past tense’, so that it is grammatically correct and more structurally cohesive. Read more…

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A Collaboration of Unlike Minds: Robert Graves’ and William Blake’s The Tyger

Copyright © R J Dent (2007 & 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

 

Opus by R J Dent

April 10, 2016

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You can read everything written by the great ones

          and commit their words to memory –

Use a secret alphabet that only a select few

          will recognise as their own –

Set fire to your hands and searingly etch

          your lines onto the communal retina –

Sail through the catacombs of the subconscious

          in a Viking longship and fetch

          back bales of treasure for your people

          – whoever they might be –

Scan the proverbs tattooed deep on the walls

          of a magpie’s heart, knowing

          they are written in experience’s ink –

Unwind spools of useless magnetic tape

          and let them play in streamers

          on the warm south wind –

Chisel out faces in an obsidian wall,

          gag them to stop them screaming,

          but always give them water once a week –

Give the dead child within you a decent burial,

          then perform an elaborate ritual

          so that it returns to life – Read more…

 

 

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

website: http://www.rjdent.com/

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

 

Huitzilopochtli’s Dying Thoughts by R J Dent

August 29, 2014

 

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Huitzilopochtli’s Dying Thoughts

 

 

I’ve got the Tamanaco and Paris

and the bright scarlet splash of Mexico’s

flowers and life and death in my blood-stream

 

My ice sculpture now wears a sugared skull

and stares at me with melting ibis eyes

from its nest of fading rainbow fragments

 

And by the waterfall, the hummingbirds

fly in reverse, sip calico nectar

and ignore the cocooned African moon moths

 

I shake the plateau with my screech owl’s scream;

at my groan, ghost orchid stems snap and fall

(they’ll end up lining some young osprey’s nest)

 

As I die, ice melts and waterfalls stop.

I’ll return to earth as a butterfly,

or as an eagle – I don’t mind which…

 

 

© R J Dent (2014)

 

www.rjdent.com

 

 

Jeremy Reed’s e-books

February 20, 2014

Several of Jeremy Reed’s novels, poetry collections, short story collections and non-fiction works are now available as e-books. 

 

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Available e-book novels include:

 

  • When the Whip Comes Down – a novel about De Sade

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/When-The-Whip-Comes-Down-ebook/dp/B00HYOU3FC/ref=sr_1_13?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1392860820&sr=1-13&keywords=jeremy+reed

  

  • Isidore – a novel about the Comte de Lautréamont

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Isidore-novel-Lautr%C3%A9amont-Jeremy-Reed-ebook/dp/B00IJHW92S/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1392860780&sr=1-1&keywords=jeremy+reed

  

  • The Grid – a novel about Marlowe and Shakespeare in the 21st Century

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Grid-Jeremy-Reed-ebook/dp/B00GQDQJ4Q/ref=sr_1_6?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1392860820&sr=1-6&keywords=jeremy+reed

 

  • The Pleasure Château – a sadeian/gothic/erotic trilogy

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Pleasure-Chateau-Jeremy-Reed-ebook/dp/B00IC7DSPM/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1392860820&sr=1-4&keywords=jeremy+reed

 

  • Here Comes the Nice – a novel about the London Mod scene

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Here-Comes-Nice-Jeremy-Reed-ebook/dp/B006AWYJDQ/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1392860820&sr=1-3&keywords=jeremy+reed

 

Available e-book non-fiction titles include:

 

  • Delirium  – An Interpretation of Arthur Rimbaud

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Delirium-Jeremy-Reed-ebook/dp/B00J18O814/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1395088862&sr=1-1&keywords=delirium+jeremy+reed

 

Available e-book short story collections include:

 

  • Red Hot Lipstick – a collection of erotic short stories

 41iW8+Q4fHL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_

                  

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Red-Hot-Lipstick-Jeremy-Reed-ebook/dp/B00G9ITMJM/ref=sr_1_17?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1392860820&sr=1-17&keywords=jeremy+reed

 

Available poetry collection titles include:

 

  • Nothing But A Star

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nothing-But-Star-Jeremy-Reed-ebook/dp/B00H4IMBV2/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1392860820&sr=1-2&keywords=jeremy+reed

 

  • The Big Orange Day

 51VGHcfC8TL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX318_SY318_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA318_AA300_SH20_OU02_

                   

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Big-Orange-Jeremy-Reed-ebook/dp/B00408AX9Q/ref=sr_1_9?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1392860820&sr=1-9&keywords=jeremy+reed

 

  • Exploding Into Colour

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Exploding-Into-Colour-Jeremy-Reed-ebook/dp/B007IW106G/ref=sr_1_11?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1392860820&sr=1-11&keywords=jeremy+reed

 

Jeremy Reed’s Amazon page is:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jeremy-Reed/e/B001H9PY18/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Jeremy Reed’s website is:

http://www.jeremyreed.co.uk/

www.rjdent.com

Bookbuster – a great bookshop in Hastings

November 5, 2013

Bookbuster is a wonderful book shop in Hastings that is open 7 days a week.

 

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The proprietor of Bookbuster is Tim Barton, a St. Leonards-based cultural entrepreneur with many years experience in the book trade.

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Tim has opened his cheekily-named bookshop, Bookbuster, in premises formerly occupied by a gone-bust Blockbuster DVD rental store.

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Tim believes in bookshops and what bookshops offer customers: “I don’t think you can beat a physical bookstore, where you are free to browse,” he says.

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Bookbuster is generating a lot of interest among book-lovers. Tim says: “The fact that there has been so much interest so far is fantastic.”

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Although the shelves offer many new titles, the shop has an extensive and eclectic range of books that seem to appeal to all ages and interests.

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With new stock arriving daily, a calendar full of author signings, readings, poetry slams and other literary events, and an ambient soundtrack playing to ensure customers linger longer, Bookbuster is proving to be a valuable business that gives a great deal to the Hastings reading community.

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There is also a significant second-hand book section that – along with a selection with some well-chosen perennial titles – offers collectors the chance to obtain copies of rare editions and signed delights from Iain Sinclair, the late Iain Banks and Tom Sharpe, amongst others.

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BookBuster is an independent bookshop in Queen’s Road, Hastings. There is a huge range of stock. Bookbuster is full of literary treasures and, because of Tim Barton’s depth of knowledge regarding authors and books of every type and genre, the shop is something of a cultural oasis. It is very good news for Hastings and for book-lovers and bibliophiles.

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BookBuster is at 39 Queen’s Road, Hastings. Opening hours: 9.30am-5.30pm Monday to Saturday; 11-5 Sundays.

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There are author readings, author signings, lectures, poetry readings and live music at BookBuster throughout the year.

 

outdoors

BookBuster

39 Queen’s Road

Hastings

TN34 1RL

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bookbuster

BookBuster facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/BlueGreenEarthBooks

 

 

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

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

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In R J Dent’s Library – Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene

October 13, 2013

 

A look in R J Dent’s library at an epic poem of chivalry, romance and knighthood – Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene

 

 

 

 

 

In R J Dent’s Library – Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene

 

Text (c) R J Dent (2013)

Film (c) R J Dent (2013)

 

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