A Celebration of Grey Suit Editions – Tuesday 22 March

Please come to Grey Suit celebration!

Tuesday 22 March from 6.30 pm – with a reading at 7 pm. at The Rugby Tavern in Bloomsbury

Featuring the pamphlets and books we have published during lock-down

Lorraine Mariner’s fabulous chap-book Anchorage

Iliassa Sequin’s Collected Complete Poems

Donald Gardner’s New and Selected Poems

and my novel The Distance Measured in Days

All welcome. Please let friends know. There will be free wine and nibbles and all our publications will be for sale.

Rugby Tavern, 19 Great James Street, WC1N 3ES

More details – 0208 801 8577

Anchorage – Lorraine Mariner was born in 1974 and lives in London where she works at the National Poetry Library, Southbank Centre. She has published two collections with Picador, Furniture (2009) and There Will Be No More Nonsense (2014) and has been shortlisted for the Forward Prize twice, for Best Single Poem and Best First Collection, and for the Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Prize.

Review of Lorraine Mariner’s Anchorage – now in London Grip

Iliassa Sequin was born in 1940 on a small island in the Cyclades, where her father was a high school teacher. Soon after the family moved to Athens.

With musicality in language uppermost in her concerns she developed an original poetic style and this led to her being befriended by Odysseas Elytis (later a Nobel prize winner). Family opposition to her career as a writer and an actress prompted her to move to Germany. From then on she flitted between Germany, Italy, France and Sweden becoming a friend of Peter Weiss and Susan Sontag, Giuseppe Ungaretti, André du Bouchet and Paul Celan. John Ashbery published her work in the Partisan Review, and a sequence of her quintets was published by Peter Gizzi in O-blek Editions. Later she moved to Britain, and married the artist Ken Sequin. Her work is notable for its musical beauty, its distinct structure and particular typographical decisions. She died in the winter of 2019.

Donald Gardner was born in London, but has largely lived outside the UK, moving to the Netherlands in 1979. He began writing poetry in the early 1960s, when he was living in Bologna as a Prix de Rome historian. Later he spent some years in New York where he was a lecturer in English Literature at Pace College. His first live reading was at the Poetry Project on Saint Marks Place and in 1967, he took the stage at the East Village Theatre, in the company of Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and others. On his return to London, his first collection, Peace Feelers, was published in 1969 by Café Books. A second collection followed in 1974, For the Flames (Fulcrum). Recent books are The Wolf Inside (Hearing Eye, 2014) and Early Morning (Grey Suit Editions 2017). Gardner has always been a literary translator, as well as poet, initially of Latin American writers: The Sun Stone by Octavio Paz and Three Trapped Tigers by Guillermo Cabrera Infante. He has also translated many Dutch and Flemish poets and in 2015 he won the Vondel Prize for his translations of Remco Campert (Shoestring Press). Now in his eighties, he continues to write poetry and to translate other poets and is an acclaimed reader of his own work.

Anthony Howell is a poet and novelist whose first collection of poems, Inside the Castle was brought out in 1969.  In 1986 his novel In the Company of Others was published by Marion Boyars.  Another novel Oblivion has recently been published by Grey Suit editions.  His Selected Poems came out from Anvil, and his Analysis of Performance Art is published by Routledge.  His poems have appeared in The New Statesman, The Spectator and The Times Literary Supplement.  His articles on visual art, dance, performance and poetry have appeared in many journals and magazines including Artscribe, Art Monthly, The London Magazine, and Harpers & Queen.    In 1997 he was short-listed for a Paul Hamlyn Award for his poetry.  His versions of the poems of Statius were well received and his versions of the poems of Fawzi Karim were the Poetry Book Society Recommended translation for 2013.

The Distance Measured in Days – a novel by Anthony Howell

Photo by Martin Burton

Single copies may be purchased on ebay – just click the word.

Comments:

“I have finished the novel and found it challenging, emotionally, because it defies the reader’s expectations, as its main characters are frustrating .The raw contradictions of the man’s response to his daughter’s death are complex, shocking and convincing ,but his solutions made me want to shake him . The leveret memories, which had nothing immediate, difficult or ambivalent attached, were too heartrending to read I ended up avoiding them. The distinction between the artistic and important non-fuckable friends and others made me laugh. I think like that sometimes. I can’t help thinking that Inge was within reach so many times, not just on the desert trip, but in London, that the man had resolved to pay lip service to the relationship, but knew it was neither the answer nor a source of solace, and turned away.

Random thoughts, Anthony. But it is significant perhaps that Inge’s response to adventures was a sharp “grow up” and stop smoking weed .Neither statement means much when two people are looking for different paths/forms of salvation. I spent eight days, with a Libyan man who spoke no English riding through the Sahara, accompanied by a boy .No saddle, no tent, just holding on to the camels neck with my feet and digging a hole to sleep at night.I picked up tics .I don’t think the desert is ideal for reflection. Too many corpses being eaten by crows, physical stress, numbing landscape. The spirit is an indulgence when you are struggling with the exhaustion of the body.

A final thought, when you become aware that cot death is central to the story, the reader is programmed to prepare a dose of empathy and wait for the right moment to spill it. You don’t provide the opportunity for that kind of mawkish sentimentality because the tensions of the parents’ relationship takes centre stage . I enjoyed it, Anthony, thank you for the copy, which I will read again.”                   Sylvia Mejri 

 

“We hire camels and a guide, and later in the day we ride out of the village. Our camels dip and lurch along on their flat, cloven pads. Slowly we approach a sign – ‘Timbuctoo, 40 jours’. We come abreast of it, and then we plod past it…”
          Harry Harker and his Norwegian wife Inge have come to Morocco in what we might call a grief holiday: a doomed attempt to escape the pain and guilt resulting from the unexpected death of their infant daughter. And soon we discover that a distance measured in days may also refer to the distance between people, even when they are sharing a bed and entwined in each other’s arms.
          Anthony Howell: poet, essayist, dancer, choreographer, uncompromising political commentator. And if this CV weren’t intimidating enough already, we should add novelist to the list.
          In his latest book, his text shifts so effortlessly between timelines, tenses and first and third-person narrative that, at least until one becomes accustomed to it, a sensation akin to faint giddiness is engendered.
          We journey with Harry into his distant past, where he adopts an abandoned leveret, more recently as we follow his sexual gymnastics, then into the present in the ‘desert Sud’, and his sojourn in the Philippines as a guest of the Marcos family. But not in that order. Or anything like it.
There is no happy ending here, no meaningful conclusion. Just intelligent people struggling to lead their lives in a world without convenient meanings or conclusions.”            Steve Glascoe, author of Operation Violet Oak, Seren 2022                                                                                          

 

                                         

Our Publications

Grey Suit Editions

Grey Suit Editions began as a video magazine in the 1990s. This featured avant-garde performance art, poetry and experimental film and music. These videos can be found on our website. Today we host an archive of the video footage as well as publishing books of literary interest and poetry chap-books.

Recent publications – Donald Gardner’s New and Selected Poems

                           Anthony Howell’s The Distance Measured in Days

Other books by Grey Suit Editions:

Anthony Howell 

The Step is the Foot – dance and its relationship to poetry – £14.99

Gwendolyn Leick

Gertrude Mabel May – an ABC of Gertrude Stein’s Love Triangle – £14.99

Walter Owen

The Cross of Carl – an allegory – preface by General Sir Ian Hamilton – £9.95

Iliassa Sequin

Collected Complete Poems – £14.95

We also publish chap-books by Donald Gardner, Alan Jenkins, Fawzi Karim, Lorraine Mariner, Kerry-Lee Powell, Pamela Stewart, Rosanne Wasserman and Hugo Williams.

Individual copies from howell.anthony1@googlemail.com

Our website is https://greysuiteditions.co.uk/

Trade sales are managed by Phoenix Publishing House https://firingthemind.com/

Grey Suit’s reviews in The Alchemy Spoon.

Please find reviews of Loraine Mariner’s Anchorage (p74) and Iliassa Sequin’s Collected Complete Poems (p 101) in issue 4 of The Alchemy Spoon by following the link: https://www.calameo.com/read/006240328939df95c44c7?authid=PgLe8IRv1QEj or by visiting the website www.alchemyspoon.org

The launch of issue 4 will be on Sept 11, at 7.30 on Alchemy Spoon’s YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpENF_vjwEX5yN-Mm6EJnGA) should you care to join.

Grey Suit Editions: our books

The Chap-Books:

Just Visiting  –  Pamela Stewart lives on a farm in western Massachusetts with seven dogs and some other beings. Her most recent full-length book of poems is Ghost Farm (Pleasure Boat Studio, 2010). She expects, shortly, to arrange a small and delightful gathering of letters between the late poet Lee McCarthy and Guy Davenport. Published 2014 – ISBN 978-1-903006-06-1

 
ALMOST SINGING
 
Under her breath, she rummages for Christmas.
She pauses to watch the snow and thinks of sin and its wolf prints
on the slope back down to the barn. But that was then
yes, there’s always then and now and the snowscapes of in-between.
Her breath catches. Never bury a child far from the house. Smoothing
that red wool stocking stretched at the toe, she holds it to her cheek.
Never bury a child where she can’t hear you singing.

The Empty Quarter:  poems by Fawzi Karim in versions by Anthony Howell after translations made by the Author. Born in Baghdad in 1945 and now living in London, Fawzi Karim is rapidly establishing a reputation as a major figure in contemporary poetry.  Plague Lands, his first book of poems in translation was a Poetry Book Society recommendation for 2011.  Anthony Howell’s first collection, Inside the Castle, was brought out in 1969.  His most recent book of poems is The Ogre’s Wife, Anvil 2010. Published 2013 ISBN 978-1-903006-04-7

ON THE HIGHEST PEAK
 
On the highest peak,
The deer edge towards my retreat,
Soliciting a blessing
From the cradle of my newborn pain.
 
The deer kneel then turn away.
The eagle will not risk a restless wind.
Empty are the clouds that frequent my retreat,
Presenting fronts darkened by anxiety.
 
Passing through the clouds I peer down on the city.
Its roofs are stacked with the nests of storks
While its palms are fans for its siesta,
Lending it shade and a breeze for the streets.
 
There are boats unmoored on its timeless rivers,
But ages of sand drift across well known features,
And now it’s clear that the city looks more like a corpse
Hovered over by wings which end in claws.
 
Ice forms on my coat and freezes me to my seat.

 

The Wreckage – Born in Montreal, Kerry-Lee Powell has lived in Antigua, Australia and the United Kingdom, where she studied Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cardiff University. Her work has appeared in The Spectator, MAGMA and The Boston Review. A full collection of poetry will be published in Canada by Biblioasis Press in 2014. The lyric poems in this pamphlet were in­spired by a shipwreck endured by Powell’s father during the Second World War, his subsequent struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, and eventual suicide. Published 2013 ISBN 978 -1-903006-05-4

THE WRECKAGE
 
If all is wrecked between us, it’s because
A pair of wing-tips on the other side of the world
Closed in prayer to make this small breath,
Like the breath of a child blowing a candle-wish,
 
That only gathered salt and squalls as it grew swift.
They say it often begins like this.
Now the ends of the earth are littered with our fragments
Like flocks of terns on an arctic ice-cliff,
 
Or like words on torn-up sheets of paper
In a language that I try not to remember,
Spelled out again like moths around the flicker
Of your face that often flares at me in strangers.
 
Look how I make the most of what’s at hand
Like a match-girl out for kindling in a windy land.

 

Early  Morning – Donald Gardner has been writing poetry since the early 1960s. Recent collections include The Wolf Inside (2014) and The Glittering Sea (2006), both published by Hearing Eye. He is also a translator of poetry and his selection of Remco Campert’s poetry, In those Days (Shoestring 2014) was awarded the Vondel Prize for literary translation. Born in London, he divides his time between Amsterdam and Kildare. Many of these new poems started life in the early morning. First thing, before the mind steps in to remind you of more irksome issues, that’s when I usually write. ‘Early morning’ is not so much the theme of this book as the background music. Published 2017 ISBN 978-1-903006re10-8

See review in London Grip

SWEET MUSE OF POETRY
 
Muse of gentleness,
of gaiety and laughter. A small hint from your eyes,
was enough for me to fall for you,
like the tower of a child’s building blocks
that a tug at a carpet hem may bring down.
 
This is the tower, this early morning.
Nothing stirs in the house.
Outside there’s the thunder of Saturday’s garbage round;
otherwise the stillness is uncanny. It’s early
in January. The day
can’t make its mind up whether to begin.
 
Muse of my heartbroken heart:
I have no choice but to fall asleep again or write
and I can’t get back to sleep.

Dialysis Days – Hugo Williams was born in 1942. His latest book of poems is I Knew the Bride (Faber & Faber 2014). The next will be Lines Off, forthcoming in 2019. He wrote the Freelance column in The Times Literary Supplement for many years and lives in London. Published 2018 ISBN 978-1-903006-11-5

 

A BRILLIANT TRICK
 
Being well is such a brilliant trick
with all its happy healthy fun.
Nobody likes you when you’re sick.
 
They think you’re being melodramatic,
trying to divert attention
from their own favourite trick
 
of appearing busy and energetic
all the time, so that no one
suspects them of being sick.
 
They can’t imagine your own chronic
ill health and depression
is anything more than a cheap trick
 
to deceive anyone sympathetic
enough to your condition
to think you might be genuinely sick.
 
You end up having to mimic
the way healthy people carry on.
Being well is a useful trick.
Everyone hates you when you’re sick.

 

       

Paper-Money Lyrics – Alan Jenkins has published six volumes of poetry, the most recent of which are A Shorter Life (2005) and Revenants (2013). He edited the Collected Poems of Ian Hamilton (2009). White Nights, a volume of his translations from French, will appear in 2015. He has taught in Paris and the United States but has lived for most of his life in London, where he works as Deputy Editor and Poetry Editor of the Times Literary Supplement. Published 2014 ISBN 978-1-903006-07-8

 
BACKWATER
 
Basking in the Mayfair afternoon, The Killer Whale,
The male. Undersea light filters through the fronds
Of sea-grass—urban ferns and hanging-basket leafage.
He has come to feed, he lunches on small fry and crustaceans
 
Which he crunches, on gilts and bonds, on something by Jeff Koons
And the woman’s cleavage. There is a need for overpowering
In his hands, which prod her here and there, feeling
For the soft spots, the intimate recesses where
 
He can deliver hurt—there is a need for devouring
In his playful excesses, sea-spurt and sea-squirt!
Such vagaries of appetite, and only the ocean
To nourish him…Why her stunned face, why that commotion
 
In the shallows, that wave of indignation on the shore?—
Unrest among the bottom-feeders, clicking of iPhones,
Writing of leaders. You can’t fuck with someone’s head
In peace, in public, any more. It’s outrageous. It’s a bore.

 

       

Sonnets from Elizabeth’s – after Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese. Rosanne Wasserman’s poems can be found in print and online, in the Best American Poetry annual series, Ek-phra-sis, Conduit, Jacket 2, Maggy, How2 and elsewhere. Her books of poems include The Lacemakers (1992), No Archive on Earth (1995), and Other Selves (1999), as well as Place du Carousel (2001) and Psyche and Amor (2009), collaborations with her husband, the poet Eugene Richie, with whom she runs the Groundwater Press, a nonprofit poetry publisher. She has written on John Ashbery and Grace Paley for Massachusetts Review; on Pierre Martory James Schuyler and Ruth Stone for American Poetry Review; and on Marianne Moore, Dara Wier and others. She and Eugene Richie co-edited Ashbery’s Collected French Translations (2014). Published 2017 ISBN 978-1-903006-09-2

7.
What changes everything?
Sex, you say? Death sure doesn’t: life goes on
anyway, though you’ve got your toes on
a new front line, almost something
unexpectedly sweet, like swinging
chimes some wild wind blows on,
commuting the panic to marvel, an ozone
high. That’s why if anything
works for us, it’s us, and our lonesome past
points forward to each other,
as if it were a single crystal, orderly, fast
on its feet: and when what we call time’s over,
when we’re gone, they could cast
a model of how-to from us: friend and lover

 

           

Anchorage – Lorraine Mariner was born in 1974 and lives in London where she works at the National Poetry Library, Southbank Centre. She has published two collections with Picador, Furniture (2009) and There Will Be No More Nonsense (2014) and has been shortlisted for the Forward Prize twice, for Best Single Poem and Best First Collection, and for the Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Prize.

Review of Lorraine Mariner’s Anchorage – now in London Grip

THE RESURRECTION, TARBERT
 
Cousin Christie asks me to confirm
some talk he recollects, that my grandfather
was buried at sea. Now that I have toured
 
the graveyards of Ballylongford, recited
the family names chiselled into the stones,
I share his unease. I used to believe
 
in cremation, scatter me, maybe, close to my
rented flat on the anonymous grass of Blackheath.
Standing in the graveyard of St. Mary’s, Tarbert,
 
my relations lying two or three in every row, 
for the first time in my life I would have sworn I was home.
If we do rise, Stanley Spencer style,
 
heaving the lids off of our tombs, blinking
in the perfect light, our naked feet ecstatic
on the green green grass, I would put money aside
 
to have my body transported here from a far city,
as my great aunt and uncle have done.
But my grandmother is not here.
 
She is lost, like my grandfather, in a Garden
of Remembrance in Croydon and it would not
be the same without her to make the introductions.

        *      *      *

Chap-books are £5 each post free in the UK from Books at The Room, 33 Holcombe Road, London N17 9AS. Special deal – Three chap-books for the price of two – £10 post free in the UK from the same address. Include address to mail to and which chap-books you want.

 

Visit Grey Suit Editions UK  for details about all our published books, or scroll down on our blog (Journal) – where they can be found as well.