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Kevin Cadwallender’s Holiday Poetry Reads


If I was to have a holiday, which is always my intention but I never seem to get around to it, I would take my usual six pack of books. They are made up of one novel, one biography/autobiography, one classic and three books of poetry.

I will quickly run through my non-poetry books: The Falling Sky by Pippa Goldschmidt (Freight Books), my favourite novel this year; the classic would be Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles (Penguin), which I read every couple of years; and the biography this time is a book of letters: Bernard Shaw and Alfred Douglas: A Correspondence, edited by Mary Hyde (Ticknor & Fields).

I very rarely take books I haven’t already read as a) I want to enjoy them and b) I don’t want to run out of things to read. Poetry is a different creature, though, and I usually find three poets who I am interested in reading or whose books I have just acquired.

So my 3 books on this day in July are Sunday at the Skin Launderette by Kathryn Simmonds (Seren 2008), Chick by Hannah Lowe (Bloodaxe 2013) and A Lost Expression by Luke Kennard (Salt 2012), but if you asked me in a week’s time, all of these would change.

Kevin Cadwallender lives in Edinburgh and has published several collections of poetry including Dances With Vowels (Smokestack Books). He is a Commissioning Editor for Red Squirrel Press, Lectures in Modern Poetry and was Scottish Slam Champion 2012-2013. His BBC Radio 4 programme ‘Voyages’ was shortlisted for a Sony Radio Award. Forthcoming book: Making Buildings out of Gods & Glue (RSP) September  2013.

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