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Why couldn’t she be fun?

Lavinia Greenlaw: Nico gets her own back, 24 February 2022

You Are Beautiful and You Are Alone: The Biography of Nico 
by Jennifer Otter Bickerdike.
Faber, 512 pp., £20, July 2021, 978 0 571 35001 8
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... Before​ Nico was one of Andy Warhol’s ‘Superstars’, before she sang with the Velvet Underground and made six solo albums, she was known as ‘the girl from La Dolce Vita’. Fellini had spotted her hanging around on set and gave her a small part as a model called Nico. Nico wears beatnik black and her space-age platinum hair is loose. She glides through four languages and moves with theatrical lightness while taking charge of every shot ...

Long Hair, Young Hair, Braided and Defiant Hair

Dinah Birch: Lavinia Greenlaw, 10 May 2001

Mary George of Allnorthover 
by Lavinia Greenlaw.
Flamingo, 320 pp., £12.99, March 2001, 0 00 710595 9
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... It is hard to make a living from poetry. Lavinia Greenlaw has turned her hand to all manner of activities to support her work – publishing, teaching, arts administration, posts as writer-in-residence. These haven’t just been ways of paying the bills: her imagination has been cultivated by dealing with institutions ...

Send no postcards, take no pictures

John Redmond, 21 May 1998

One Train 
by Kenneth Koch.
Carcanet, 74 pp., £7.95, March 1997, 9781857542691
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A World where News Travelled slowly 
by Lavinia Greenlaw.
Faber, 53 pp., £6.99, January 1997, 0 571 19160 6
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A Painted Field 
by Robin Robertson.
Picador, 98 pp., £6.99, February 1997, 0 330 35059 5
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... human about understanding can never be a function of mere rapidity. Spock ‘gets it’ too fast. Lavinia Greenlaw has strong feelings about travel and speeds of communication and something like a nostalgia for old-fashioned ways of sending messages. During a recent interview, she observed: ‘The physical effort of the rider on horseback, the letter ...

Ever so comfy

James Wood, 24 March 1994

Collected Poems 1953-1993 
by John Updike.
Hamish Hamilton, 387 pp., £20, October 1993, 0 241 00167 6
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Dante’s Drum-Kit 
by Douglas Dunn.
Faber, 145 pp., £6.99, November 1993, 0 571 17055 2
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Old Men and Comets 
by D.J. Enright.
Oxford, 64 pp., £6.99, November 1994, 0 19 283176 3
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Plato’s Ladder 
by Stephen Romer.
Oxford, 79 pp., £6.99, November 1992, 0 19 282986 6
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The Country at My Shoulder 
by Moniza Alvi.
Oxford, 56 pp., £6.99, September 1993, 0 19 283125 9
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British Subjects 
by Fred D’Aguiar.
Bloodaxe, 64 pp., £5.95, July 1993, 1 85224 248 5
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Night Photograph 
by Lavinia Greenlaw.
Faber, 54 pp., £5.99, October 1993, 0 571 16894 9
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Nil Nil 
by Don Paterson.
Faber, 53 pp., £5.99, April 1993, 0 571 16808 6
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Out of Danger 
by James Fenton.
Penguin, 103 pp., £7.50, December 1993, 0 14 058719 5
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... some crease of detail or fold of radiance. It is in just such shining hiddenness that Lavinia Greenlaw excels. Her calm, springy, whispering monologues – ‘Galileo’s Wife’, or a soliloquy from one Dr William Pancoast, Philadelphia 1884 – are the best things in the book. She seems to have an instinct for unsettling detail: The wrong ...

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