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Sacred Peter

Norman MacCaig, 19 June 1980

Sacred Keeper 
by Peter Kavanagh.
Goldsmith Press, 403 pp., £4.40, May 1979, 0 904984 48 6
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Dead as Doornails 
by Anthony Cronin.
Poolbeg Press, 201 pp., £1.75, May 1980, 9780905169316
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The Macmillan Dictionary of Irish Literature 
edited by Robert Hogan.
Macmillan, 815 pp., £2, February 1980, 0 333 27085 1
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... My acceptance of an offer to review the Kavanagh book landed me in a mess of puzzles. Peter Kavanagh, the poet’s brother, starts straight off, sentence one, by announcing: ‘When I write about Patrick Kavanagh I write as a partisan, as his alter ego, almost as his evangelist.’ And if you think that’s a dubious basis for a biography, what about this? As far as possible I shall avoid writing of him as a brother since my interest in him was mainly as a poet ...

Peter Campbell

Mary-Kay Wilmers: On Peter Campbell, 17 November 2011

... The fox on the cover of this issue is walking past Peter Campbell’s house in South London, the house (he wrote about it in the LRB in September) where he and his wife had lived since 1963. Peter died – in that house – on 25 October and the picture on the cover is the last one he painted ...
... their radio programmes were broadcast from, what comic books their children (no doubt secretly) read, what cars they drove, what cinemas they queued at, The omnivorousness of the show serves painting least well. Sickert’s Edward VIII – painted from a photograph – establishes forward connections with made-image users of the last twenty years and ...

Has been

C.K. Stead, 21 January 2016

... Peter Reading, 1946-2011) ‘The only permanence I suppose is in having been’ –                     thus           in four words             conjugating present and past         that one may say ‘has been’       drunk and (I guess, not having seen it) sober             a half century at words for animals, people, plants the planet ...

Having Charlie

Tim Rowse, 15 August 1991

Charles Perkins: A Biography 
by Peter Read.
Viking, 352 pp., $30, October 1990, 0 670 83488 2
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... to Sydney’s inner-city slums. ‘Aborigines were not a racial problem but a social one,’ Read glosses the Foundation’s non-threatening message. Perkins told one suburban audience in 1964 that it was time Aborigines rid themselves of welfare dependency ‘and started doing something about our problem ourselves’. ...
Selected Poems 1964-1983 
by Douglas Dunn.
Faber, 262 pp., £9.95, November 1986, 0 571 14619 8
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Terry Street 
by Douglas Dunn.
Faber, 62 pp., £3.95, November 1986, 0 571 09713 8
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Selected Poems 1968-1983 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 109 pp., £8.95, November 1986, 0 571 14603 1
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Essential Reading 
by Peter Reading and Alan Jenkins.
Secker, 230 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 436 40988 7
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by Peter Reading.
Secker, 40 pp., £5.95, October 1986, 0 436 40989 5
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... selection of ‘The Artist Waiting in a Country House’, a sophisticated meditative poem to be read alongside James Fenton’s ‘A Vacant Possession’. The title poem of St Kilda’s Parliament two years later set the tone for another politically conscious and responsible collection. The poem ‘returns’ to a photograph taken of the men of St Kilda in ...

Peter Conrad’s Flight from Precision

Richard Poirier, 17 July 1980

Imagining America 
by Peter Conrad.
Routledge, 319 pp., £7.50, May 1980, 0 7100 0370 6
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... they intended to find. Though he doesn’t mention Rosenberg, or any other critic for that matter, Peter Conrad, Fellow of Christ Church, Oxford, is convinced that a similar destiny was in store for the English writers of the 19th and 20th centuries who ‘imagined’ America during their visits to it. They imagined it not freely but in obedience to various ...


Robert Crawford, 7 December 1989

Perduta Gente 
by Peter Reading.
Secker, £5, June 1989, 0 436 40999 2
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Letting in the rumour 
by Gillian Clarke.
Carcanet, 79 pp., £4.95, July 1989, 9780856357572
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Lazy Thoughts of a Lazy Woman 
by Grace Nichols.
Virago, 58 pp., £4.99, July 1989, 1 85381 076 2
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Studying Grosz on the Bus 
by John Lucas.
Peterloo, 64 pp., £4.95, August 1989, 1 871471 02 8
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The Old Noise of Truth 
by Joan Downar.
Peterloo, 63 pp., £4.95, August 1989, 1 871471 03 6
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... Till recently, I’ve dodged most of Peter Reading’s work. He seemed so much the darling of the TLS and of a metropolitan circle whose powerfully disseminated views it is often essential to evade in the interests of finding a position which affords a degree of independence. Seeing stray poems by him in magazines, I thought of him as having a gift of designer outrage, whose appeal to the sophisticated might be suspect ...

The Strange Case of Peter Vansittart

Martin Seymour-Smith, 6 March 1986

Aspects of Feeling 
by Peter Vansittart.
Peter Owen, 251 pp., £10.95, January 1986, 0 7206 0637 3
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... Peter Vansittart, novelist, historian and writer for children, has been singled out for praise by critics as diverse as Philip Toynbee, Francis King, Angus Wilson and Andrew Sinclair. All feel that he lacks the large audience he deserves. Yet the curious reader, anxious to gain more information about this somewhat enigmatic writer, of undoubted power (and above all vision), may easily find himself defeated ...

Why the barbarians kept us waiting

Peter Porter, 9 September 1993

... were some kind of a solution But wouldn’t risk their legendary horses, Battle wagons: they’d read about pollution, High-rise slums and poisoned watercourses. To keep their army healthy they ran races On plains and let our cameramen record them – Nightly the same professional drained faces Fronted clips on TV and deplored them. Their Great Khan ...

I shall be read

Denis Feeney: Ovid’s Revenge, 17 August 2006

Ovid: The Poems of Exile: ‘Tristia’ and the ‘Black Sea Letters’ 
translated by Peter Green.
California, 451 pp., £12.95, March 2005, 0 520 24260 2
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Ovid: Epistulae ex Ponto, Book I 
translated and edited by Jan Felix Gaertner.
Oxford, 606 pp., £90, October 2005, 0 19 927721 4
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... the exilic corpus as entitled to the same degree of scholarly attention as Ovid’s earlier work. Peter Green was in at the beginning of the boom when he published his spirited and sympathetic translation in 1994, now reissued with a new foreword and updated bibliography; any quotations from Ovid in this piece are taken from his excellent versions. Green ...

At the Royal Collection

Peter Campbell: Retrieved at the Restoration, 6 September 2007

... in the Royal Collection: Renaissance and Baroque. They include the Caravaggio Calling of Saints Peter and Andrew, the two Tintorettos (Esther before Ahasuerus and The Muses) and the two Bassanos (The Adoration of the Shepherds and The Journey of Jacob); the Lovers attributed to Titian, the Correggio Holy Family, the Bronzino Portrait of a Lady in Green, the ...

Sticking to the text

Peter Porter, 2 May 1985

... In the Great Book of Beginning we read That the word was God and was with God And are betrayed by the tiniest seed Of all the world’s beginnings, to thrash Like sprats in a bucket, caught in deed As in essence by shapes of ourselves, Our sounds the only bargains we may plead. So starts this solipsistic essay about words, Its first stanza chasing its own tail, Since no word will betray another word In this sodality, self-repressing and male, And we discover, hardly believing our eyes And ears, a sort of chromatic scale, That whatever lives and feels is logos ...

Peter Wright, Judges and Journalists

R.W. Johnson, 3 September 1987

... British Constitution’). But this constitution wasn’t written down, so you couldn’t read it, use it, study it or be sure exactly what was in it. But you could feel very, very proud of it. One can imagine the general hilarity which would greet the claim by, say, the ruler of Uganda that his country had a constitution, but that it existed only in ...

At the Atlantis Gallery

Peter Campbell: The Survey of India, 6 November 2003

... is not reflected in the appearance of the grey boxes that house them. The analogue information read from sliding scales and verniers has been replaced by digital information read off a liquid crystal display and the nature of the units we use to measure distances and intervals has also changed. The metre is defined in ...

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