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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 ...

Cut-Ups

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...
7 May 1987
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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Stet 
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 ...
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’. ...
6 December 1979
... did the best of the lot. By the Thirties the achievements of Arts and Crafts revivalism were petering out: Edward Johnston and Eric Gill look good, calligraphy after Johnston aimless, laboured and weak. Craft pottery and commercial pottery both stand up very well. Furniture, either in the Gimson tradition, of beautifully-finished joinery with neat ...
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 ...
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 ...
22 December 1983
The Battle for Bermondsey 
by Peter Tatchell.
Heretic Books, 170 pp., £7.95, October 1983, 0 946097 11 9
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... On the front cover of The Battle for Bermondsey there is a photograph of Peter Tatchell as, I imagine, he would like to be seen: a steady innocent gaze, a determined tilt to the chin, a youthful crusading air. He looks fragile but brave. In the background, slightly out of focus, is an older comrade looking decidedly askance, not to say horrified ...
27 May 1993
Dorothy L. Sayers: Her Life and Soul 
by Barbara Reynolds.
Hodder, 398 pp., £25, March 1993, 0 340 58151 4
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... I have been reading again The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy L. Sayers. Barbara Reynolds says that this book – together with her famous series of radio dramas The Man Born to be King – is her greatest work. And Barbara Reynolds should know. She is the goddaughter of Sayers; she is a distinguished Italian scholar and collaborated with Sayers on her translation of The Divine Comedy (a collaboration fascinatingly written up in her book The Passionate Intellect: Dorothy L ...
16 October 1997
Peter Cook: A Biography 
by Harry Thompson.
Hodder, 516 pp., £18.99, September 1997, 0 340 64968 2
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... I was a friend and devoted admirer of Peter Cook for thirty years but I never realised until I read this book how much our early lives had overlapped. We were born in the same week into the same sort of family. His father, like mine, was a colonial servant rushing round the world hauling down the Imperial flag ...

Diary

Andrew Brighton: On Peter Fuller

7 November 1991
... of Oxbridge voices reviewing an exhibition selected by and posthumously mounted as a tribute to Peter Fuller. The wannabe Oxbridge voice of Giles Auty, art bumbler for the Spectator, declares ‘Peter’ was led by his arguments rather than his eyes. Up speaks real Oxbridge voice, while duly patronising to Auty – not ...

Two Poems

Aharon Shabtai, translated by Peter Cole

30 November 2000
... helmet, conceptually speaking, his head is made of cardboard. On the other hand, the officer has read The Rebel; his head is enlightened, and so he does not believe in the mark of Cain. He’s spent time in museums, and when he aims his rifle at a boy, as an ambassador of Culture he updates and recycles Goya’s etchings and Guernica. War I, too, have ...
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 ...

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