Peter Reading reads extracts from two book-length sequences, 'Going On' and 'Evagatory': the film is from the DVD-book IN PERSON: 30 POETS, filmed by Pamela Robertson-Pearce & edited by Neil Astley (Bloodaxe Books, 2008). Pamela Robertson-Pearce has been filming poets reading their work for Bloodaxe's archive, website and DVD-books. The poems from his COLLECTED POEMS: 2 [1985-1996] (Bloodaxe Books, 1996). Peter Reading is probably the most skilful and technically inventive poet writing today, mixing the matter and speech of the gutter with highly sophisticated metrical and syllabic patterns to produce scathing and grotesque accounts of lives blighted by greed, meanness, ignorance, political ineptness and cultural impoverishment. The two extracts from 'Going On' are examples of Alcmanic verse, a metre used in Greek drama consisting of catalectic dactylic hexameters, adapted with remarkable incantatory effect to catalogue more modern horrors. In 'Evagatory' he uses 'dispersed Alcaics', an Aeolic verse metre combining dactyls and trochees. Few poets since Tennyson have written quantitative verse, and the musical effectiveness of Reading’s use of forms traditionally associated with the beautiful and heroic for his grim subject-matter comes across in this reading. We filmed Reading reading at his home in Ludlow in 2007.

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