Peter Reading is one of Britain’s most original and controversial poets: angry, uncompromising, gruesomely ironic, hilarious, and heartbreaking. In Spring 2001, the Lannan Foundation traveled to England and recorded Peter Reading reading his entire body of poetry to that time, i.e. through the collection Faunal. In 2010 the Lannan Foundation commissioned British videographer Pamela Robertson-Pearce to record Mr. Reading reading from his subsequent collections at his home in Ludlow, Shropshire, England. The Lannan Foundation is delighted to bring the voice and work of Peter Reading to a world-wide audience.
Vendange Tardive is a late harvest of vintage Reading in disaster mode. Here is a rueful crop of valedictory poems in which man reaps what he sows: shipwreck, ruin, death, war, ignomony and extinction. But somehow, amid all that, there is still the fruit of the vine and the bittersweet spirit of life. - Bloodaxe Books
A vendange tardive is a late-harvest wine, and the title poem records the gift of a bottle on the poet's 62nd birthday. Another poem, "All Is Safely Gathered In", in which he offers thanks for a birthday bottle of champagne, bluntly begins: "Morituri te salutant" (we who are about to die salute you). While this book marks Reading's return to a collection of individual pieces, it still coheres as he weaves multiple threads in which deaths of family members and friends mix with the deleterious effects of oil-dependent economies, compounded by a day-to-day awareness that not only is the self at the age of "late harvest", but in the face of climate change, so is the whole human race. - Carrie Etter, The Guardian.
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