Peter Reading (1946-2011) was one of Britain’s most original and controversial poets: angry, uncompromising, gruesomely ironic, hilarious and heartbreaking – as funny as he was disconcerting. Over four decades he became our most skilful and technically inventive poet, 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.
Pamela Robertson-Pearce filmed him reading a selection of his poems at his home in Ludlow, Shropshire, in June 2007. He reads extracts from his book-length sequences ‘Going On’ (1985), ‘Evagatory’ (1992) and -273.15 (2005), the first two of these from his Collected Poems: 2 (1996). This film is from the DVD-anthology IN PERSON: 30 POETS, filmed by Pamela Robertson-Pearce & edited by Neil Astley (Bloodaxe Books, 2008).