The wind with nothing.
The stone’s directions.
Rock as Gloss is Mark Goodwin‘s sixth full-length book of poems. Divided into four ‘compasses’, its 184 pages offer a variety of approaches to ‘the rock in hand’ (whether gritstone or slate), or the fell under foot (whether on or off the map), and also enact a dialogue with the culture and literature of climbing and fell-walking, speaking to (and through) Menlove Edwards, Ted Hughes, Coleridge and others. The poems and fictions of Rock as Gloss navigate imaginary and actual journeys through textures of movement and stillness, setting down lines ‘touched by gravity’. A beautifully produced hardback book, it can be ordered direct from Longbarrow Press for just £12.99 (with free UK delivery until the end of February 2019). Visit the Rock as Gloss microsite for poems, essays and other information about the book.
Mark Goodwin‘s long-awaited collection Steps is his fourth full-length book of poems, and his first full collection for Longbarrow Press. On one level, Steps is a 144-page journey through the landscapes of England, Ethiopia, Scotland, Spain and Wales; on another, it is a sustained engagement with the journey’s pauses, in which the landscapes invite us to listen – the gaps that compel our attention, and from which these poems are constructed. Click here to visit the Steps microsite and listen to recordings of some of the poems in the book.
Mark Goodwin’s poetry isn’t merely about landscape… it manifests landscape, in its openness to all the encounters that engagement with landscape makes possible. Reading his linguistically-sophisticated yet elemental rhapsodies, one gains a sense of the ‘outside’ – that greater world which surrounds the human one and, regardless of our arrogance, continues to make it possible – at a level of intensity that few have matched.
Perception sharp as feeling itself, invention endlessly resolving into apt idiosyncrasies of form, the continuing development of Mark Goodwin is maybe the most exciting happening in British poetry today.
2010. 33 minute audio CD (CD recorded by Mark Goodwin in various UK landscapes in 2009, from West Penwith to the West Highlands). Listen to a ‘tape fugue’ of the poem ‘Dark Bird With Corner’ (CD player, cassette player, two dictaphones, with occasional spoken interjections from Goodwin) live at the Fat Cat, Sheffield, 24 January 2010 (as part of the Distance a Sudden launch):