Peter Manson lives in Glasgow and is a poet and translator of poetry. His books include “Poems of Frank Rupture” (Sancho Panza Press), “Adjunct: an Undigest” and “For the Good of Liars” (both from Barque Press) and “Between Cup and Lip” (Miami University Press, Ohio). Miami UP also publish his book of translations, “Stéphane Mallarmé: The Poems in Verse”. A new booklet of poems, “Factitious Airs” has just appeared from Zarf Editions. Peter has been Judith E. Wilson Visiting Fellow in Poetry at the University of Cambridge, and in 2016 was awarded one of the first artist residencies at Little Sparta, the garden of the poet Ian Hamilton Finlay. Samples of his work, and many links, can be found on his website, petermanson.wordpress.com
What do you suggest people might read or hear in advance of hearing you?
Maybe the poem “raven A”, as it’s not too old and sums up a few things that I do in a small space… https://petermanson.wordpress.com/poems/raven-a/
There’s this draft translation of Mallarmé’s long visual poem “Un coup de Dés” on my WordPress: https://petermanson.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/pm-un-coup-de-des-march-2016.pdf
Where can we find one critical (or other) response to your work that you have found provocative, interesting, insightful or generative?
My favourite thing written about me is still Craig Dworkin’s long essay on Adjunct: http://eclipsearchive.org/Editor/DworkinPWO.pdf
Point us towards some examples of work in other media (art/cinema/music etc) that inflect upon your work, in any way at all:
Boredoms live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHWtJQ4wbnY
Fushitsusha live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4VY0YZKT3A
Amen Dunes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6rYOOfOV1c
Talk page for the Wikipedia article “List of Chucklevision Episodes”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:List_of_ChuckleVision_episodes
Dark Star by John Carpenter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyUVhuOWPuY
Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIA17H-b7Qs
What readings or performances most shook you up, and why?
What writing (or whose writing) is exciting you now?
Off the top of my head, the poetry of Sean Bonney, Nat Raha, Verity Spott, Linus Slug a.k.a. Mendoza, Edmund Hardy, Nisha Ramayya, Kathrine Sowerby, Frances Kruk. All findable online, lots on youtube, and the books are cheap.
What/who do you wish people read more of?
I wish people would try to do more reading in languages other than English — even if you’re not fluent in a second language, you can learn a lot by using a translation as a crib, trying to follow the syntax of the original and sounding out the words. I’ve been doing this with Paul Celan’s poetry recently — I couldn’t get much out of the Michael Hamburger translations as poems in their own right, but they’re very useful as a key into understanding the complex and rebarbative originals.
What do you wish you read more of yourself?
Fiction. I go through occasional fiction binges (my last one was Dickens), but I can go a long time without reading a novel, and I’m shockingly badly-read. I grew up with an interest in experimental fiction (Beckett, B.S. Johnson, Christine Brooke-Rose), and I know I absorbed through that a kind of prejudice against more conventional narrative. Dickens helped me get rid of it, but I still don’t read enough.
What is your writing for? And what is it against?
It’s for complexity, for sensory and semantic overload, for humour, maybe particularly the slapstick humour of linguistic mishap, for demonstrating the personal and even emotional continuity that underlies all the mess and blurt and dislocation — not a deodorised avant-garde, but a writing that emerges from the crises and particularities of one body and as many minds as will fit in it. It’s against the poem as a small, luminous narrative vignette, against decorative simile and metaphor, against boredom. For The Boredoms.
Ask yourself a question you’d like to answer. It could be one of these from the questionnaire in the last issue of the Little Review (below)or anything else at all you think might be good.
Hear Peter here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-z25_WwMoI & on the Archive of the Now: http://www.archiveofthenow.org/authors/?i=59&f=2237#2237