12th Jun 13
Ian Caws – A Mystical Elegance of Form
and in the shop…
“ISCA – Exeter Moments”
The Ember Press;
“Namaste: Poems of Nepal”
“Sunlight in a Champagne Glass”,
and “Reclaiming the Lyre: New and Selected Poems”,
“No Accounting for Paradise”
William Oxley was born in Manchester. A poet and philosopher, he has also worked as an accountant, gardener, and actor. At present he divides his time between London and South Devon.
His latest collection, Isca – Exeter Moments, a coffee-table book jointly with photographer Barry Davidson, was published by The Ember Press in 2013. £12.50, hard-back with wrap-round full-colour dust jacket.
His collection, Sunlight in a Champagne Glass, was published by Rockingham Press (Spring, 2009).
His poems have been widely published throughout the world, in magazines and journals as diverse as The New York Times, The Evansville Review and The Formalist (USA), The Scotsman, New Statesman, The London Magazine, Stand, The Independent, The Spectator and The Observer.
Following publication of a number of his works on the Continent in the ’eighties and ’nineties, he was dubbed ‘Britain’s first Europoet’. He has read his work on UK and European radio and is the only British poet to have read in Shangri-la, (Nepal). Among his recent books of poetry have been Collected Longer Poems (Salzburg University Press, 1994), and Reclaiming the Lyre: New and Selected Poems (Rockingham Press, 2001).
A former member of the General Council of the Poetry Society and consultant editor of Acumen, he also edited the anthology Completing the Picture for Stride in 1995. He is the founder of the Long Poem Group and co-edits its newsletter; and in 1999, his autobiography No Accounting for Paradise came from Rockingham Press. He was Millennium Year poet-in-residence for Torbay in Devon. In 2008, he received the Torbay Arts Award for Literature.
A limited edition print employing lines from his epic, A Map of Time, was chosen by the Dept. of Cartography, University of Wisconsin to use, with appropriate illustration, in their Annual Broadsheet for 2002 and another of his long poems, Over the Hills of Hampstead, was awarded first prize by the on-line long poem magazine, Echoes of Gilgamesh.
He co-edited the anthology Modern Poets of Europe (Spiny Babbler, Nepal 2004); and in 2004, Hearing Eye published Namaste, his Nepal poems, closely followed by Bluechrome publishers of Bristol with London Visions. In 2007, Poems Antibes, a fine limited edition of 250 (50 signed by author and illustrator, 200 unsigned copies), Illustrated by Frances Wilson was published by Rockingham Press.
Comments on earlier work:
“… among the few who think in terms of physical touch and smell sensation rather than simply the eye or the ear or the mind”
“… plain but not vulgar, powerful”.
“(A Map of Time) … It is a mammoth work and does not lose its excitement”
“[shorter poems]… powerful visionary lyricism … [long poems] … a valuable extension and development of the tradition represented by the long poems of MacDiarmid and Russell”
and on more recent work:
“This is the poetry of largesse, gusto. Oxley’s poetry should be quaffed rather than sipped”
Ian Caws (South)
“His Nepalese poems, alert with arresting images, ultimately reflect on the light side of the soul.”