The latest issue of broadsheet 27, May 2021, features the distinguished UK poet Richard Berengarten, and features a selection of prose poems from a Work in Progress.
Poets included are: Michael Duffett 1943-2019 (USA), Basim Furat, John Gallas, Alex Jeune, Margaret Jeune, Michael O’Leary, Mark Pirie, Vivienne Plumb, Harry Ricketts, Marion Rego, Anthony Rudolf (UK), Madeleine Slavick, Bill Sutton and F W N (Niel) Wright.
Editor Mark Pirie writes in the Preface:
“Richard Berengarten was born in London in 1943. He is an English poet who has lived in Greece, Italy, former Yugoslavia and the USA. His latest book, Changing (2016), is a homage to the I Ching. A dedicated internationalist, he has published around 30 books and received numerous awards in the UK, Serbia and Macedonia. He lives in Cambridge, UK.
I met the poet Richard Berengarten on my UK visit to London and Cambridge in 2005. We were both published by the same publishing house Salt in England at the time and our publisher recommended I call by his place in Cambridge while I was passing through. Richard was very obliging at short notice and generous company. He has kept in touch since then and sent poems to the journals I have edited: JAAM in 2005 and later broadsheet.
Through his friendship with me, he has strong poetic links with New Zealand. Four chapbooks in his Manual series have been published by the Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop in Paekakariki. His poems have been translated into more than 100 languages, and Dr Michael O’Leary translated one of Richard’s poems ‘Volta’ into te reo Māori.
I asked Richard to send an intro to his prose poems I have selected here:
I’ve written fair number of prose-poems over the years but have published few and have only thought of putting them together in the last eighteen months or so. The short pieces here come from a retrospective selection I’m planning. Coming across notes, drafts and snippets in old notebooks I find I’m surprised by things I find in them. Now and then I copy something out and feel it’s still as alive as if newly written, and time stops mattering as these old bits and pieces trigger new poems too. In my experience, the incipient prose-poem calls insistently for utterance in exactly the same way as a verse-poem does. The voice of either is always other. Some of the poems that appear here come straight out of dreams.
It is a pleasure to feature Richard’s prose poems for a New Zealand audience.
Elsewhere, I have invited a few of his friends Michael O’Leary, Anthony Rudolf, and the late Michael Duffett (through permission of his wife Debra Duffett) to appear alongside him. I am also pleased to welcome back some previous contributors to make this an eclectic and diverse sampling of current New Zealand poetry.
Mark Pirie, Wellington, May 2021″