Issue forty-four of Otoliths has hit the hustings. Included in this issue are Eileen R. Tabios, Sheila E. Murphy, Steve Dalachinsky, Andrew Topel, Brandon Nakasato, Cecelia Chapman, David Lohrey, C. R. E. Wells, Norman M. Gendelman, Texas Fontanella, Philip Byron Oakes, Caitlin Rose Doyle, Keith Walker, John Xero, David Dick, Kyle Hemmings, Mary Claire Garcia, Jesse Glass, Arpine Konyalian Grenier, Philip Elliott, Sanjeev Sethi, sean burn, Kirk Robinson & Garin Cycholl & William Allegrezza, Bill Wolak, Pete Spence, Jim Leftwich, John M. Bennett, Thomas M. Cassidy, osvaldo cibils, Kelly J. Powell, harry k stammer, Raymond Farr, John Amen, Lucianna Chixaro Ramos, a.j. carruthers, Olivier Schopfer, Joel Chace, Carol Stetser, Les Wicks, Volodymyr Bilyk, Lana Bella, Diana Magallón, Clara B. Jones, Laurent Grison & Yvon Guillou, Meeah Williams, Michael Berton, Michael Farrell, Anatoly Kudryavitsky, Charles Borkhuis & John McCluskey, Lakey Comess, John Martone, Evan Gray, Willie Smith, Allen Forrest, M. Leland Oroquieta, hiromi suzuki, Jack Galmitz, Mason Keys, Joe Balaz, Luisa-Evelina Stifii, Howie Good, Matina L. Stamatakis, George Moore, Drew B. David, Adam Levon Brown, Márton Koppány, Michael Caylo-Baradi, Carlyle Baker, J. Crouse, Richard Kostelanetz, Heath Brougher, Anwer Ghani, J. Ray Paradiso, AG Davis, Joanna Thomas, Kasy Long, Heller Levenson, Tom Snarsky, Dawn Nelson Wardrope, cathy aragon, Jeff Harrison, Marco Giovenale, John W. Sexton, Eugenia Hepworth Petty, bruno neiva, Stu Hatton, Ian Gibbins, dan raphael, Alberto Vitacchio, Douglas Penick, Nika & Jim McKinniss, Alan Summers, Jeff Bagato, Mariapia Fanna Roncoroni, Michael O’Brien, M.J. Iuppa, Carla Bertola, Andrew Galan, Katrinka Moore, Thom Sullivan, Joseph Veronneau, Marcia Arrieta, Sean Negus, Shloka Shankar, Seth Howard, Paul T. Lambert, John Pursch, Ella Skilbeck-Porter, Linda M. Walker, Tony Beyer, Edward Kulemin, PT Davidson, Michael Brandonisio, Adam Fieled, Johannes S. H. Bjerg, Angad Arora, Bob Heman, Carol Ciavonne, Sheila Windsor & Brendan Slater, Stephen J. Williams, Marilyn Stablein, Felino A. Soriano, Louie Crew Clay, Peter Bakowski, David Heg & Nicolette Wong, Francesca Jurate Sasnaitis, J. D. Nelson, & Marilyn R. Rosenberg & Ann R. Shapiro.

There’s also an interview at Thomas Fink’s new interview site, Dichtung Yammer, where editor Mark Wright speaks with Tim Wright about the Otoliths journey.

A poem by Kelvin Corcoran, ‘The Empire Stores’


The Empire Stores


We closed down the Empire Stores in the bay,
we don’t shop there now, only for our imaging
of the map of others and zero longitude fancy,
globally patched, then a rising tide at your door.

Or the ineluctable, brimful culture piled up
lettering every street, heaps of incoming names,
and even this is not my thinking,
see all this dirt fair clogs my eyes.

[visit Gutcult to read the full text of this poem ]

REVIEW: ‘NEW AND SELECTED POEMS’, KELVIN CORCORAN. [Charles Bainbridge, The Guardian, 14th May 2005]

‘ … It is another take on that battle between optimism/naivety and pessimism/realism.

This touches on another vital strand in Corcoran’s writing — politics. The poems in his later work are frequently written as a challenge to what he describes in “The Empire Stores” (a poem very much concerned with the Iraq war) as “a limited view of human nature / in a medium of implacable pessimism”. Throughout this sequence Shelley is being conjured (“he was my aerial in that broadcast / on the ever living shortwave”) to serve as an alternative to “the poverty of public discourse”, to the chorus of “court historians … vamping up the Empire news”.


“On a personal note, I first came to Kelvin’s work through the Paladin anthology the new british poetry (1988) and, around the same time, a reading he gave at the Subvoicive poetry reading series run by Gilbert Adair in the upstairs room of a London pub. Walking home with another poet that night, I remember waxing lyrical about Corcoran as some kind of postmodern troubadour: politically astute but lyrically tender, engaged in alternative writing processes I was just getting to grips with. Above all, he struck me as songful. Since then I have followed everything he has written: there are few poets who possess not only a consummate lyric technique, but a pertinent and persuasive outlook in which politics, history, poetry, music and the personal give the fullest picture of a life lived through poetry as though it was meant; as if it really mattered; a profound fusion of technical facility with a committed world view.”


“… On the course, Kelvin avoided all the usual creative writing advice of ‘Show-Don’t-Tell’ and ‘Writing from the Senses’, and went straight for the lyric jugular: he played the students a recording of Basil Bunting reading Briggflatts and asked them to listen intently and then to sketch out a diagram of the musical dynamics of the poetry. It was an embodiment of Kelvin’s own technique – the lived and working proof that The Writing Occurs As Song. This book is borne out of these contexts: a friendship, a long standing admiration of this poet’s extraordinary oeuvre, and a conviction that Kelvin Corcoran’s poetry is amongst the most significant, innovative lyric poetry of our time.”

Andy Brown


Kelvin Corcoran was born in 1956. He is the author of twelve collections of poetry, the most recent of which is For the Greek Spring. In addition he has interviewed Lee Harwood for the volume Not the Full Story: Six Interviews with Lee Harwood, published in June 2008.

He has read extensively in the UK and also in Germany and Ireland and accompanied travelling Arts Council exhibitions reading poetry written in response to the work of contemporary painters and sculptors. Three extended interviews with him can be found in The Writing Occurs As Song: A Kelvin Corcoran Reader, the first full-length study of his work, edited by Andy Brown and published by Shearsman in 2014. With Ian Davidson he is the editor of the Gratton Street Irregulars chapbook series.

Recent projects include collaboration with Greek musicians in setting his poetry to music and collaborative performances with songwriters Jack Hues, Liam Magill and pianist Sam Bailey at the Free Range series of events in Canterbury. Hear some samples of these collaborations at soundcloud here, here, here and here.