It is Alan Hill’s birthday today and it is also the official publication date of his pamphlet No Biography.

I have never been keen on syllabic verse forms, but I like this. It’s beautifully understated, delicately done.

The pamphlet presents the poems as a sequence, two tanka per page, and they offer moments from a number of decades. Even though they’re so short, somehow the sense of a whole life comes through. I found them curiously moving to work on, despite the fact that they’re so elegantly reticent. Or perhaps because of that fact.

Alan will be launching No Biography formally at the Scottish Arts Club in Edinburgh on Saturday December 11th, at 11.00 am. It’s an RSVP event but please let me know if you are in the area and would like to come — just email me on nell@happenstancepress.com.

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