Burning Eye poet Mr Ash Dickinson caught in action in Petersfield. Here’s what the reviewer from Petersfield Life had to say:
Ash’s poetry is sheer magic. He’s an inspiring poet with a massive imagination that swings from one unpredictable world to another.
Can’t argue with that. You can read the full article here in Petersfield Life. Miranda Hart is on the cover. There is no substance to the rumours that she and Ash are writing a comic opera based on his poetry and the greatest hits of Guns N Roses.
The Bristol Poetry Festival runs twice a year in spring and autumn and as you may have gathered from the advancing twilight and that chill in the morning the autumn festival is upon us. Good news for Burning Eye as we have managed to completely hijack this autumn’s festival with a fine scattering of opportunities to see Burning Eye poets in action. Things kicked off on Tuesday with a gig to celebrate the birth of Rhyming Thunder – The Alternative Book Of Young Poets and move on tomorrow with superstar slam champion and master of surreal comedy Mr Ash Dickinson is hosting The Dead Poets Slam at The Lansdown in Clifton. Ash will perform a poem or three from his Burning Eye book, SLINKY ESPADRILLES and keep order as a bunch of competitors fight it out with words written by a hand of the dead. Well, a poet that is no more at least, rather than a zombie. Although Zombie poetry might be OK… you will have to check.
As if that wasn’t enough Ash is back at The Lansdown next week on Tues 25th for Between The Lines – An Intimate Evening With Ash Dickinson where he will let us in on the secret of actually making a decent living out of being, not only a poet but one of those new fangled Performance Poets that don’t have leather elbow pads and white beards and work for the Poetry Society or Oxbridge or a museum or something. He is also threatening to read some new work as well as a knocking out a greatest hit or two.
I should mention that the Lansdown stocks a fine range of craft beers something which we at Burning Eye are very keen on. Good poetry and good beer, a perfect combination. Be there or the Poetry Police will duff you over.
A 4-star review of Ash Dickinson’s collection Slinky Espadrilles has been posted by The Skinny! Here is an excerpt:
an extremely accessible, enjoyable collection of poetry. It’s the debut collection in print from Dickinson, but he’s been writing and performing for years, to some acclaim. This collection is a record of poems that Dickinson has performed, and the normal reservation about not seeing them performed occasionally rears its head. However, this can generally be bypassed if you have an imagination, because these are very stimulating poems, and clearly a lot of thought has gone in to how they’re laid out on the page to reflect the way they should be read.
The simplest review for this book is that I liked it so much I started a publishing company. I have pitched my tent under a banner that says I aim to take performance poetry from the stage to the page. That has been misunderstood in a too one dimensional way by some. My aim is not to simply record spoken word performances and hit print, but to provide a professional, high quality outlet for Poets who, although choosing to work primarily as performers, have a depth and quality of work that goes beyond their stage outings.
Ash Dickinson is a good example of this. The poems that make up Slinky Espadrilles have grown out of nearly two decades of performing. They are not hastily assembled examples of verbal gymnastics but carefully crafted poems that have been honed and polished both in an out of the spotlight of performance. Some have been performed only occasionally. Others are Ash’s greatest hits. The poems that people ask for at gigs. It is no surprise that when these poems are encountered for the first time on the page (as indeed I encountered many of them) no prior knowledge of Ash’s performance is required for the poem to glide off the page.
This is a collection that puts an arm round our shoulders and reassures us that it is OK for poetry to be funny. It is OK for poetry to entertain. The poetry police are busy mediating other disputes. Go on, enjoy yourselves! This is the kind of poetry that got me into poetry in the first place. Poetry as observational comedy (albeit observed through Ash’s surreal lens), poetry as social comment, poetry that doesn’t need to take itself too seriously, but is serious enough all the same. Ash taps into the same vein as the likes of Popshot and Bang Said The Gun. Poetry for people who don’t like poetry? Maybe, but there is plenty here for those who prefer a little analytical challenge with their verse. Take the structural rendering required to transfer long performance pieces on to the page without losing the frenetic energy; has the poet, A level students, succeeded or failed? Discuss.
Ash makes clear what to expect from the first poem. “people have been afraid of poetry for years” he says and then sets out to do what this book does above all other things: entertain. If this book was an album and we had top 40s for poems then this book would be awash with number ones. It is not all throwaway gags and comedy though, Ash displays an Adrian Mitchell-esque ability to deliver a serious point in an accessible delivery. But don’t take my word for it, some sample poems are here: have a read see what you think.
A good reader review from The Guardian for Ash Dickinson’s Slinky Espadrilles:
Slinky Espadrilles: Embracing the Moment
After seeing Ash many times in performance, I wondered what a text version of his poems would be like: it is not disappointing. Many lines that are spoken and perhaps skimmed over in performance can be pondered at leisure, and a common underlying theme of dark humour and dissatisfaction with life begins to emerge, from the epiphany and sense that time is slipping by in “The Disposable Lifestyle”, to the lonely last lines of “Live-in Landlady”, to the poignant simplicity of “One Week at the Sea” which questions our treatment of the planet. Ash never preaches but encourages the reader to perceive the world from a different angle, and in doing so the reader is left with lines which remain like hooks in their skin, nagging for attention. Who can read “Status Update” without being reminded of looking at a facebook homepage and wondering whether all that information is really necessary, or whether we should actually be embracing the moment as in “The Bicycle” and turning “a little bit of the world” our way. It is observations like this that make Ash’s book unforgettable and possibly even a life changing experience.
An entertaining review of Ash Dickinson’s SLINKY ESPADRILLES has been posted at Write Out Loud. The entire review is written in staccato rhyme much in the style of a number of Ash’s poems. To quote (admittedly having given it the Ash/slash treatment):
I’d think my cash was wisely spent / upon this book instead of rent / if it meant / I could spend ages / revisiting these packed pages
Following on from triumphant launch nights in both Bristol and Edinburgh, Mr Ash Dickinson hits Nottingham tonight to give his Burning Eye collection SLINKY ESPADRILLES the home town treatment.
Ash will read a whole bunch of poems from the book including crowd favourites such as “Glass Coffin / Coffee Table Wife” the flagship poem from his “Dead-Wife” trilogy.
Ash has said that he may be willing to sign a copy of the book for you if you cross his palm with some paper bearing a portrait of Queen Liz II the sequel, although if you try this with the soggy remains of poundstore Jubilee memorabilia salvaged from a dustbin you may be disappointed with the results.
Dan Holloway has blogged about Burning Eye and SLINKY ESPADRILLES over at the Eight Cuts blog. This includes a conversation between Dan and our Editor in Chief, Clive Birnie, about the raison d’être of Burning Eye and our mission to take Performance Poetry from the stage to the page. See here for more.
We have had some wonderful feedback on Ash Dickinson’s SLINKY ESPADRILLES so far after just a few days out in the world. If you have enjoyed the book then why not help us out with a review on Amazon or Goodreads. This helps us raise the profile of both Ash and the book, and keeps the Burning Eye wheels turning fast!
Reviews are the magic oil in the Amazon engine. They drive the recommendation system and are a great way of indie upstarts like Burning Eye getting the views of readers noticed. Just follow this link, log in, click a star rating and scribe a few words of your own… http://amzn.to/MUfjTe
A huge THANKS to everyone who came to the first in our trilogy of launch gigs for Mr Ash Dickinson’s rather awesome (even if we do say so ourselves) collection SLINKY ESPADRILLES. A great start for a book we are proud to publish.
Ash read old favourites and new additions that were ready just in time for the book, and ended with requests from the audience. All the hits were out including One Week At Sea (Ash’s personal favourite), Glass Coffin Coffee Table Wife, Chiller Queen, Commuting To Jupiter, and the ever popular Bear Spray!
Ash shot some film and once edited we will bug him for a sample and post it here.
The book is officially OUT NOW! You can buy here direct from us or from Amazon.
It is not even just another Burning Eye Book Launch Day. It is THE FIRST BURNING EYE BOOK LAUNCH DAY!
Drumrolls. Cannons. Fireworks. Hoards of flag waving children. Yep. None of that but instead we will have Ash Dickinson performing poems from his fresh off the press collection, Slinky Espadrilles.
Featuring poems about the fear of poetry, the state of premiership football, an embalmed wife/coffee table hybrid, pollution of the oceans, a love-sick fridge and knitwear for Gibbons, it is a collection polished in the harsh spotlight of a thousand performances. Some will tell you that performance poetry does not transfer to the page. If that was ever true then this collection puts that point of view on the spike for good. Time after time Ash makes us look at our world through his surreal and kooky lens, puts an arm round our shoulders and reassures us that it is OK for poetry to be funny. It is OK for poetry to entertain. The poetry police have enough on their hands mediating other disputes. No one is looking. Go on, enjoy yourselves!
BRISTOL: The Lansdown, Friday 25th May 8pm FREE ENTRY.
If you cannot make it tomorrow night then why not order yourself a copy now. We have them here and will post out straight way so that you get it for the weekend! Sample poems are here if you need tempting!
Click Buy Now to pre-order your copy. (UK only. Non UK: email us for a shipping quote – see contact page for address.)NOTE: You do not need a Paypal account to use the Paypal payment system just pay with a credit card. It is easy and simple!