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Cluster index: Simon Collings

Typesetters’ delight.

Simon Collings: ‘So what might be some of the factors which have contributed to recent changes in British prose poetry? One important element, as David Caddy points out in his overview chapter, is that since the 1960s there has been an active community of poets working in prose formats, their practice influenced by developments in American and European poetry. ‘

Agnès Varda’s ‘Faces Places’.

Simon Collings: ‘The people who feature in the documentary are mostly the everyday citizens of France, neither superstars nor the extreme poor – though we do meet an elderly man, called Pony, who lives in a shack and makes art from found objects. But some of Varda’s perennial concerns are still there, and are clearly shared by JR. She notices that goats are having their horns burned off to make them more ‘productive’. We meet a woman with a herd of horned goats who believes animals should be respected and left as they are. Varda and JR like this woman.’

Four prose pieces.

Simon Collings: ‘The doctor turned out to be an ex-lover who I hadn’t seen for some time. She asked me if I was free for dinner, and suggested we continue the consultation at her apartment, to which I readily agreed. The building where she lived was close by. ‘

Three récits by Georges Limbour.

Georges Limbour: ‘However, as soon as the first white-painted houses appeared, as though sensing it would have been dangerous to go further, they stopped and scattered amid the cacti and fig trees. I entered the village. A woman rooted to the spot by the pitcher she carried on her head raised the edge of her cloak to her eyes. ‘

Somewhere else.

Simon Collings: ‘Basildon, or ‘Baz’ as it’s referred to by locals, wasn’t meant to be like this. The vision for Britain’s post-war ‘New Towns’ described prosperous and happy communities – places of architectural and natural beauty which would, it was hoped, create a better type of person. The gap between the political vision, and the reality as recounted by local residents, is huge. This is the focus of New Town Utopia, a new documentary feature by Christopher Ian Smith. ‘

Rrose Sélevy.

Rrose Sélevy: ‘Marcel Duchamp: In the lane there was a blue bull near a white seat. Now explain the motive for the white gloves.’