Author Archives: W N Herbert

About W N Herbert

Poet and pseudo-scholar W.N. Herbert was born in Dundee in 1961, educated there and at Oxford, where he completed his DPhil thesis on Scottish poet Hugh MacDiarmid, and now lives and works in Newcastle. He is Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at Newcastle University, and his books are published by, among others, northern publisher Bloodaxe Books. He is also the Dundee Makar, or city laureate.

Losers’ Club, Jadavpur Convention

Things may have seemed quiet on Dubious Saints recently, but in fact losers have been failing to gather across the globe, under-achieving on a scale that scarcely disturbs the register. Here we see Sampurna and Bill at Jadavpur in February … Continue reading

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The Gypsy Goddess: three reviews

Meena’s first novel is out and receiving excellent reviews. Here is a particularly thoughtful and informative piece by Sumana Mukherjee which discusses the style as well as the subject. Here’s the Tuppence review, and here, via the power of photography, … Continue reading

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Selected Joy

(The publication of Sampurna’s translations of Joy Goswami would seem an ideal time to revive this blog for World Losers. I like to think it could cover all the translation, travel and poetic activities of the original Adishakti Crew, augmented … Continue reading

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Hagia Sophia as Trompe l’Histoire

(I apologise for slipping a little out of sequence for this post – I still have two others in draft, but I’d like to keep some momentum going while I crouch at the dread throne of the Mar King, contemplating … Continue reading

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Constantinople and its Double

‘Couldn’t we have,’ Richard asked, ‘a map of Istanbul with Byzantium as a layer on top?’ I imagined a booklet of transparent pages, each setting out a different period of the City’s history, with perhaps a detached opaque sheet, so … Continue reading

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Büyükada v. bustle

Greetings from Büyükada, the largest of the Prinkipoi, or Princes’ Islands, in the Sea of Marmara, where we sit nibbling Armenian biscuits in the white timber-fronted family home of our pal Pelin, while she translates the poems of Zöe. We … Continue reading

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Flying Economy to Byzantium

As we sit, puzzling over how our shoelaces get tied, I’m awaiting the departure of a snow-delayed flight to Heathrow. From thence (after what will now be a mad dash between terminals including retrieving my own luggage and checking in) … Continue reading

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The Loser’s Club Is A Real Place And We Didn’t Even Get There

Delighted to post this image retrieved from Istanbul by Nia Davies, which seems a fitting way of recording the almost complete moribundity into which we, the Collected Losers, Losels and Loseurs of Adishakti, have fallen. Though, to be fair, it … Continue reading

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Updatapam: where we are losing now

As the collapsing table of dubious poetic comestibles continues to rain rum upon the unwary in its second year of uncoordinated activities, I thought I’d just flash fry the News Fish with a series of unlikely and largely mendacious updates … Continue reading

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Little Lifter

First and stupidest of the media from our recent outings to Manchester and Ledbury is this film of Raphael living out his tiny rap dream upon the Curry Mile:

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