The Verb was saddened to hear of the death of the poet Roy Fisher. You can hear Ian's interview with Roy from 2010 here
Ian McMillan pays tribute.
'When I was a young man growing up in South Yorkshire, Roy
Fisher spoke to me deeply; I first came across his work in the late 1970's in
his Carcanet book The Thing About Joe Sullivan; here was work that was deeply
rooted in contemporary American poetry, in the freedom and traditions of jazz,
in an appreciation of visual art, and above all in a sense that the voice you
spoke in was the voice you could write in. As he memorably wrote/said,
'Birmingham's what I think with...'
The first time I met him I did a gig with him in a pub in
Toddington called the Sow and Pigs and he was a still,calm presence as around
him a kind of chaos swirled, with a drunk man selling vegetables and the
novelist Jack Trevor Story running into the room in a cape and flying helmet
shouting 'People, I am the president!' This exemplified Fisher's poetry to me:
the stillness, the deflecting of noise, the idea that a space could be many
things that could include us all.
I was proud to be able to choose his Selected Poems, The
Long and the Short of It, published by Bloodaxe, as my book on Desert Island
Discs, and I know that I'l be returning to that book over and over again in the
next few weeks and months, now that one of the most important inhabitants of the
island has gone.'