9 poèmes de l’exaltation perdue

by Joseph Ridgwell released by Angle Mort Editions


Though these poems I have seen before, this collection reaches out to another audience. This time Joe has collaborated with the artisan publishers of Angle Mort to deliver a sublime tome. This bilingual release is sure to get ones tongue mimiking the translative chic that oozes from these pages.

No spark has been lost, these pieces punch into the bohemian air we long for. Straight out existential cuts ‘Car la mort vient pour nous tous’ and far away romance, ‘Purple white flowers strewn around my bare feet and the devil’s flower beckons‘ we are all simply transported.

The gilded facades of the Grand Place Brussels opened up to greet the great wanderer Joseph Ridgwell. Through the sirens of dignitaries and cobblestones it was onto Radio Panik to discuss Angle Mort Editions presentation de la collection and introduce readers to Joe’s new book of poetry. My own French is purely kitchen, so lots of the poetic esoterica and depth was lost on me. Those moments that involved Joe though was met with a smile. A treat to hear him read More Beautiful than the Night then echoing inside a poetic mirror Plus belle que la nuit.

RP It’s a pleasure to hear your voice

JR Thank you

RP …been a pleasure to hear your voice and you reading your poem, cause we’ve been working on your text for a month and it’s not the same, when it is on a computer screen, and then when it is in a book, the final object, written to the basement of poetry, the voice of the poet. So let’s get lost! and welcome to Belgium, as I heard and understood, It’s the first time for you in the royal country of Belgium

JR I’ve never been to Belgium before, I don’t know why, glaring omission, but glad to be here at last!

RP And you are so welcome. So why poetry, is it necessary for you, does it come easily?”

JR That’s a good question, why poetry? Especially from the kind of background I came from.

RP Let’s start talking about your background

JR Well I grew up in East London, in just an ordinary council house, on a small council estate. So why was I drawn to poetry?  It was nothing to do with school. I think as a young man I had a thirst for knowledge and I loved to read, I was a voracious reader and as soon as I caught certain poems, certain lines that was me for life. The early romantic poets, John Keats, Shelley and then Rimbaud, Baudelaire. There’s a great line in a Baudelaire poem ‘Under a canopy of crimson trees‘ now that might not sound like much, but lines like that really captured my imagination and of course when you are young, being a poet is romantic.

RP You talk about romantic poetry when you were young, how did you choose to start writing and to start publishing?”

JR Once I made the decision… two big things happened, one was that I got stabbed outside a pub in east London and the doctors told me I could of died, I was 19. That gave me the momentum, encouraged me to travel. I traveled all over the world, cause I wanted to see everything just in case there was no tomorrow. I was a young man and traveling, poetry is everywhere, exotic countries, far flung countries and I could see the poetry, always observing. That’s where it began. I started writing poetry at a very young age, about seven or eight. I don’t know where that came from it was something innate. What I found when I was traveling was writing poetry was enjoyable and that’s the main reason, because I enjoy it.

RP Your poetry is directly linked to traveling. You were talking about two big events in your life that stuff in the pub and the French poets.

JR I’m still writing about the period I traveled. The other interesting thing happened to me when I was in Mexico and I took some peyote and I decided, under the influence of peyote which is an hallucinogenic – and quite mild to be honest – that I was going to be a beach poet. I’d heard there was a French poet who just wrote about clouds, a cloud poet! I thought that was a crazy idea but thought right, he’s a cloud poet, I’m a beach poet and I’m going to write a hundred poems about the beach which I never achieved but just recently my book of beach poems did come out.

RP The books are hand made and crafted, you share the same interest in the way the books are made?

JR Definitely, when you are producing small runs of books, by hand especially, with poetry, personally I feel it is important that books look good, and what Vincent has done, the aubergine, the colour, the letterpress, everyone I’ve shown them to think they are great and its not a pretentious thing it’s just people like to see lovely things as opposed to a lump of plastic, when I show these books around, it’s always, “who did that? how did they do it and why?’ The listeners cant see the book but as you can see, that is why. Come along to the reading, it’s taken me nearly 50 years to get to Belgium and it may take me another 50 to get back.

‘Je ne serai jamais plusaussi jeune’

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Joseph Ridgwell a grandi dans l’Est de Londres. Il est une figure culte de la littérature underground au Royaume-Uni et de la Génération Offbeat. Il a publié six ouvrages de poésie, deux de nouvelles ainsi que quatre romans.

You can purchase by contacting Vincent at Angle Mort direct langlemort.edition@gmail.com

you can listen to the whole Radio Panik Broadcast below

HOT OFF THE PRESS … Not one to rest when it comes to releasing, Joe also is first to feature in East London Press’s new pocket-sized series of handmade books. Ibiza is a snappy short story featuring a few of the misfits from Ridgwell’s brilliant road novel Burrito Deluxe, grab it fast, limited edition.

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