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Focus is now online

Focus is now online in four sections:

A focus ‘is a point from which any activity (such as disease or an earthquake wave) originates. At any rate, a point at which forces meet. You know how we speak of things being “in focus”. My idea is, then, that we should put ourselves in FOCUS….’

A description of Focus by Laura (Riding) Jackson is to be found in the Berg Collection of John Aldridge papers

Focus was published locally in Majorca, without boards or covers, and was planned as a periodical which would publish personal statements from contributors who, for the most part, knew each other, and therefore the number of copies was very small, perhaps somewhere between thirty and forty copies and hence extremely rare nowadays, given the sparseness of copies and the fragility of the paper. Its importance lies, as well as in the writings themselves, including poems and other material, in the picture it presents of the Majorcan milieu and their comings and goings. It was distributed privately among friends. Contributions mostly take the form of letters lightly edited by Riding or requested by her. For example, Riding’s letter in Focus I discusses her current reading, a book she wanted to write about women as people, her progress on a Dictionary of Related Meanings she had begun the year before, these two books completed much later in her life as The Word Woman and Rational Meaning,and her hopes for Focus.

Focus remains under copyright. All permissions to reprint or republish parts, portions or the whole of Focus must be sought from The University of Cornell Kroch Library. The copy presented here was previously authorized by The Laura (Riding) Jackson Board Of Literary Management and is the only copy available on-line. All rights reserved.

Laura (Riding) Jackson Cornell University Conference, 28 October 2010

Sponsored by the Laura (Riding) Jackson Board of Literary Management and the Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.

On the Continuing of the Continuing

Written by Laura (Riding) Jackson Circa 1980, this previously unpublished short essay is now available as a fine-printed book in a limited edition run of 100 numbered copies from Wyeswood Press (2008). This publication includes colour facsimiles of four pages of the manuscript, and a previously unpublished photograph of Laura (Riding) Jackson from 1970. Designed and typeset in Lexicon at Libanus Press, Marlborough, printed by Hampton Printing of Bristol on Zerkall paper and bound by Ludlow Binders Ltd. Ludlow. 24pp.

‘The single I speaks the truth of the invariable Only-I, the infinite One that being is in being all-real in whatever, whoever, is’ (p.1).

To order a copy, or for more information e-mail John Nolan.

Archive Exhibition and Literary Management Board Meeting

On Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 of July the Laura (Riding) Jackson Literary Management Board gathered from around the globe at Nottingham Trent University for their annual meeting.

On Wednesday the meeting was opened by Professor Marianne Howarth, followed by a brief talk by Dr Mark Jacobs, and an exhibition of archive works by Laura (Riding) Jackson, including rare books from the Seizin Press, out of print work, and original letters from Jackson to Dr Jacobs. Mrs Joan Wilentz of the Laura (Riding) Jackson Board gave a speech of thanks to Nottingham Trent University for hosting the event and congratulations for acquiring the archive of Laura (Riding) Jackson letters and documents.

The event was attended not only by members of the Literary Board, but academics from within Nottingham Trent University including Peter Jones (Senior Pro Vice-Chancellor for Academic Development and Research) and Professors Marianne Howarth (Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities); Nahem Yousaf (Subject Leader for English); Martyn Bennett (Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies); John Goodridge (Professor of English, Editorial Director of Trent Editions); and Stan Smith (Research Professor in Literary Studies).

A Mannered Grace

A Mannered Grace, the authorised biography of Laura (Riding) Jackson by Elizabeth Friedmann, has been published by Persea Books (2005) and is available at all good bookshops or via the Internet. This is the only biography Laura (Riding) Jackson countenanced and had her full backing, including complete access to letters, unpublished typescripts, manuscripts and personally afforded views and memories on a great many events. She denied all other biographers access to her papers.


The Failure of Poetry, the Promise of Language (Poets on Poetry Series)

Published April 2007 by The University of Michigan Press and edited with an introduction by Dr. John Nolan, this book is a reconstruction of a book entitled The Failure Of Poetryenvisaged by Laura (Riding) Jackson in the 1970s, with essays and pieces of writing assigned to it but not published in her life-time. Dr. Nolan has ‘reconstructed’ the book from the typescripts and manuscripts prepared for it representing her reasons for her renouncing poetry after her Collected Poems were published in 1938. This book, he says, ‘…is best thought of not as poetics, not as secondary critical commentary on something else (on the nature of poetry. for instance), but as primary in its own right, part of the author’s attempt at truth-speaking outside the “pleasance” of poetry.

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