Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

The Incident of the Poem at the Festival

It wasn’t my fault. I was eight years old, a natural mimic and I always did as I was told. The only thing I remember about the whole affair is the … Continue reading

May 19, 2017 · 2 Comments

Vulpes Random: On marking a poetry exam

I collect my share of the poetry exam scripts, put them in my bike pannier, and cycle home. I put them on the table, close my laptop to avoid distracting emails, find … Continue reading

May 18, 2017 · 2 Comments

Persian Poems selected and edited by Peter Washington

There is no other way of putting it. I was expecting mysticism and intricate illusions to hidden truths in the Everyman anthology of Persian Poems. Instead I found myself in … Continue reading

May 16, 2017 · 2 Comments

Poems from Oby, by George MacBeth

A few weeks ago I shared here my discovery that the tiny settlement of Oby in the Norfolk Broads had a dual literary heritage – the setting for Sylvia Townsend … Continue reading

May 15, 2017 · 2 Comments

Poetry Week on VL

Welcome to our 9th Annual Poetry Week! It’s the week every spring where Vulpes Libris highlights the undervalued art of verse. This year we have a bit more of a … Continue reading

May 14, 2017 · 2 Comments

Re-reading Lorca in Andalucía

When Bookfox Jackie declared the latest Poetry Week on Vulpes Libris, I had my response ready made. I had just been on holiday in Andalucía, and it had inspired me … Continue reading

May 27, 2016 · 4 Comments

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

Most of the poems I’ve done for this week in the past have been thoses I’ve liked for decades. Though I’ve enjoyed Maya Angelou’s work for years, I had never … Continue reading

May 25, 2016 · 1 Comment

A thousand intermediate shades of grey.

I’m sixty years old. I don’t tell you this to elicit sympathy or admiring cries of ‘Gosh, you don’t look it!’, I tell you so that you’ll have some idea … Continue reading

May 23, 2016 · 10 Comments

Poetry Week on VL

Welcome to our 8th Annual Poetry Week! Along with warming temperatures, blossoming trees and gardens filled with new plants and flowers, spring also brings our focus on verse. It seems … Continue reading

May 22, 2016 · Leave a comment

William Shakespeare. Poetry selected by Ted Hughes.

This elegant book is part of a series published by Faber, of poetry selected by poets. So, we have for instance W B Yeats selected by Seamus Heaney, Ezra Pound … Continue reading

May 15, 2015 · 6 Comments

The Poetry of Cats, a collection

As an animal lover, I was really looking forward to this topical little volume. Boy, was I disappointed! For one thing, at least a fourth of the offerings were about … Continue reading

May 14, 2015 · Leave a comment

A poem found on the Road to Nowhere – Norman Nicholson’s ‘Rising Five’.

Millom in Cumbria was once a rural community with a scattered population that relied heavily on farming and fishing to scratch a living. All of that changed forever in the … Continue reading

May 12, 2015 · 5 Comments

Jim Carruth’s Killochries

This is a poem to be read in an evening, a novella in half-lines of sparse words, of how a young man’s life gets changed because his mum Lizzie sends him … Continue reading

May 11, 2015 · 3 Comments

Poetry Week on VL

Welcome to Vulpes Libris’ 7th Annual Poetry Week! We continue our tradition of spotlighting an often under-appreciated literary form. This year’s spring time salute ranges from rural life to Shakespeare … Continue reading

May 10, 2015 · Leave a comment



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  • (The header image is from Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Francis Barlow (1666), and appears courtesy of the Digital and Multimedia Center at the Michigan State University Libraries.)