Thursday, 29 December 2011

New Year live poetry Worcester England

Our first event for 2012 is poetry at the Lamb and Flag, the Tything in Worcester featuring the likes of Pat Winslow and Susanne Ehrhardt - this event is free but importantly please note that it takes place on the 4th January.

It starts at 8pm and is run by Templar poetry. There will be books for sale.

More information is available on Templar and the poets here

Monday, 26 December 2011

Friday, 23 December 2011

Willliam Butler Yeats tweet poetry

W.B. Yeats (1865-1939) has an uncanny gift for prophecy. This Irish poet, politician and playwright dabbled in the occult and automatic writing (of which more later perhaps). 
And what rough beast its hour come round at last Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born

The full poem is here.

The second coming

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

    The darkness drops again but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

If you want to know something more about gyres, the theory of cycles that influenced Yeats, you can find it here

Thomas Hardy tweet poetry

Hardy (1840 – 1928) - architect, novelist, fiddle player, poet - never gives up on hope. 
An aged thrush frail gaunt and small In blast-beruffled plume Had chosen thus to fling his soul Upon the growing gloom

The Darkling Thrush

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter's dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land's sharp features seemed to be
The Century's corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.

You can find out more background here

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Visual poetry

Poem Flow is an app that turns poems into "a gentle reading animation".

An instant multimedia effect that allows you see the poem differently as it quietly reads itself to you. Twenty poems come with the app and you can add additional poems cheaply. Sample poems are from the western tradition canon e.g. Dover beach. The product is American in origin.

Your own poetry next? Are you already doing this?

More on the app here

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Imtiaz Dharker tweet poetry

Born in Lahore in 1954, Imtiaz Dharker is a Scottish Muslim, poet, artist and documentary film-maker. She grew up in Glasgow and now divides her time between London and Mumbai. She writes in English. She has written three books of poetry, conceived as sequences of poems and drawings.

Photo Imtiaz  Dharker © Image:

This tweet poetry At the Lahore Karhai is from a poem about food, place, migration and home. 

we’re truckers of another kind looking hopefully years away from Sialkot and Chandigarh for the taste of our mothers hand in the cooking

You can find the full poem here and it is from Imtiaz's book I Speak for the Devil Publisher: Penguin Books India, 2003 ISBN: 014-303089-2. She also has a great website detailing her many activities here

Monday, 12 December 2011

Brooklyn's Jazz Cafe Presents Sunday Spoken Open Mic, Dallas, USA

Every Sunday Night Brooklyn's Jazz Cafe in Association. Sign up starts at 6:30. FREE PARKING. FREE ADMISSION. FREE SPEECH.

What more could you ask for? What is the weather like in Texas this time of year...

Find the jazz cafe at 1701 S Lamar St, Dallas, TX 75215. This event winds up on the 25th March 2012 to be replaced I am sure by something equally exciting so you should probably go anyway if you are reading this in the future.

More information here

Mash poetry

It isn't new but it can feel it.

Its ancestry can be traced back to the cut and paste technique but unlike its intelligent older brother sound art, mash poetry is visceral and proud of it.

British poet Adrian Henri might have been the first in New fast automatic daffodils.


I wandered lonely as
that floats on high o'er vales and hills
The Daffodil is generously dimensioned to accommodate four
adult passengers
10,000 saw I at a glance
Nodding their new anatomically shaped heads in sprightly
Beside the lake beneath the trees
in three bright modern colours
red, blue and pigskin.


A newer take on the form is to video mash poets with repeats and jumps. Try it and let us know...

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Truth and beauty

Does a poem have to be true? Walter Scott said of his own poem Lay of the last minstrel that he had never seen Melrose Abbey by moonlight - although one of its climactic sequences describes just that (and that moment of imagination spawned a tourist industry in the Scottish Borders).

Scholars have spent an equal amount of time considering Lesbia's sparrow:

He never flew out of her lap,
but, hopping about here and there,
only chirping to his lady, alone....

Do sparrows do this?

The only answer is of course that they do when they are Lesbia's.

Monday, 5 December 2011

More on Bob Cobbing

An original recording from 1972,  a selection of Bob Cobbing's sound poems and interview with Charles Amirkhanian recorded in Cobbing’s home. Bob Cobbing (1920 - 2002) was a British sound, visual, concrete and performance poet and a central figure in what has been described as the British Poetry Revival.

Bob Cobbing in Stockholm

Here for the recording You will have to register first.

A glorious minute from Cris Cheek

Cris Cheek is a British poet, artist, interdisciplinary performer and academic currently resident at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, USA. Born in London in 1955, he lived and worked in the UK until the early 1990s. One early influence was working alongside Bob Cobbing at the Poetry Society and the Writers Forum group of poets who met with regularity there.

cris cheek  and press play for the minute excerpt from Rooftop Fog.

Peter Bennet tweet poetry - more

Cannot resist more from Peter Bennet. This is culled from the new and selected works in Goblin Lawn. Gorgeous stuff. 
Let me affirm that what I have not done Remains a plant so valueless That I have never learned its shape or name

Look for the poem Ha-ha.

The cover of 'Goblin Lawn'

More on Flambard Press here

Note the Eric Ravilious woodcut on the front cover btw - a Sussexman (by birth? but certainly inclination)

Sunday, 4 December 2011 Issue 3 coming soon

Submissions are now closed for Issue 3. We will be getting in touch with you soon if you have been successful.

Issue 3 is out in January. Thanks for your support.

(In the meantime, please feel free to browse Issue 1 and Issue 2.)