Friday, 27 January 2012

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge interview on Radio Valencia 3rd February 2012

"Genesis Breyer P-Orridge has worn many faces to many people, even before plastic surgery sliced its way into the picture. Whether as a pioneer, a deviant, a devil, a saint, a shaman, a prankster, a philosopher, an occultist, a prophet - or, as one member of British parliament infamously declared, a “wrecker of civilization”

16.00 until 18.00 San Francisco time a Radio Valencia interview along with filmmaker Marie Losier to promote The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye (and you know I love a ballad).

More on Radio Valencia here and the documentary And Genesis' blog - you'll get a scary adult content warning off blogger but press on...

Bolaji St.Ramos tweet poetry

Bolaji St.Ramos is a Nigerian poet, playwright, writer and lawyer with collections of poetry and children stories to his credit. His work is also published in South Africa and the United Kingdom. 
Changing chameleon in the think woods Donning the duty of villagers and explorers I was the child farmer tilling the soil


Extract from Ode to my childhood

Changing chameleon in the think woods,
Donning the duty of villagers and explorers.
I was the child farmer tilling the soil,
And the child of curiosity doing the toil,
The child fisherman toiling giver rivers,
The child crab hunter digging the holes,
The child snail gatherer, the wood wanderer
My childhood, oh my gallant childhood
A pinnacle perhaps more powerful than adulthood,
Changing chameleon in the urban wood,
Donning the duty of the villagers and explorers.

You can find more of his work here:

Neu! Reekie! A double birthday celebration 27th January 2012 Edinburgh, UK

Neu! Reekie! A Double Birthday Celebration For Robert Burns & Paul Reekie with Michael Pedersen, Kevin Williamson, Sally Evans and films from Alistair Cook. House band Emelle confect a picnic of Burns favourites - glazed with their unquashable gypsy-folk. Plus raffle of the absurd.

Tonight only from 19.00 until 22.00 at the den of the Scottish Book Trust in Sandeman House, Trunk's Close, 55 High Street, EH1 1SR Edinburgh.

Neu! Reekie! A Double Birthday Celebration For Robert Burns & Paul Reekie

More on the whole shebang can be found here:

Tuesday, 24 January 2012


Could this be a poetic form? With all its associations with a minimalist musical style.

Two things to consider:

first, there is already a term in poetry that refers directly to drone, burden.It even derives from the French bourdon, a staff; or a pipe made in the form of a staff. So drone in music refers to the bass in some musical instruments, and the pipe or part that plays it, is found in pipes and strings in instruments as diverse as the bagpipe, sitar, hurdy gurdy, sarod, sarangi, rudra veena and the pedal point in an organ. From this root burden came to refer to a part of a song that is repeated at the end of each stanza, i.e. the chorus or refrain. And this repetition maintains its interest to the formal poet.

second, modern dronescape is rich with poetic possibility. Its use and emphasis of sustained or repeated sounds, notes, or tone-clusters. Its often colloborative and experimental nature. Its improvisation. All can be explored when the voice becomes another drone. And this is happening (check out how Droneshift 2011 includes voice improvisors among its participants) and we would like to hear more about its current practice from you.

More here: and

Friday, 20 January 2012

Call for poetry, reviews and essays...Issue 4 2012

Call for poetry (4 poems or less), images and reviews (literary and technical) for Issue 4 2012. Deadline for copy is March 30th 2012.

The theme for this issue is borders (but we may accept poems on other subjects).

Essays, by prior discussion so please send an outline of your ideas first. Contact for submissions and all other enquiries is poetandgeek at You can check out previous issues at poetry place and informatics

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Petr Řehoř: Kirjainten ruumi/The Body of Letters, Oulu, Finland

Still time to visit this exhibition in Kulttuuritalo Valve (Valvegalleria), 7th - 29th of January 2012  and open daily from 10 AM to 8 PM. Address is Hallituskatu 7,Oulun kaupunki (Oulu).

Petr Řehoř

Petr Rehor, a czech painter who has lived in Finland since the 80s, says of its genesis "When I walked along the streets of Helsinki in the early 1990's, I noticed that the neon signs of the bank departments were being removed. The bank crisis was going on full speed and the banks that had gotten into bankruptcy could not pay back even the financial support that had been issued from the taxpayers' money. When I asked where the letters and logos were going to be taken, I got the answer "To the dump yard". I suggested whether I could get the letters to myself, as material for my art pieces. I pondered how the logos and letters of such marvellous bank departments could change into waste. What were their lives like? I started using with the abandoned letters and started to form new words with new meanings. These letters became the carriers of hidden meanings that slowly reveal the life of their own. I built objects, painted and photographied them. These letters have an inner, deeper meaning to me. They became symbols of power that may vanish in the next moment. I want to continue working with this project."

Find more here and here

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Pathlight magazine: New Chinese Writing

Pathlight magazine is a new English-language literary magazine produced by Paper Republic and People's Literature Magazine (《人民文学》杂志社). It is currently in trial publication period—the first issue came out on November 20, and the second issue will be published in advance of the 2012 London Book Fair, where China will be the Market Focus.

Authors in the first edition include: 

Bei Dao (北岛), Jiang Rong (姜戎), Leung Man-tao (梁文道),  Yang Lian (杨炼) and their many talented translators.

You can find out more and order details from here:

It has got some excellent reviews - (The first edition of Pathlight: New Chinese Writing shows the best of Chinese literature to the rest of the world, in the estimation of Chitralekha Basu.)

Stanza poetry festival March 14 - 18 2012 St Andrews Scotland

This year's themes are The Image and Poetry by Degrees.

  1. the importance and relevance of the image in poetry, but also in psychology, religion, visual art, and in particular with reference to St Andrews’ significance in the history of photography.
  2. as part of an educational expansion, and during the 600th anniversary celebrations at the University of St Andrews, poetry in education and education in poetry.

Headline poets include:

Kathleen Jamie
Jackie Kay
Christopher Reid
Chase Twichell
Lavinia Greenlaw
Kwame Dawes
Grace Nichols
Michael Symmons Roberts
Matthew Hollis

You can find out all about it here

Friday, 13 January 2012

Machine poetry: Gawain and the green knight

Gawain and the green knight as a poem of Arthurian legend written in the late 14th century may not seem the obvious choice for a machine poem. In fact, as Gawain himself discovers its story is held tight by devices - poetical and plot (not to mention the girdle) - that would have been much appreciated by its attentive courtly audience in the Duchy of Lancaster.

My claim rests on the sequence when Gawain finally meets the Green Knight again in the green chapel. Gawain hears a terrible clatter emanating from his destination and compares it to a homely noise - someone sharpening his scythe on a grindstone as one vpon a gryndelston hade grounden a syþe. It is like a little window in the poem. Some have attributed the poem to a monastic source and it is easy to imagine a monk writing in the calm scriptorium suddenly distracted by teenage laybrothers messing with tools and equipment in the steading.

The watermill - as water at a mulne - is equally weighted as an image; is grinding corn terrifying? It is hard to imagine this most pastoral Constable-like vision of England as a threat unless we imagine the mills as more Blakean - gobbling up arcadia. In which case they might be deeply problematic to a certain cast of medieval mind.

The scythe has a biblical significance too - Job 14:2 He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. The thematic link with Gawain's claim that it is the preparation of armour though is unexplained. What would a monk know about the details of this? But perhaps it is more effective for we infer how the blade is being sharpened from alliterative sounds and fearsome landscape. A masterclass in early horror.

On a lighter note, we can enjoy the fact that Gawain's name is spelt two profoundly different ways - Wowayn and Gawayn to fit in with alliterative scheme. The machine of poetry indeed!

Gawain and the green knight - extract

Stanza 88

now iwysse quoþ wowayn wysty is here
þis oritore is vgly with erbez ouergrowen
wel bisemez þe wy3e wruxled in grene
dele here his deuocioun on þe deuelez wyse
now I fele hit is þe fende in my fyue wyttez
þat hatz stoken me þis steuen to strye me here
þis is a chapel of meschaunce þat chekke hit bytyde
hit is þe corsedest kyrk þat euer I com inne

with he3e helme on his hede his launce in his honde
he romez vp to þe roffe of þe ro3 wonez
þene herde he of þat hy3e hil in a harde roche
bi3onde þe broke in a bonk a wonder breme noyse
quat hit clatered in þe clyff as hit cleue schulde
as one vpon a gryndelston hade grounden a syþe
what hit wharred and whette as water at a mulne
what hit rusched and ronge rawþe to here
þenne bi godde quoþ gawayn þat here at I trowe
is ryched at þe reuerence me renk to mete

Rough paraphrase - Sir Gawain said, 'This is a bleak place. The oratory is ugly, overgrown with weeds, the green knight could easily worship the devil here. Now it is clear that it is the devil himself who will meet me, so that he may destroy me. This is a chapel of mischance, and the most accursed kirk that I have ever seen.' Armed with his helmet high on his head and lance in hand, he veered up to that rocky den. Then a very strange noise came from a rock in that high hill beyond the brook, and it clattered among the cliffs as though it would break them apart, as though someone were grinding a scythe upon a grindstone, and it made a whirring sound like water in a mill, and rushed and sang out and was terrible to hear. 'By God,' said Gawain, 'that is the noise of armour being made ready for that fellow to meet me.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012 Issue 3 now open

Welcome to issue 3 of

Our publishing year ends and so does the first series of the magazine. The bare ground reveals the beginning of a new cycle and our poems are full of buds, flood, birds and journeys. We are focusing on place in this issue and hot foot it from New Zealand with Iain Britton, the southern United States with Leah Hughes to Biggar in South Lanarkshire with Andrew MacCallum but watch out for other eco-systems that include demonic daisies, red flowers, and gardens and seasons that are almost.

There is also are reunion of sorts in the publishing of poems from Shaun Belcher, Giles Goodland and Bridget Khursheed together in text for the first time since the heady pamphleteering days of Last Gasp.

We are also delighted to include poems to highlight new books from Shaun Belcher (Last farmer/Salt Modern Voices) and Elizabeth Rimmer (Wherever We Live Now/Red Squirrel Press) and present suitable acknowledgements here to their original publishers.

New poems also from Auston McCarron, P.A.Levy, Rebecca Shore, Stella Pye, and Ed Waverley,

Images supplied by the inimitable Daniel de Cullá and Anastasya Shepherd (her work is also featured here). And our technical exploration is led by Jim Ferguson and the last words are his:

We are moved back to the beginning through argument, sign or symbolic instruction, whatever: the important thing is that we are moved to go back and read afresh.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Íñigo de Mendoza tweet poetry

Fray Íñigo de Mendoza (Burgos, 1425 - Valladolid, 1507)  was a Spanish Franciscan priest and poet. He was a peripatetic monk but more often led a worldly life in court. His most important work is considered the Vita Christi from which this tweet poetry is taken, in which poetic forms of the time, romances, songs, couplets and carols are intermingled. 
en mirar los movimientos de los cursos çelestiales ca según la profecía por çiençia de astrología entendían saber el día del parto

His work is of the lírica cancioneril castellana poetic works collected in songbooks often themed.

More information can be found here

Kreuzwort, Berlin Germany 9th January 2012

Zum ersten Mal im neuen Jahr gibt es Lyrik aus Berlin und Hamburg mit:





Im Damensalon, Reuterstraße 39, U7/8 Hermannplatz // U8 Schönleinstraße, M29/194 Pflügerstraße

Einlass: 20 Uhr, Damage (cool!): 3 €

Mehr Infos und Texte der Autoren unter: and you can change that into English or any other language too...

A lovely night out in Berlin as usual.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

A year of will be a year old in a week or so and we are celebrating.

First, we have made 3 issues of our magazine; the third of which is coming soon crammed with juicy art and poetry. All can be found at central.

Second, our posts on poetry, place and informatics that have gone beyond what is offered anywhere else in the world. Here Ginsberg rubs shoulders with Zora Cross, Sir Walter Scott takes a bow to Daniel de Cullá. We were talking about new poetry apps and what good they might be to writers from our earliest posts. And looking at the machine-speech-poetry interface not to mention the bird-musical instrument-sound art interface. And look a little closer and you will find everything from tweet poetry - first defined here - to Arabic free verse and the new ballad. Like this sort of stuff? Want to know what a hemistich is? Poet and geek? Then stick around for 2012.

And that brings us to our third and most important element: our readers who join us via Nintendo, Android and iPod and browse on everything from SimplePie to Opera and Firefox, who have come from every continent bar Antarctica (and that is only a matter of time) and half of the world's countries ranging from China to Oman, Micronesia to Suriname, Scotland to Nigeria. We like you reading our stuff so thank you and please keep visiting. Send poems, ideas, images, wishlists, what you think you want to see...and we will try to make it happen.

We are free here to do what we like. (Not owned by any national organisation and funded solely by a bequest from a Dublin fashion designer that gives us a few brief years of life.) And we hope to do it brilliantly.

Thank you.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Roots of Arabic free verse

Ameen Rihani ( أمين الريحاني‎) (1876 - 1940) was a Lebanese Arab-American writer, intellectual and political activist. He is considered to be the founder of "adab al-mahjar" (immigrant literature) or mahjar literature after living in New York, USA and Lebanon and exposure to both literary traditions.

It was perhaps his reading of American poet Walt Whitman that encouraged him to experiment with free verse in works in his native Arabic. But he also drew inspiration from the Jahili (pre-Islamic) and Sufi concept of the poet as a visionary introducing (along with Gibran Kahlil Gibran) two new poetic forms which he called shi'r manthur (free verse) and qasidat al-nathr (prose poem). His first free verse poem was published in 1905 in the magazine Al-Hilal. This new poetry was influential in the Arab world and continued to be so after Rihani's death in 1940. It has been said to be the origin of modern Arabic poetry.

Rihani explored neglected rhythm structures (taken from Arabic form), his stanzas are irregular with lines of different length, no or variable meter (depending on how you define meter) and a non-standard rhyme scheme. Some have compared his style to that of Qur'anic verse. Sadly his poetry, in spite of its revolutionary impact, is hard to find online but here is a sample:

I am the East.
I have philosophies, I have religion, who would exchange them for airplanes.

You can find out more about Ameen Rihanni here