Thursday, 29 March 2012

Adrienne Rich tweet poetry

Adrienne Rich died at home aged 82 but her memory lives on. I hope everyone does a little writing today for her.

having read the book of myths and loaded the camera and checked the edge of the knife-blade the body-armor I am having to do this here alone

More here

The full text of the 1973 poem Diving into the wreck from which this tweet poetry is taken is available here

This excellent photograph was taken by K. Kendall.

Last call for Issue 4 2012

We are calling for poetry (4 poems or less) and images. Deadline for copy is tomorrow March 30th 2011. So pull something together and send it if you have been meaning too.

Thank you to all who have already submitted, we will be in touch shortly after the deadline passes.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Edna St. Vincent Millay tweet poetry

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) poet, playwright and feminist. Born in Maine, she spent her early life in poverty. Millay won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923 for "The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver"; the third woman to do so. She is sometime remembered more for her sexuality than her poetry. In her own time, she was highly regarded especially as a sonnet writer and awarded the Frost medal for her contribution to American poetry in 1943.

An empty cup a flight of uncarpeted stairs It is not enough that yearly down this hill April Comes like an idiot babbling & strewing flowers

The full poem is here:


O what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.


More information is available here

Legendary women poets, Northampton (MA) USA 31st March 2012

Connecticut-based Free Poets Collective together with Naugatuck River Review invokes the spirits of women poets such as Edna St. Vincent Millay, H.D., the local Belle of Amherst, and others through the voices of today's finest living poets.

Forbes Library Community Room from 1:00PM until 3:30 PM.

Live music and limited invitational open mic. Free and open to the public.

More information available here

Friday, 23 March 2012

Finnish visual poetry

Satu Kaikkonen is a poet/visual poet and teacher from Finland. She explores different kinds of artistic and typographical terrains in her work. "To me the most important part of doing visual poetry is being with in process". Her work also appears under the pseudonym (Nele Hannes), because "it gives me freedom to create different kind of things". A sentiment we very much agree with here at poetandgeek and perhaps a foundation of digital poetry.

This is an excerpt from The light is like a rabbit hole.

You can find the full work and more here More poetry from Kaikkonen here

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Homero Aridjis with Rita Dove, Charlottesville, USA, March 21st, 2012

Homero Aridjis (born April 6, 1940) is a Mexican journalist and poet. He is the author of Eyes to See Otherwise and Solar Poems, has written more than 40 books of poetry and prose and is one of Latin America's leading environmental activists.

He will read from his work in Spanish. Rita Dove reads translations. What could be better?

The event is at 8:00 PM at UVa Harrison Institute / Small Special Collections, UVa Central Grounds - 160 McCormick Rd. It is part of the Virginia Festival of the Book. This event is apparently free but it would be well worth paying for...

More information on Homero Aridjis here

Homero Aridjis’ poems open a door into light. Seamus Heaney

Bill Manhire, Stirling, Scotland 29th March 2012

Prize-winning NZ poet and fiction writer Bill Manhire will be reading at the University of Stirling and answering questions. The event takes place 17:00 through 20:00 at Pathfoot A7 at the University.

Free apparently and all welcome to attend.

More information available here and here

Friday, 16 March 2012

Thick air

The temperature has been mild enough these past few days to sleep outside with no ill consequences. I am sick of being cooped up in the prefab. The rush at earliest light to get out before the builders arrive, the dust and stale air of it and to be honest the site and sight of the block going up. Flats. Inappropriate for the small plot that used to be home to warblers, weasel and flycatchers even though it was bang in the middle of Selkirk.

I am testing myself. After a spell unwell last year, walking any distance is like swimming. My body feels all wrong in the air. Small slopes I would have ignored last year seem to go on forever. Flies hatching early and giddy in the warm temperature have seemed an obstacle. I have often had to stop to let them pass.

However now I can see the buds forming on the trees. I have promise of work in a big wood planting. And thanks to my writing a commitment to my living in the bothy there, keeping an eye on things in every sense.

So I get to be official. And once I stagger over and up there, I should be able to bring you the spring.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

JibbaJabba - Newcastle, England 17th March 2012

An old school spoken word free for all!! One poem at a time (or up to 3 minutes for prose, comedy etc...).

Featuring conceptual poet, amongst a glorious array of guest, the inimitable Ira Lightman. "He makes public art (he invented a new font for the windows of Gateshead Library), and plays left-field ukulele."

Saturday from 19:30 until 22:30, £2 and the venue is The Trent House, 1-2 Leazes Lane, NE1 4QT.

More information available here

The Savoy Hotel Collaboration - Perth, Western Australia

Are you interested in seeing the beautiful Savoy Hotel, in the Hay Street Mall - Perth turned into a thriving hub of creatives and young entrepreneurs? I guess this might mean us!


The Savoy Hotel was one of the largest hotels built in Perth in the period up to 1914. Constructed towards the end of the boom period, few buildings rivalled its size for many years. It was not until the late 1950s and early 1960s, with the impending hosting of the Empire and Commonwealth Games, that larger hotels were being constructed, benefiting from the new technologies of the day. Savoy Hotel therefore remains important as a rare example of a large and opulent hotel of the boom era in Western Australia.

The vacant upper floors are substantially intact and much of the original layout and finishes could be restored. A project close to our hearts as it was designed by Bridget (Talbot Hobbs) Khursheed's great grandfather architect Joseph John Talbot Hobbs.

Find out how to get involved and use the space here and more on Talbot Hobbs here

Monday, 12 March 2012

Abridged, the poetry/art magazine

Rust is our mutability. Rust is our diminution. Our dominion. The natural translation of colour. The evolution of the elements.

Abridged, the poetry/art magazine (influences include T. S. Eliot via Vermeer to The Sisters of Mercy) is looking for submissions for its Rust issue. Full details here www.abridgedonline.comDeadline for submissions is 21st April 2012.

…there’s a voice in the distance quiet and clear saying something that I never ever wanted to hear….

Thanks to Laitr Keiows for this picture.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Elisabeth Bletsoe tweet poetry

Poet Elisabeth Bletsoe was born and raised near Wimborne in Dorset in the southwest of England. Her work is informed by her knowledge of botany, folklore, geology and history.

the fidget foot the foldsitter a fine tilth/tilt gobyground mumbler of cabbages windswift side-looker the stealaway frisker in hedges

This tweet poetry is taken from Bletsoe's poem Here Hare   Here.

You can find more of Bletsoe's work in the anthology of radical landscape poetry The Ground Aslant ed. Harriet Tarlo  and her books Landscape from a Dream and Pharmacopoeia & Early Selected Works. All available from Shearsman.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Call for poetry and images...Issue 4 2012

It is that time of the year again. We are fast approaching the deadline for Issue 4. Thank you for all work submitted so far - you will be hearing from us soon.

But we want more! So here is the call for poetry (4 poems or less), images - photographs or artwork. We maintain our strong interest in visual poetry.

There is a theme for this issue - borders - but we are accepting poems on other subjects.

Deadline for copy is March 30th 2012.

Contact for submissions and all other enquiries is poetandgeek at

Monday, 5 March 2012

Monday night workshop: Latin American poetry

This workshop is run by Yago Cura ('Argentine-American poet, translator, publisher & futbolisto') and starts at 7 PM. It is free and runs until April 9 . And it seems to start today but please check.

If you can get to Beyond Baroque 681 Venice Bl. Venice, CA 90291. USA you should go and if you can't (like me), maybe they will put something up on their blog about what's going on each week.

More here and on Yago Cura here

KEROUAC AT 90 11th March 2012 Venice, Cailfornia USA

A celebration of the work of JACK KEROUAC presented by Beyond Baroque.

4:00 PM - Reading from 4pm on at Beyond Baroque 681 Venice Bl. Venice, CA 90291. This includes Alvarado, Iris Berry, Gerald Nicosia, Dani Roter and Aram Saroyan reading their favorite Kerouac works; followed by a panel discussion from 7.30pm.

No word on refreshments or price but check it out. Normal admission is $7, students/seniors/children $5, members FREE. Free street parking.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

The poet and dreams

As an editor, I see poems, often but not always from new writers, that are dream dependent. The imagination, the vision of the poem is juxtaposed with the awakening. Bobby Ewing in the Dallas shower scene. More often than not, the transition from one state to another - "hey, it was all a dream!" - doesn't work.

Not surprising. You are in good company. Samuel Taylor Coleridge couldn't make it out of his dream to finish Kubla Khan in 1797 after being disturbed by a visitor (or coming down from his high).

Transition as a focus of poetry has fascinated from the earliest examples of writing: in Celtic myth, beaches (sea or land?) and twilight (night or day?) offer intense possibilities.

But here are some more mundane techniques for harnessing your dreams.

Use a strong rhythm and/or rhyme

Coleridge does this. And how about this example of another 1967 trip from the Beatles.

Picture yourself in a boat on a river
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes

Cellophane flowers of yellow and green
Towering over your head
Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes
And she's gone

Stay in the dream

John Lennon's LSD does this and this is how most poets work it. There are advantages: Kathy Acker says " I started working with my dreams, because I'm not so censored when I use dream material". And dreams can end up in the more conventional avatar or dramatic monologue.

Against a gun-metal sky,
I saw an albino giraffe. Without
leaves to modify,
chamois-white as
said, although partly pied near the base
it towered where a chain of
stepping-stones lay in a stream nearby;
glamor to stir the envy

of anything in motley -
Hampshire pig, the living lucky-stone; or
all-white butterfly.

(Marianne Moore extract from The Sycamore - is this a dream? Only MM could tell us and she won't.)

Contrast the dream with reality

This can often have a profound impact. A great example can be found in this poem by the Peruvian poet Giovanna Pollarolo The grocer's dream translated here by Marjorie Agosin. This is an extract.

And when they would ask

what are you going to be when you grow up
and without thinking, I would answer
wait on people in a store just like this one
and they would laugh at such a meager dream

Focus on the transition

The crossover from dream to reality is the pivot for the poem and gives its dynamic. John Keats' dream is rudely interrupted. The dream is preferable to the reality. You know I am sucker for a ballad too.

Extract from La belle dame sans merci


She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she wept, and sigh’d fill sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes 
With kisses four. 


And there she lulled me asleep, 
And there I dream’d—Ah! woe betide! 
The latest dream I ever dream’d 
On the cold hill’s side.


I saw pale kings and princes too, 
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all; 
They cried—“La Belle Dame sans Merci 
Hath thee in thrall!” 


I saw their starved lips in the gloam, 
With horrid warning gaped wide, 
And I awoke and found me here, 
On the cold hill’s side. 


And this is why I sojourn here, 
Alone and palely loitering, 
Though the sedge is wither’d from the lake, 
And no birds sing.

On the whole, the "it was all a dream" device is one to treat with care when starting out writing. But then again are there any rules?

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven by Irish writer William Butler Yeats. 1899 from The Wind Among the Reeds.