Saturday, 28 April 2012

Afternoon Reading To Save The High Park Zoo Toronto, Canada 29th April 2012

An awesome literary zoo to help save the High Park Zoo ( and have a nice afternoon at the Cafe Novo). Readers include Myna Wallin, Karen Correia Da Silva, Royston Tester, Dayle Furlong, Sue Bowness, Karleen Pendleton Jimenez, Robin Akimbo, and Nyla Matuk

Find it from 1pm until 4pm at 1986 Bloor St W, ON M6P 3K9.

More information at

They may have llamas or pictures of llamas or possibly guanacos or even vicuña. But we have no confirmation of that (there is just one on the poster).

Friday, 27 April 2012

Habits of buzzards

With the rain - three days of it - I have had to walk close to the city after a lift from the side of a flooded A-road. I had been examining the beech trees, an outgrown hedge, tangled with itsself and the beech mast a carpet cloth thrown down the hill in ruffles. Its colour greened from leaflings and reproductive parts torn from the tree by hail, then brown and then black like grit hemming the roadside puddles.

A car stopped and I got in.

It brought me to a world of dyked farms enclosed by suburbs, petrol stations and arterial roads and scrub copses that turn out to be railway  embankments. Rich picking for wild camping and I am now the proud owner of a tarpaulin.

So there was a logic to this.

The tarpaulin came from a builder's lorry I suppose; it carries a logo but I stay dry.

And the buzzard that hunts this busy road next to my camp perches uncomfortably on thin sapling tops and telegraph wires admired by the pigeons.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Dear Heart Poetry Reading at Meow Wellington, NZ 9th May

Love poems and poets at the Meow Cafe, 9 Edwards St, Wellington from 6pm. This may be free.

Dear Heart: 150 New Zealand Love Poems

Celebrate the publication of Dear Heart: 150 New Zealand Love Poems written from the 1930s onwards. Editor Paula Green and esteemed contributors including

  • Jenny Bornholdt 
  • James Brown
  • Anna Jackson
  • Bill Manhire 
  • Gregory O’Brien
  • Harry Ricketts 
  • Chris Tse

Books will be available for purchase and signing. More information available here and here

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Anne Sexton live

Anne Sexton (1928 - 1974), the sometimes overlooked sister of Sylvia Plath and Adrienne Rich, can be listened to here at the Poetry Archive:

Elizabeth Bishop live

Listen here at the Poetry Archive historic recordings:

Translating poets alive New York, USA May 3rd 2012

An event that focuses on the creative gap and sheer excitement of translation from one language to another. We would love to attend. Poets read excerpts of their work together with their translators, 5 students from the MFA in Creative Writing in Spanish at NYU. This is the first event of its kind in the United States. With Yousef Komunyakaa, Charles Simic, Tracy K. Smith, and Anne Waldman, with their translators, MFA in Creative Writing in Spanish students Valerie Mejer, Claudira Mora, Edgardo Núñez Caballero, Florencia San Martín, and Kadiri Vaquer.

At the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, 53 Washington Sq. South (between Thompson and Sullivan), New York City at 4 p.m. Free and open to the public co-sponsored by New York University.

You may find yourself wanting to translate poetry or simply to write after this event.

Find out more here

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Alfonsina Storni tweet poetry

Alfonsina Storni (1892 – 1938) was an Argentinian poet and feminist of the modernist period. Her work has inspired many writers, artists and musicians including Ariel Ramírez and Félix Luna who composed the song Alfonsina y el Mar ("Alfonsina and the sea"), performed by Mercedes Sosa, Tania Libertad, Mocedades, Andrés Calamaro, Katia Cardenal and many others.

Lista de poemas de Alfonsina Storni

Cuando picada el alma de tristeza sombría Sabedora de engaños me pasada los días Besando las dos manos que me ajaban la vida

You can find more information about Storni here or listen to Mercedes Sosa's very beautiful rendering of Alfonsina y el mar here

The full poem:

Dulce tortura

Polvo de oro en tus manos fue mi melancolía
Sobre tus manos largas desparramé mi vida;
Mis dulzuras quedaron a tus manos prendidas;
Ahora soy un ánfora de perfumes vacía.

Cuánta dulce tortura quietamente sufrida
Cuando, picada el alma de tristeza sombría,
Sabedora de engaños, me pasada los días
¡Besando las dos manos que me ajaban la vida!

Sweet torture

My melancholy was gold dust in your hands;
into your long hands I scattered my life;
my gentleness remains taken by your hands;
now I am a phial empty of perfume.

How much sweet torture quietly suffered
when stung by the soul of dark sadness,
aware of the lies, I pass my days
kissing the two hands that stifle my life!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Folkpoet Thursday 19th April London England

A new night of live arts and literature at Island Arts Studio in Herne Hill. Curated by spoken word artist Nick Field, artists;, misfits, dandy rebels and charming provocateurs are encouraged to push the boundaries of spoken whirred.

19.30 onwards... 278 Milkwood Road, SE24 0EZ (good poetic address). We think this event carries on and on every Thursday from now until the end of time - let us know if this is wrong.

Discover skilled, honed performers and writers, musicians to cherish and emerging talent at our open(ish) mic. All snugly housed in a lovely, dedicated arts-venue setting.

More information is available here

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Issue 4 of is now available

In the nooks and borders we take a trip down the dark path where trees become music boxes and bodies make machines. Beards of running water, bombs that caress, homesick elephants and Leonard Woolf. And why a poet's life is full of lies. There is a travelling zoo of poetry to disturb and enjoy that may make life in more settled climes look just a little dull.

We have work from writers new to including Amado Storni, Bianca Sarafian, Natascha Scrivener and B.Z. Niditch. And new work from Susheel Kumar Sharma's recently published collection The door is half open, alongside poems from Vivien Jones and Mary S. McLuskey.

Explore life on the edge. It is not what it seems. You won't be disappointed.

not sea captains but innocent burglars
Vivien Jones

More information and Issue 4 is available here

Monday, 16 April 2012

Carrying the Fire festival, Biggar, Scotland April 20th - 22nd 2012

Where? Wiston Lodge near Biggar.

For those of you with an interested in geopoetics among other things, you might want to check out the Dark Mountain project which is organising this event. An intimate festival of ideas, poetry, music, and performance. Exploring the connections between the arts, ecology and cultural resilience.

Highlights include: 'Liminal' - an otherworldly mix of art, poetry and physical theatre taking place in the evening woods and Norman Bissell on geopoetics.

The Dark Mountain Project
Full programme available here:

Dark Mountain "feels like the beginning of the story of the world. Not a world shaped by politicians or by global corporations, but by storytellers and singers who make us feel at home on the earth."
Charlotte Du Cann, The Independent

The Griffin poetry prize shortlist 2012

This is the world’s largest prize for a first edition single collection of poetry written in English. ­The mouth-watering international and Canadian shortlist includes David Harsent, Jan Zwicky, Yusef Komunyakaaour and Sean O'Brien.

It aims to:
  • spark the public’s imagination
  • and raise awareness of the crucial role poetry plays in our cultural life.
Sounds good to us.

Here's Jan Zwicky's nominated book Forge - you may have to hunt around for it if you don't live in North America (and even there) but well worth the effort.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Contemporary Chinese Poetry London, UK 16th April 2012

Jade Ladder is a new anthology of Chinese poetry and its diversity as it renegotiates its relationship with Western modernist and postmodernist poetry, and re-engages with its Classical heritage. Misty, post-Misty, Fourth Generation; publication in samizdat, publication in exile, publication on the internet – in a nation of billions, it sometimes seems that there are a million ways to write poetry.

Jade Ladder

This event is held from 7.00 p.m at London Review bookshop 14 Bury Place, London WC1A 2JL

Chinese poets, driven by alienation, trauma and exile, are in the midst of one of the most thorough and exciting experiments in world poetry. Discussion and readings with Xi Chuan, one of China’s most influential poets, and Bloodaxe editors Yang Lian and W.N. Herbert.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Theory of omission

Doing an ornithological quiz last night and found myself crossing out quite a few answers. In fact not a great success unless the team were allowed a net of suggestive responses.

However it did make me think of a writing exercise.

Try this.

  1. Take a look at your old MSS and home in on the crossing outs.

    Note: when I write I am very confident about erasures once I have decided on my line of argument. But I will keep a paper copy if not often with a number of alterations that I let bed down until I decide what I want. Often what I end up with is none of what I have written down.

    Note two/too: if you write digitally, rootle about in your edit mode. You should be able to see how you have crossed things out and go back a few versions. You may need to set it up as a default. If so, write a bit before going back over stuff or you will get a false reading - you will be self-conscious however hard you try not to be.

  2. Now you can do a number of things:

    a) home in on your changes and excise them into a separate poem.

    b) find a moment of major pivot where you decided to shape your work one way and this time go the other direction e.g. change the rhythm or even form back to how it started; focus on the egg or even the tree instead of the nest...

    c) concentrate on the mistakes you made in handwritten copy or recordings - I don't want to get all Freudian on you - but treat these replacements/stumbles/omissions as a little gate into somewhere else, a clue: what was trying to get out there? Make that hint the subject of another piece of work.

  3. If you take nothing else away from this exercise, at least you will have a greater understanding of your editing process. But I usually get a bit more than that from rummaging in the attic.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Poetry Wales in Paris, France, April 11th 2012

Poets Live reading with editor Zoë Skoulding and PW contributors Lyndon Davies, Steven Hitchins, Rhys Trimble and Jean Portante. Venue is Carr's 1 Rue du Mont Thabor, 75001 Paris, France and it starts at 7pm and goes on until 10pm.

This is the day after tomorrow!

Evénements Carr's Irish Pub

More information available here and here

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Call for poetry Issue 5 Autumn 2012

Call for poetry (4 poems or less), images and reviews (technical only) for Issue 5 2012.

Send an outline of ideas for longer articles to the Editor first.

Deadline for copy is September 30th 2012.

Contact for submissions and all other enquiries is poetandgeek at Snailmail and other details of submission available at

Ongoing voice recorder to text survey

We are interested to know your working solutions to get digital voice to text:
  • what works for you?
  • how well does it work.
  • still Dragon? or something else better app-ed.


Let us know at the usual address...

Monday, 2 April 2012

Edmonton Poetry Festival, Canada, April 2012

Lots of good stuff starting April 22nd through to 29th. Poets include Dionne Brand, Greg Debicki (algorithmic sound artist) and Sally Ito to name only a very few.

Cool repeating events in Churchill Square most days poetry made on demand and make your mark in a concrete poetry session from 11.30am until 1pm.

Dionne Brand

You can find out more here