Tuesday, 31 July 2012

The World Record: International Voices

Forgot to say you can read all the poems away from the Poetry Parnassus map in a book edited by Neil Astley and Anna Selby, published by Bloodaxe Books and Southbank Centre.

The World Record

You can find out more about the book here http://www.bloodaxebooks.com/titlepage.asp?isbn=1852249382.

Geek inspiration

Inspiration can come in funny ways and odd places.

A geek example.

The credit card we know and love depends (or used to depending where you live) on magnetic film fixed to plastic. Forrest Parry, an IBM engineer, thought of the idea but he couldn't make it work. Nothing would stick one to the other.

Smartcard2.png

Eventually fed up, he came home with several pieces of magnetic tape and cards. His wife Dorothea who was ironing wanted to get to her favourite programme on tv quickly thought of how to attach them: "Here, let me try the iron." She did and the problem was solved.

Iron heat was just enough to fix tape to card.

Thanks to Channel R for the use of this graphic.

Poetry Parnassus Olympics Update

Here is the wonderful map of poets further enhanced by the poems.

Who wins the gold medal?

Parnassos2.jpg

You can find them here http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/interactive/2012/jun/26/poetry-parnassus-interactive-map.

Thanks to Electron08 for the use of the photo.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Ecopoetry and academia

"The dividing line between creative writing and climate science - sometimes thin - has been triumphantly dissolved. " Andrew Orlowski

Can you study ecopoetry? Well, it seems you can and in a scientific context at the University of East Anglia.

Its interesting looking new masters course in Environmental Sciences and Humanities is recruiting. Its blurb states amongst other things that it plans to gather "researchers in the environmental sciences, philosophy, history and literature to develop new ways of thinking about environmental change and social transitions".

Earth Shattering: ecopoems 

Details of the course can be found here http://www.uea.ac.uk/phi/courses/ma-environmental-sciences-and-humanities#overview and a commentary from The Register here http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/02/rosie_may/.

btw image is the cover of the anthology Earth Shattering ecopoems edited by Neil Astley from Bloodaxe 2007 (ahead of the times as ever).

Sunday, 22 July 2012

In a bookshop in Salamanca

Interesting to see only two English speaking authors translated and stocked in a big poetry section in this academic bookshop in Spain. Who were they?

Not surprised to see Seamus Heaney.

His companion: Leonard Cohen.


A mil besos de profundidad I : canciones y poemas, 1956-1978

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Elizabeth Jennings live

Elizabeth Jennings (1926-2001) was an English poet and librarian. She studied at St. Anne's College, Oxford and worked in advertising, at the City Library and briefly in publishing before becoming a full-time writer.


Image by Peter Milroy

Listen to her work here: http://www.poetryarchive.org/poetryarchive/singlePoet.do?poetId=1554

Monday, 16 July 2012

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Call for poetry poetandgeek.com Issue 5 2012


Time is creeping on and we are starting to think wistful fall thoughts of Issue 5. Check out the contribute button for full details or you can look at the magazine over at poetandgeek.com. Where else?



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 gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

End of the day

You'll be glad to hear that reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated; it was another young man who died on the by-pass that day. A step in a wrong direction started from school days. Not as lucky as even the deer I have been watching.

But all in all it is a reminder that the city is not the soft life I imagined. I had chosen its margins as my camp after my ill-health last year. To get whole.



But without friends to feed me up with a big dinner and some warmth and talk now and then it is no home to me.

Still I am here; I have looked close at deer, fox and hedgehogs in the park and garden edges; found the by-pass lupins and the buzzard; stretched out undisturbed in the big cemetery by the main road.

But now it is time to get back to my wood. What has been happening there?

A whole season of changes to explore.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Edith Sitwell live

I am an unpopular electric eel set in a pond of goldfish. Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell (1887 – 1964) was a English poet, patron and critic.


Listen to a slightly atypical work read slightly atypically here http://www.poetryarchive.org/poetryarchive/singlePoet.do?poetId=1563 and find out more about the poet here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edith_Sitwell.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Simon Armitage walking home

New book out today from the big Armitage and it may interest you to know that poetandgeek organised the first gig on the troubadour Pennine walk he describes. It was at Abbotsford, the home of Walter Scott, in the Scottish Borders. He collected money in a sock and then left without signing books. Shame.

We hadn't offered him a lift from Berwick station suggesting he might like to take the bus to get into the spirit of the thing. And things seemed to go downhill from there a little. Oh well. And so another celebrity encounter failed to quite live up to expectations.

Walking Home

He did read Shout which is the one I hoped he would; one of my favourite poems apart from the one about hairspray spores. Probably shouldn't quote anything here because... But they are both in his 1989 Bloodaxe book Zoom. I think.

And in fact you can listen to The Shout here http://www.poetryarchive.org/poetryarchive/singlePoem.do?poemId=88

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Riddle me ree

A house full a hole full
And you cannot gather a bowl full





Thank you to Fir0002/Flagstaffotos for allowing us to share this cracking photo.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Moment of possibility

Sometimes in poems a+b=z.

That moment of transition is something that I hunt out.


Here is an example from Peter Bennet that I return to from the end of his poem the Doll (The Glass Swarm 2008):

...And later, when my light stays on
night after night as I grow fatter
and try to feed its canvas face
with doll food from a doll-sized spoon,
I'll teach it that you told me what to do.

Another from Elizabeth Rimmer from her poem Marrying a Selkie (The Eildon tree magazine 2012):

...He does not think he disapproves,
but all the same on moonless nights
he thinks of women knitting, trays
of tea and scones, with rhubarb jame
blood red on flowered saucers,
and the sound of heads, soft-thumping
into baskets, while the needles click.

And finally from Celso Emilio Ferreiro (Eiquí Será):

Quero morrer eiquí (cando me chegue
a hora da viaxe que me aguarda).
Eiquí  niste silencio
de pompas arroladas,
niste vento que dorme nos piñeiros
un profondo sono de arelanzas.

I would like to die here (when I arrive
at the journey's hour that I hope for).
Here in this silence
of still doves
in this wind that sleeps in the pines
a deep dream of desire.

You can hear the full poem sung here http://celsoemilioferreiro.org/2012/01/%E2%80%9Ceiqui-sera%E2%80%9D-poema-de-celso-emilio-ferreiro-na-voz-de-m-a-gomez-naharro/

poetandgeek.com competition 2012

well, we never had one before and we may never have one again. so it is better to enter this time. plus it is free.


  • Poems on the subjects of journey must be 30 lines or less.
  • Poems in English.
  • Poems must be unpublished and not under consideration.
  • Send in body of email. Or by post.
  • Judges' decision is final.
  • Poems will be published in poetandgeek.com Issue 5 (October 2012).
  • Deadline is 31st August 2012.




Thank you. Usual contact details apply - see our contribute page.