Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Caribbean poetry resource

Aruban poet and writer Julio Rafael (Quito) Nicholaas who is based in the Netherlands has gathered together a great resource here. (I also like his URL). The unifying theme is Gedachten in Gedichten - exploring Caribbean literature, art and culture and it contains reviews of works including Puerto Rican Benito Pastoriza Iyodo, Trinidadian Andre Bagoo and Dominican Norberto James Rawlings.

Good stuff, good links. Enjoy. More information here

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Warm poetry

Warm and wintry...sounds good.

Emma from Arvon (not a frequent correspondent - but then all sorts of people are writing to us at p&g these days) tell us that they are thrilled to announce a series of UK-based Winter Warmer courses for January and February 2013, featuring a hand-picked selection of their best loved creative writing courses.

There is one poetry course in England in January featuring Ian Duhig (busy man), Zaffar Kunial and Caroline Bird - why it is a winter warmer course is not clear from the blurb but perhaps they will write and tell us. But we imagine there will be warm beds, warm food, warm hearts, warm poetry...and winter.

If the idea of going on their popular courses appeals you can find out more here

Cafe writers open poetry competition 2012

There is still time to enter this competition if you are quick. It has enormous prize money (£1000 is the first prize and there are others) and your entry fee does good work for poetry in Norfolk in England. Ian Duhig is judging this year.

The deadline though is the 30th November so you need to be quite quick - something for Sunday maybe?

Ian Duhig

You can find out more here

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Ecopoetry in schools

Interesting details here of an outreach programme led by the Literature and American Studies departments at the University of East Anglia taking ecopoetry into schools and beyond.

Ecopoetry Logo

Children in Years 5 and 6 (P6 and P7 here in Scotland) are encouraged to:
  • "use the immediacy of their outdoor experiences to write poetry
  • taught the importance of individual and communal responsibility to each other and to our natural world
  • and how reflection on these issues provides a vital means of thinking and writing poetically." 
Not sure about thinking and writing poetically but maybe that is my prejudice and the word just needs reclaiming.

Anyone else had experience of visiting schools or outdoor spaces leading workshops. Let us know about it. [I will be in school next week but we are doing WW2 mash-ups.]

Or find out more about the existing programme here

Saturday, 17 November 2012

The reticence of Elizabeth Bishop

The American poet Elizabeth Bishop was notoriously possessive of her work refusing to give up poems even when solicited by editors. Katherine White wrote to her in 1955 "As usual this letter is a plea to let us see some of the Elizabeth Bishop manuscripts that I feel certain are all on your desk, all finished if only you could bring yourself to part with them."

Bishop is a rule unto herself. And you can find the unpublished work in the Carcanet book Edgar Allan Poe and the Juke-box (out of print) and judge whether she was right or wrong.

Yet the store of riches when a poem is all complete and ready to go is to all of us almost a drug: that feeling of the work in progress or something good about to come. But sometimes a visit to an editor for poems even if rejected with no comment loosens up something unexpected. And the poem gets richer and better as a result.

A poem is never finished only abandoned Paul Valéry

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Valve journal 2

This mysterious journal has appeared again like the autumn.

It looks good enough to eat and features poems by Roddy Shippin, Richie McCaffrey, Bridget Khursheed and GW Colkitto to name a few. Check it out here

Sunday, 11 November 2012 issue 5 now open

Our familiars include the man from Biggar Andrew McCallum and the glorious Stella Pye. Not to forget writers new to who include Rehan Qayoom, Amanda Dales and Walter Ruhlmann. Compelling images and visual poetry from Sue Bell and Stephen Pardue. Thoughts on imprisonment and creativity in the technical bit. And the winning poems from our first ever competition.

You can find Issue 5 here

6th Derwent Poetry Festival, 16th until 18th November 2012 Matlock Bath, England

Templar Poetry, publishers of Iota magazine and beautiful books, introduces new pamphlets and collections.

  • New iShots and anthology
  • Introducing Nicola Rowlands - Artist in Residence and 2012 Collection Cover Designer
  • Alongside a range of workshops and talks. 

Festival tickets: full festival £15/10 | day tickets £9/£6.

More information about the festival here And about Templar

Thursday, 8 November 2012 issue 5 coming shortly

New work from Andrew McCallum, Stephen Pardue, Sue Bell (who took this picture), Amanda Dales, Laura Kayne, Rehan Qayoom, Amy Ekins, Bridget Khursheed, B.Z. Niditch, Walter Ruhlmann, Stella Pye, Michelle D'costa and Ed Waverley.

A bumper edition plus our competition winning poems. Watch this space and if you cannot wait visit our older issues here and/or contribute to our next issue.

...a glimpse of grey,
some wildness at the dark green core.
Andrew McCallum

A road less travelled: storylane

I had an interesting email from Jonathan Gheller (CEO of Storylane and not many CEOs write to p&g).

He is inviting participation in Storylane in the following words:

I have been working for a while on Storylane, a product that I believe a blog owner like you will appreciate. Storylane works like a blogging platform but is social from the ground up. Your content can be categorized by you and then discovered by our fast growing community. Storylane can breathe new life into the content you created for your old blog and hopefully connect you with people, places, and ideas that can add value and meaning to your life.

Would you like to give us a try? join us and add a story or two (feel free to use stories that are already on your blog)

Normally as you know we try to avoid puffing things but it is your choice. What we liked about Jonathan is that when we replied saying we would think about it, he got back and said thank you. Sound lad.

Over to you...out of the fast lane into the story lane...let us know how it the usual address. You can find more here poetry competition results 2012 is pleased to announce the results of its inaugural poetry competition.

The poems were judged independently by members of the Borders Writers Forum.

Winner: Stella Pye - Tres Fort

The judges commented on the poem's "fresh images, interesting antitheses and its central premise evocative of both emerging countries and some western countries locked in a time warp".

Stella Pye's work has appeared in magazine.

Stella has recently begun researching a PhD in Creative and Cultural Studies; her particular fascination is with formalisms in women's poetry; most of her own writing seems to be meta-poetic.


Runner-up: Michelle D'costa - Final destination

The judges were struck by the poem's intelligent brevity and strong image of the umbilical cord as a noose.

Michelle is an Indian raised in Bahrain. She enjoys walking in other’s shoes through her writing. Her words have been embraced in poetry anthologies like Poems of the poppies(Silverwood Books, UK), Musings: A mosaic(On Fire,Poets Corner, India), The Love Collection(Destiny to write publications,UK) and The Odd Magazine(Oddity 3,India). She also edits poetry at Decades Review.

Thank you to Himanshu Sarpotdar for the use of this photo.

Monday, 5 November 2012

The great American poem

Can there be such a thing?

The idea has haunted me since seeing Henry Fool, the 1997 Hal Hartley film.

As Simon begins an ascent to the dizzying heights of Nobel Prize-winning poet, Henry sinks to a life of drinking in low-life bars as his own attempts at fame result in rejection, even by Simon's publisher who once employed Henry.

I particularly like the fact that the great American poem comes hand in hand with great American success. (And the film also has plenty to say about the arbitrariness of publication - amongst other things.)

What is your great [insert your nationality here] poem?

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Searching for phantom poetry

One of most popular posts - as you can see on the right - concerns phantom poetry.

We decided to catch up with the movement based we think in NZ and predominantly the work of well all sorts of people Jim Wilson to name one. But there is now no sign of any activity on the blog. (

Have you seen any phantom poet activity in your vicinity? Posters or billstickers? Or you planning an emulation?

There is a following waiting without due creative leadership. Sound good? I think autonomy may be the answer.

Let us know (with pics) at the usual address...

Thanks to the NZ blog for the use of this picture.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

No man’s land Issue # 7 Berlin, Germany 5th November 2012

We ARE in love with signs. If you are too go to the German-English launch of no man’s land issue # 7 features authors Sylvia Geist, Katharina Schultens, Lutz Seiler and Antje Rávic Strubel with their translators Catherine Hales, Bradley Schmidt and Zaia Alexander.

We like the sound of Sylvia Geist’s “Periodic Song” mixing poetry and chemistry, and Katharina Schultens' fusion of scientific and poetic language. Plus a prose Skype reading by Antje Rávic Strubel. Who could ask for more? But if you do ask? There is more...

Discover from 8pm until 11pm in St George's Bar Wörther Str. 27, 10405 Berlin. We believe this event is free...

More information from here and this is also where you can find the magazine online.