Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Darkling darling

New Year's Eve poetry is often ambiguous; what has gone or been let go the year before and only the unknown to come; hard to keep the faith or any faith for that matter.

So let the man of Dorset Thomas Hardy and his hidden joyful thrush wing us into 2014 once more...

The Darkling Thrush

I leant upon a coppice gate
      When frost was spectre-grey,
And  winter's dregs made desolate
      The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
      Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
      Had sought their household fires.

The land's sharp features seemed to be
      The century's corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
      The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
      Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
      Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
      The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
      Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
      In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
      Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
      Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
      Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
      His happy good-night air
Some blessed hope, whereof he knew
      And I was unaware.

December 31st 1900

Monday, 30 December 2013

Ross Sutherland podcast

While I have been hunting up some Scottish poet podcasts, I came across this one from Ross Sutherland

"Inspired by cut-ups and technology" (who isn't?), his latest collection Emergency Window (Penned in the Margins) feeds classic poems through Google Translate many times until they become other and dedicates sonnets to characters in Street Fighter 2. Sutherland also takes an interest in the hairstyles of millionaires.

Emergency Window

You can find the download here http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/connect/podcast/ross-sutherland and more on Sutherland himself here http://www.rosssutherland.co.uk/main/ and Emergency Window here http://www.pennedinthemargins.co.uk/index.php/2012/07/emergency-window/

Projection of wonder, Melrose Scotland 21st January 2014

Come along to this look at the rise and rise of contemporary Scottish and Scots poetry from 7.30pm in the Ormiston Institute. There will be some sounds and stuff but I cannot promise not to sing! Thanks to Colin Will for letting me borrow from his poem The ascent of magic for the title.


Small charge for visitors. Full programme here http://www.melrose.bordernet.co.uk/literary-society/

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Big tent reading, Kansas, USA 23rd January 2014

Our old friends at the Raven Book Store are hosting this event which will feature S. Portico Bowman and Laura Washburn. The event is free? and runs from 7pm..

You can find them at 6 E 7th Street, Lawrence, Kansas 66044 or http://www.ravenbookstore.com/

Friday, 20 December 2013

Season's greetings

And a very happy new year to come from p&g in the festive Scottish Borders...

If you are at a loose end over the holiday period, check us out at www.poetandgeek.com. And we will be posting our usual poetry and geek fare to supplement the party offerings...

Welcome Authors at Authorspress!

The nice people at Authorspress sent p&g an email inviting authors to check out the freshly fangled (that description alone made p&g want to visit immediately) website of Authorspress, New Delhi, India. And calling for proposals - they have a poetry list and their site is full of good info.

You can find out more here www.authorspressbooks.com or you might want to Like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authorspressindia?ref=hl.

Thursday, 19 December 2013


Perhaps things are a bit quiet over the holiday season? Or quieter?

Time to get out some old paper and check out what you wrote but never finished. Or rewrite what you finished but never quite got out to any magazines.

Picture of song lyrics courtesy of The Blacklist from Galashiels, Scottish Borders and more here http://www.impactarts.co.uk/news/news/the-blacklist-presents-no-ties/

Friday, 13 December 2013

QR poem

The obsession with qr continues - I like them because they are a 2 dimensional storage system - so here is one that contains a small poem: qr form.

You'll need a scanner to read it. Add your own poems as a nice little extra for your chapbook or audiobook...

Thursday, 12 December 2013

How to add a QR code to your book

You have seen them - the little boxes of black and white code - and maybe you even use them. They are a quick route - literally quick response - for mobile users to access web information etc.

They are very easy to add to your book if you are publishing yourself or run a publishing company. And while you will probably always provide a print web address - they make a nice addition e.g. for people in bookshops who may not buy there and then but want to get more information; or need to confirm. They can just scan, read or store the details and job done.

To add:

  1. Decide on the information you want to encode - ideally this should be a page that knows it is being viewed by a mobile device with a small screen and adapts itself; at the very least a page that users can use on any device.
  2. Encode it using a QR generator app e.g. http://tag.microsoft.com/home.aspx or online at http://goqr.me/
  3. Download your image and stick it wherever you want it used.


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

A p&g magazine plug

Why not treat yourself to a holiday glance at our www.poetandgeek.com magazine?

Featuring the work of poets including Elizabeth Rimmer, Andrew MacCallum, Richie McCaffery, Rafael Ayala Paez, Giles Goodland, Alistair Noon, Vivien Jones, Maeve Henry, Yann Rousselot, Peter Hughes, Michael Pedersen, Tom Murray, Tsead Bruinja, Fiona Sinclair, Daniel de Cullá, Stella Pye, Zion Lights, Shaun Belcher, Natascha Scrivener, Natalie Moores, Susheel Kumar Sharma, Jennifer Sizeland, Bianca Sarafian, B.Z. Niditch, Mary S. McLuskey, Sarah Flint, Jennifer Martin, Allan-Alexander Lawson, Sy Roth, Frank C. Praeger, John Quinn, Phil Isherwood, Felino A. Soriano, Anne Pia, Austin McCarron, Amado Storni, Rehan Qayoom, Joan McNerney, Paul Tristram, Daniel Roy Connelly, Fanni Suto, Marc Carver, Thomas Clark, Sheree Mack, Roger Hickin, Jane Aldous, Michael Lee Johnson, Sara Clark, Sye Sanders, Amy Ekins, B.Z. Niditch, Walter Ruhlmann, Stella Pye, Michelle D'costa, and Ed Waverley.

(And yes of course the qr code works! What do you take us for?)

Friday, 6 December 2013

Poetry bookshelf

Send us your photos of the poetry shelf in your local bookshop or library - however splendiferous or meagre.

For example, you may remember that in the Universitaria bookshop in Plaza de Anaya in Salamanca (it has moving bookcases btw and is well worth a visit) pretty much the whole of English language poetry was represented by Leonard Cohen.

Tell it slant poetry bookshop launch, Glasgow, Scotland 13th December 2013

The 'tell it slant' poetry bookshop popup stall and launch party: another great event on Friday 13th - poets don't fear the day! There will be readings, music and visuals.

Not to mention CAKE! (You have sold it to us of course by this one word)

The event is at the onecubeortwo space 134 Renfrew Street, G3 6ST Glasgow, 6 until 9pm and we believe that entry is free. Please let us know if not.

You can find out more here https://www.facebook.com/events/771107342903698/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Top 10 poet myths

How many of these describe you?

  1. Poets wear special clothes e.g. velvet capes.
  2. Poets can’t drive.
  3. Poets can’t dance.
  4. Poets publish thin volumes.
  5. Poets are always young men.
  6. Poets live an otherworldly life.
  7. Poets aren't techie.
  8. Poets want to be rockstars.
  9. Poets speak in verse.
  10. Poets have giant egos.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Giles Goodland and Back Room Poets, Oxford, England 13th December 2013

An old haunt of p&g's and I wish I could go! This is a great way to get into holiday spirit...

Readings by 6 b ack room poetsand a guest reading by Giles Goodland.  BRP members reading include Rip Bulkeley, David Olsen, Gentian Rahtz and Paul Surman. MC Louise Larchbourne.

At the Albion Beatnik Bookstore (34 Walton Street, OX2 6AU) at 7:30 pm. Entry: £4 (non-members), £2 (members) Refreshments available.

More information here http://backroompoets.blogspot.co.uk/

Friday, 29 November 2013

The Hidden World of Poetry, Cork Ireland 20th November 2013

The poet Adam Wyeth - Seamus Heaney calls him "a hearer and heartener” - launches his new book The Hidden World of Poetry: Unravelling Celtic Mythology in Contemporary Irish Poetry.

An exploration of Celtic culture – gods, heroes and folklore – and its continuing role in shaping Ireland’s identity in the 21st Century, it features poems by Patricia Monaghan, Paul Muldoon, Maurice Riordan, Eavan Boland, Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, Nuala Ni Dhomhnail, Bernard O’Donoghue, Paul Durcan, Derek Mahon, Mary O’Malley, Paula Meehan, Leanne O’Sullivan and many more.

Go to Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street Cork at 3pm. And this event is free with music.

More details here https://www.facebook.com/events/477248185722467/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Freight Books: Just Our Type

Those nice people from Freight Books who also produce the inestimable Gutter Magazine have decided to run a monthly series on fonts.

Yes. Fonts

p&g woke up this good news and better still the first one is out now...

Every month Freight aims to give you a preview of one of our designer's favourite fonts. This week David Benjamin brings you...

You can find the first of the series and much other Freight-themed information here http://freightbooks.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/just-our-type.html

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Catchment workshops

Poet Fiona Russell runs a series of workshops in connection with the Catchment project in which she worked with four visual artists to explore

… the Urr Water in Galloway ...from the uplands
around Loch Urr, through the woodland gorges beyond Corsock and
the fertile grasslands around Haugh of Urr, to the meanders which pass
around the old harbours of Dalbeattie and Palnackie, out to Kippford and
Rockcliffe, fishing villages transformed by visitors and sailing boats, to
the tidal estuary, islands, and the grandeur of the Solway Firth.

Saturday 30 November 1.30 – 4pm Inspiration:

Participants will be encouraged to enjoy writing about the themes covered
by the exhibition from exercises given by writer Fiona Russell. Explore new
ways to increase your writing repertoire with an experienced and award winning
D&G writer. Please bring notebook and pen.

Other dates (different but connected workshops and a break from holiday preparations):

  • Saturday 14 December 1.30 – 4pm
  • Wednesday 18th December 7.30 – 8.30pm

You can find out more here http://www.dumgal.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2333&contactid=3623

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Shortbread for Saturday

Been doing some work on how recipes resemble mnemonics and poetry in form, even nursery rhymes. More on this later. In the meantime as it is the weekend, it seems a good opportunity to publish a good shortbread recipe from the Edinburgh Book of Plain Cookery Recipes 1932 (originally the School Cookery Book of 1879 compiled by Miss C.E. Guthrie Wright.)

As cooked by p&g for many years with great success...

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Un crucero a las Islas Galápagos

Tony Frazer - to whom we send a big shout for publishing Spanish language poetry - from Shearsman is publishing this book from Antonio Cisneros the Peruvian poet who died last year: this is a bilingual edition too - thank you...this is what we like at p&g - and translated by William Rowe.

Shearsman describe it this way: and for a change I will include this in total because the book sounds irresistible

A Cruise to the Galapagos Islands was the last book published by Antonio Cisneros. The book has the subtitle, New Marian Songs (nuevos cantos marianos) and consists of 25 prose poems that invoke the Virgin as protector in danger, not in order to escape from fear but so as to traverse the zones of greatest anxiety, without turning the gaze away from catastrophe. The themes of shipwreck, illness, and death occur alongside intense alertness of the skin to the prick of an insulin injection, the feel of salt on things that flash through the slit of a skirt, or the body sensitized to the prickle of a woolly blanket on a hot night. This absolute physical aliveness causes the image of the Virgin to give way to a shipwrecked man’s vision of a bar with pints of beer coming towards him over the sea.

More from Shearsman and you can buy the book here http://www.shearsman.com/pages/books/catalog/2013/cisneros.html and find out more about Cisneros here http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Cisneros

Calling Spanish English translators, Cisneros has only in a stub on Wiki in English - p&g will try and get round to translating the substantial Spanish entry for him but busy over here at the moment so good oppportunity for our collection of geeks to try their hand at wiki-ing in the cause of poetry

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Welcome Moldova

These days we have had visitors from all across the world.

But today we are delighted to welcome a new visitor from Moldova.

Stamp of Moldova 107.gif

Enjoy p&g. "...a strange and wonderful online place..."

Scottish Borders Poets' Showcase 26th November 2013

Borders poets read in the magnificent library (and it is) at Walter Scott's Abbotsford for what we hope is the start of a new series of readings in a house built on poetry.

The event starts at 7pm. £7.50 for adults, £5.00 for under 17s.

Five poets read in this first Abbotsford showcase of contemporary Borders writing, organized by CABN in partnership with Abbotsford House and the Scottish Poetry Library. Admission includes a glass of wine and you can buy books too.

The poets invited to take part are: Anita JohnLaurna RobertsonJulian Colton, Stuart Delves and p&g's own Bridget Khursheed (reading some Abbotsford poems).

More information available here http://www.cabn.info/events-talks/scottish-borders-poets-showcase.html and here http://www.scottsabbotsford.co.uk/whats-on

Don't forget to look for the hedgehog

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


The whole Venn Diagram thing struck a few people on Twitter yesterday making it our fastest most popular post ever (although not our most popular post that is still for many of you the inimitable http://poetandgeek.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/auction-chant-as-poetic-form.html).

Anyway here is an autumnal garnering of the Twitter fields this morning:

And in answer to this question,

Obviously the answer is yes.

We liked this one best though:

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Analysis of Keat's To Autumn

We have chosen to use a Venn Diagram.

You can make up your own mind below.

To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
   Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
   With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
   And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
      To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
   With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
      For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
   Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
   Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
   Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
      Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
   Steady thy laden head across a brook;
   Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
      Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
   Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
   And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
   Among the river sallows, borne aloft
      Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
   Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
   The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
      And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
John Keats 1819

For the record, robins at this time of year are often in breeding plumage and quite loud. But perhaps they fell quiet in homage to Keats...

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Call for poetry: Fragments and the Hawick Missal

Fragments: music, movement, and memory in a Borders landscape is a two year arts and music project based in the Scottish Borders and inspired by the discovery of the Hawick Missal fragment, a 12th century medieval manuscript. The Project aims to reconnect with the fragment’s original aspiration and explore the very simple but compelling idea of the expression of the divine in the 21st century.

The project is seeking writers interested in contributing responses to the story of the Missal fragment, its music and the object itself. The resulting work will be published on the Fragments website and a selection chosen for an illustrated book that will be displayed and archived with the Missal fragment itself in the Heritage Hub in Hawick.

The creative writing project kicks off with a workshop on 30th November 2013 in Hawick and Melrose learning more from experts about the Missal fragment and Abbey life; a further workshop in mid-January will allow writers to refine plans and meet the illustrators of their work. A third meeting will review and finalise work received. It is considered essential that participating writers attend workshops. (Transport will be provided between Hawick and Melrose at the November meeting; but bring a packed lunch.)

The deadline for completed work is the end of February 2014.

If you are interested in taking part in this unique project, contact Bridget Khursheed on bk [at] khursheed.co.uk

More information is available here: http://www.fragmentsproject.co.uk/

About the Project
The project is creating new art and music through a network of composers, musicians, singers, community groups and other collaborators and individuals throughout the Scottish Borders.

Central to the project is a series of three public events, which each feature a newly commissioned piece of music, all directly inspired by the original music of the Missal fragment.  The first two events in the trilogy took place at Jedburgh and Kelso Abbeys over the summer of 2013 and featured music from a young composer Sean Doherty and the award winning international composer Michael Nyman.  The project will reach its conclusion with the final event in the trilogy, entitled Fragments of Red: the last song, at Melrose Abbey in April 2014.

The project is a partnership between Historic Scotland and the Heritage Hub in Hawick supported with funding from Creative Scotland.

Making Buildings out of Gods & Glue Edinburgh, Scotland 11th November 2013

Best new book title I have heard in ages!

Kevin Cadwallender launches his new book from Red Squirrel Press at the McDonald Road Library just off Leith Walk (close to poet&geek centrale).

6pm onwards.

More information here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_Ary9oatZ8 or here http://www.redsquirrelpress.com/SquirrelEvent.html

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Beautiful books 05

A mournful cover for this volume of Irish-inspired and other poems by C Day Lewis.

Surprisingly light use over 40 years or so in the Borders library system...

All Souls' Night. Soon closing time will clear
a space for silence, last cars climb towards Kent
throbbing like wind-torn snatches of lament.
Où sont des morts les phrases familières
from All Souls' Night

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Poster poems


The UK newspaper The Guardian invites you to write poems about the bad guys or gals this November.

"...big names from history, or it may be that you have your own Bertran de Born you want to excoriate, the choice is yours."

Find out more and contribute here http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2013/nov/01/poster-poems-villains-billy-mills

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Issue 7 poetandgeek.com out now

Lucky 7!

Cross over into the world of poetandgeek.com featuring new international poetry from Joan McNerney, Paul Tristram, Daniel Roy Connelly, Maeve Henry, Yann Rousselot, Fanni Suto, Marc Carver, Thomas Clark, Sheree Mack, Rafa Ayala in translation by Roger Hickin, Jane Aldous, Michael Lee Johnson, Sara Clark, Sye Sanders. And the alt-interview is back with the fearless Andrew Forster and Andrew Fisher.

Read more here http://www.poetandgeek.com/issue7/issue07.html

Return of the alt-interview

Issue 7 is due out and we are glad to say that the alt-interview is back.

If you haven't come across this form of interview before, it is an anti-interview technique. The interviewees make their choice from a selection of (quite) random questions. The aim is to uncover information about them that a more familiar method would leave untouched. In issue 7 poet Andrew Forster and scrabble champion Andrew Fisher take the challenge.

Let us know if you want to...

Previous alt-interviewees include poet Peter Hughes and art taxidermist David Blyth.

You can read them here http://www.poetandgeek.com/issue1/issue01.html

Monday, 28 October 2013

Poetry by Heart October 30th 2013 Leeds England

Another great event in Leeds. This advertises itself with pictures of cakes; Shore Poets in Edinburgh being the main cake-led performance venue for poetry that p&g has encountered previously, we can vouch that pictures of cakes guarantee a good night out.

I know: I have eaten the lemon cake.

Plus the pleasure of hearing work from Pat Borthwick, Oz Hardwick,  Alistair Noon,  Joanna SedgwickAdam Strickson and Noel Whittall. But maybe not in that order.

Where? Heart, Bennett Road, Headingley,, LS6 3HN Leeds. Turn up from 7.30pm. Free admission.

A lot more information available here https://www.facebook.com/events/325806820897174/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming&suggestsessionid=b670408c8ae16ec842bde181c0ad3661

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Call for radio poetry

Radio Wildfire want your stuff.

During this October they have broadcast:
  • poetry and spoken word with music and soundscape from The Little Typists (England), Stephen Mead (New York), the duo Kinsame (France), Huw Parsons and his collaborators (Wales) and Albarz (England).
  • poetry unaccompanied from Sarah James and Sarah Harrison.
  • Roy Mcfarlane's poetry group collaboration with Jean Binta Breeze.

You could be next. Get over to http://www.radiowildfire.com/submit/ to find out how.

Day of the Dead poems

A little early to be sure but poetry is bound up with Mexican celebrations of the Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead.

This runs from the 31st October to the 2nd November connecting with the Christian festival time of Hallowmas. That is the day before All Hallows (Hallowe'en), All Hallows or All Saints itself and All Souls.

Catrinas 2.jpg

Me muero todos los días...Julie Sopetrán

You can find out more here http://www.dayofthedead.com/poemas

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Kent & Sussex Poetry Society Open Competition 2014

The time of year when my thoughts turn to Sussex.

There is actually plenty of time to enter as the deadline is 31st January 2014. Poet Pascale Petit judges and she will read all the submissions. A good thing.

Full details are here http://kentandsussexpoetry.com/the-kent-sussex-poetry-society-open-competition/

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Call for poetry poetandgeek.com Issue 8

p&g are opening the call for poetry for Issue 8 due out in May 2014.

Full details on www.poetandgeek.com where co-incidentally the many pleasured harvest of p&g Issue 7 will be also brought to fruition shortly.

Poetandgeek.com competition 2013 results

Many congratulations to the winner of this year's poetry competition:

Joan McNerney (USA) for her poem Lost landscape. The judge's notes commended the poem's strong central metaphor, command of form and material both lyrically and in a manner reminiscent of Robert Frost "satisfyingly enigmatic".

The runners-ups are as follows:

Rafael Ayala Paez/Roger Hickin translation (Venezuela/New Zealand) - Impressions

Sheree Mack (UK) - Leaving home

The competition was judged by Scottish poet Andrew McCallum.

You can read all poems in Issue 7 - out soon - of poetandgeek.com.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Owl poetry

We have discussed the experimental sounds of zebra finches.

Now learn about tracking a new owl species by sound recording work. Joyous work in the Al Hajar mountains of Oman.

You can read the story here http://soundapproach.co.uk/node/1413 and in more measured tones here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strix_omanensis

The dark will

And while we are on the dark side. How about taking a look at Neon magazine?

Image by Matthew Basham

They describe themselves as having "particular taste for the apocalyptic".

Try submitting. The policy is as follows:

Neon is based in the UK, and is published online and in print every quarter. We publish writers from anywhere in the world, and everything we publish is available for free online (although we are very happy when readers donate or buy print copies, as it helps us keep on publishing).

More information and the lovely online magazine to look at here http://www.neonmagazine.co.uk/

The Dark Would launch, Manchester, England 16th October 2013

Experimental poetry showing for one night only. The intriguing tagline for the launch of The Dark Would (yes, the title is great!) anthology, with Jo Langton, Mike Chavez-Dawson and Nigel Wood.

This is on Wednesday. Yes. This Wednesday.

Other Room 41

Free at The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LE from 7.00 pm.

More information available here http://otherroom.org/

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Black Middens

New Writing Scotland 31 is out. A large and beautiful anthology, it is crammed with good poems and writing featuring many of the poets who have appeared in p&g.

We recommend it: just look at the cover for a start. (Although don't judge it from that alone...obviously.)

You can purchase the book and much else here http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/scotlit/asls/NWS31.html

Friday, 4 October 2013

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Poetry house 04

Dichter haus. The small house purchased by Annette von Droste-Hülshoff (1797-1848). An Emily Dickinson-like figure with a huge reach across German poetry and a modern uneasy sensibility coupled with natural writing of great precision. Unlike Emily she actually published to enough acclaim to acquire this retreat.

Der Weiher

Er liegt so still im Morgenlicht,
So friedlich, wie ein fromm Gewissen;
Wenn Weste seinen Spiegel küssen,
Des Ufers Blume fühlt es nicht;
Libellen zittern über ihn,
Blaugoldne Stäbchen und Karmin,
Und auf des Sonnenbildes Glanz
Die Wasserspinne führt den Tanz;
Schwertlilienkranz am Ufer steht
Und horcht des Schilfes Schlummerliede;
Ein lindes Säuseln kommt und geht,
Als flüstre's: Friede! Friede! Friede! -

The man-made pond

It is so quiet in the morning light,
as relaxed as a religious conscience;
When the west wind kisses his reflection
the shore flower does not feel it;
Dragonflies tremble at him,
blue gold carmine rods.
And the image of the sun shines on.
The water spider leads the dance;
Iris in wreaths stand on the shore
And listen to a lullaby of reeds,
the linden sigh comes and goes,
murmuring Peace! Peace! Peace!
(Translated by Bridget Khursheed)

More on Droste-Hülshoff.here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annette_von_Droste-H%C3%BClshoff

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Poetic gumbo open mic Charlotte USA 12th October 2013

Be the seasoning for a night of poetic gumbo with poets, singers and musicians. Open mic in Charlotte and you can be there. This event is hosted by the ever charismatic poet, James MrSpeaker Sears.


Admission only $5 and it is a BYOB. This event starts at 8pm and goes till late. The event is sponsored by a cookery company and we are pondering on the implications of that. And plan on recreating that kind of connection in the world of p&g (feeling hungry already).

More information on the event here https://www.facebook.com/events/554991651239102/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

Memories of the Future 2013

This event is billed as an analogue meets digital popup event and it looks cool.

p&g has happy memories of visiting Nottingham for an online writing conference in the late 90s so these dudes should know their stuff. No poetry as such but then you and I know that is not necessarily the truth...

8th October until the 12th in The Corner, 8 Stoney Street, NG1 1LH Nottingham, England. We particularly like the sound of the mini 3 seat cinema for moving image work (fiction, docs, music videos & more).

More details available here http://beesmakehoneycc.com/motf/

Translation Idol 2013

Our favourite translation crossover talent contest is back again after a year break.

We recommend you stroll down and enjoy the competition on the 3rd October at Alte Kantine Wedding, Uferstrasse 8-11, 13357 Berlin (Wedding) from 8pm. Previous events featuring Ron Winkler, Selim Özdogan, Jan Böttcher and Verena Rossbacher showcased translation submissions from around the globe. Not poetry this year but we can cope with that.

There is still just about time to enter too. But deadline is tomorrow 30th September 2013.

You can find out the full details here https://www.facebook.com/events/207819692727946/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Poetandgeek.com competition 2013 shortlist

Many congratulations to our shortlisted poets for the 2013 poetry competition.

They are as follows:

  • Rafael Ayala Paez/Roger Hickin translation (Venezuela/New Zealand) - Impressions
  • Joan McNerney (USA)- Lost landscape
  • Sheree Mack (UK) - Leaving home

Results coming early October and all poems will appear in Issue 7 of poetandgeek.com.

The competition is being judged by Scottish poet Andrew McCallum: you can read his blog enchevêtrements here http://andramccallum2013.wordpress.com/

Andrew McCallum was born in Wellhead Farm Cottage, just outside Cleghorn, brought up in Carnwath, far frae his hame did wander on reaching his majority, and – after an absence of 25 years – bides back in Biggar, where he can see from his bedroom window, in a cleuch of the Hartree Hills, the farm cottage under the roof-tree of which his mother was born; a circumstance from which, being fond of circles and the completion thereof, he derives great satisfaction. He scribbles poetry, which has been reluctantly and against his better judgement published in twa-three magazines and a wheen o anthologies in Britain and America. He was a long time Secretary of Biggar Museum Trust’s Brownsbank Committee, which sponsors the Brownsbank Writing Fellowship, and convenor of Biggar Writers’ Group.

Monday, 23 September 2013

In memory of Kofi Awoonor

Kofi Awoonor (1935- 2013) Ghanaian academic, theatre manager, politician, poet and story teller died on Saturday in Nairobi. He was due to perform at the Storymoja Hay Festival later that day. Awoonor, who first published in the 60s, suffered imprisonment in the 70s on treason charges but overcame to serve his country as an ambassador and renowned poet.

...We shall die on the battlefield
We shall like death at no other place,
Our guns shall die with us
And our sharp knives shall perish with us
We shall die on the battlefield.
(extract from the Song of War)

A writer, politician and traditionalist with great wit, sense of humour and very well-spoken. He will be sorely missed. John Mahama

You can find out more about Awoonor here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kofi_Awoonor

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Walking with Gerry Loose

There is about a week left to share some time with poet Gerry Loose down at Dawyck Botanic Gardens near Peebles in Scotland. He will be there until the end of September.

The gardens are full of the sugar and spicy smells of evergreen trees, the high quiet repetitive call of goldcrests (I saw a family working the branches together overhead) and when I visited the omnipresent sounds of the Scrape Burn after heavy rain the day before. Not to mention the jewel like blusher mushrooms I thought were a precious stone caught in the stones of the path.

Find out more about what is happening on Gerry's blog here http://walkingwithpoets.com/

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Last call for poetry www.poetandgeek.com Issue 7

It is almost that time again.

We need your poetry for Issue 7. Send us your contribution now before day end 30th September 2013.

Check out previous editions of the magazine at www.poetandgeek.com. (Yes - it is easy as that. Fill us up.  Much cheaper than gas...)

And btw p&g competition 2013 news coming soon

Split Screen, London, England 11th October 2013

And while we are talking about the South Bank here is another fine offering.

Split Screen: Poetry Inspired by Film & Television

After more than a year of touring the provinces and poetry festivals, Split Screen finally washes up here. An evening of poetry inspired by movies and television from the anthology published by Red Squirrel Press.

Hosted by editor Andy Jackson, tonight's line-up include the wonderful Brian Johnstone, Dzifa Benson, Naomi Woddis, Paul McGrane, Helen Ivory, Martin Figura, Ira Lightman, and the inimitable Sally Evans. Poems will range from The Sweeney to The Clangers. What - as they say - is not to like. And you can go on the Tube and cross over that river in London too.

Tickets £8 from the Southbank Centre box office. The event runs from 7pm until 9pm. Enjoy!

More information available here https://www.facebook.com/events/290941471047500/?notif_t=plan_user_invited