Thursday, 27 June 2013

Pioneer of sign poetry

Dorothy (‘Dot’) Miles (1931 – 1993) was a renowned Deaf poet and activist who developed the concept of sign language poetry: a key figure in the literary heritage of sign language and the Deaf community.

You can view her work here and find out more about her here

Metaphor in Creative Sign Language project

If your appetite has been whetted by Johanna Mesch's work in sign language poetry - here is the Bristol University project. There is a collation of films plus a lot more information about the sign poets.

You can view the complete archive here

Sign language poetry

Johanna Mesch is an academic and poet working in Sweden at Stockholm University. The poetry project was a collaboration with Bristol University looking at Metaphor in creative sign language.

You can watch her sign language poem Party along with other examples here

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Pushkin's babushka

I love this story - about time Europe and Australasia got in on the poetry idol act. YouTube competition, hot poets, a crime against stereotypes! Young poets again this time 18 to 25 years old...


The Moscow Times says "Unless you have travelled forward in time from the beginning of the 20th century, writing rhymes might not seem like the hippest thing to do. Such an old-fashioned skill probably won't even get you a date."

Strange it has always got poetandgeek one!

More information here and here

More young poets

Enter this competition and see how you fare...if Vivienne Westwood doesn't want you, who cares. Anyone anywhere in the world can enter but you need to write in English.

Full details available here

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Well festival of literature poetry competition 2013

Wells in Somerset, England is a beautiful town with a striking cathedral outside of which poetandgeek once purchased some long-lasting walking socks in an open-air market. Good on many levels.

Have a bash at this poetry competition - only £5 a shot and deadline is 31st July - while you are hunting up the cathedral on wikipedia. The scissor arches are well worth a look.

More details here

Friday, 21 June 2013

In the textile gallery

This poem was written in the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) where there is a display on Dr Schunk and other eminent Victorian dye chemists. Good stuff. The poem was first published in Iota.

Before you read it, or after - go and sign the petition to save the museum here

In the textile gallery

Some of the substances contained in lichen
make bright dye; brush past a lily’s stamen
and your shirt is streaked with red and orange
showing against nap or strong pattern.

In Schunk’s laboratory, flowers grew on desks,
grasses twisted in the many-drawered chests
and, one corner set aside, the place for cotton.
Each strand dropped in a vial specked with forgotten
leaves, stalks, shellfish, reeds and rock
that he hauled back into a finely written log.

Colours the clothmen fought to use in their design
resplendent in granny’s cover for chaise longue
and pelmet. Fabrics that still give me a pang
stretched in ranks of glass case and machine.

  © Bridget Khursheed

MOSI and the thistledown coat

Paid a return visit to the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) while in Manchester doing geeky stuff last week. Hung out in the textile gallery of which more above. This museum is a must for poets with a techie interest.

Example 1: the thistledown coat (detail)

How was it made? How could it be made? And here is a little bit of Shakespeare in the middle of the machine floor. And I am sure that is how it was in the beautiful minds who worked there...not all  misery but also power. The treadle bending to the imagination.

More about MOSI here (full details of a seismic sound installation on the 30th June next week too).

And how it is under threat - how can this be? - here

Peaseblossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustardseed!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Vivienne Westwood wants your poetry

And good on her! We like her thinking. Poetry to change the world.

You get the chance to:

  • get into a masterclass led by "contemporary poets" to workshop stuff.
  • record your poems at The Premises solar-powered 'A' Studio in London.
  • do a portrait shoot - presumably as a subject.
  • Perform to a celebrity audience at a special poetry reading hosted by Westwood at Keats' house. Keats is on your side obviously.

The project is the subject of a film too.

The Climate Revolution Project is open to all poets aged 17-21 living in London (or able to blag this part in some way - don't be put off - not suggesting you blag the young part obviously). The application process closes on Monday  24 June 2013.   SO be quick! (Sorry I was in Manchester! What do you expect! Up to date information! You see this - you go for it - that is the way life is. Don't think. Apply!)

Westwood founded the Climate Revolution to "encourage people to take action on climate change and to save our future by doing simple things in their daily lives that can make a difference, like signing a petition to Save the Arctic and the Rainforests and to limiting consumption; ‘buy less, choose well, make it last’." And also to write poetry. Good stuff.

More here

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Bewick walks to Scotland

And so our trio of related posts is complete with the title of Sally Evans' study on Thomas Bewick based on his stravaig of 1776.

The cover of 'Bewick Walks To Scotland'

The book is available for a mere £7 published by Arrowhead Press in 2004. I have a copy and it is well worth it.

More here and more on Sally herself and her latest ebook Poetic adventures in Scotland here

I hope the road will follow this river's
wooded otter pools.

 (from Sally Evans' Bewick poem Langham)

Lit & Phil

This looks a dead cool place - as mentioned in our previous post - and I immediately want to visit it.

Sadly I am speaking at a conference in Manchester (oh Manchester, so much to answer for) on Thursday and cannot make it. But I am imagine that on my next pilgrimage to Ponteland and Newcastle this ancient subscription library will be high on my list. Not least because the engraver Thomas Bewick - the poetic subject of Poetry Scotland editor Sally Evans - was once a member.

More on the glorious book matrix here

Mexico meets the North East Newcastle, England 13th June 2013

Readings from the Special North East issues of The Ofi from The Ofi Press Mexico with poets including Josephine Scott, Sheree Mack, Pippa Little, Bob Beagrie.

Our Presidents' Board

At just The Lit and Phil, 23 Westgate Road, NE1 1SE Newcastle upon Tyne, (not far from the fabled Ponteland where poetandgeek sometimes roams the supermarkets looking for footballer's mothers...).  This event may be free.

More information here and here on the Ofi Press

Sunday, 9 June 2013

RSPB and The Rialto Nature Poetry Competition 2013

It is now open and it combines a magazine we enjoy and admire with ornithology.

Good prizes starting from a grand and a personal tour of wild East Anglia with Mark Cocker may also rock your boat. Ruth Padel judges this year and will read all the poems entered in the competition.

The entry fee is £6 for the first poem and £3 for each subsequent entry.
You can find more here

Monday, 3 June 2013

Abbotsford reopens

Walter Scott's house due to unlock its doors to the public again on the 4th July 2013.

Abbotsford Morris edited.jpg

Everything old will be new.

Find out more here