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

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

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

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 and find out more about Cisneros here

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 and here

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

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]

More information is available here:

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 or here

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