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/