Thursday, 28 August 2014

Literature across Frontiers in Georgia

Most intriguing translation event in Georgia between the 9th – 14th September 2014.

Poets and translators from Georgia and the UK gather in Tbilisi for an intensive week of literary translation aiming to produce quality English translations of 6 Georgian poets: Rati Amaglobeli, Shota Iatashvili, Gaga Nakhutsvrishvili, Lela Samniashvili and Maya Sarishvili.  The work of the late poet and musician Irakli Charkviani will also be translated.

ირაკლი ჩარკვიანი, უკანასკნელ წლებში ჩამოყალიბებული იმიჯით

Thanks to Bill Herbert for bringing this and Literature across Frontiers, a European funded Welsh-based project which aims to develop intercultural dialogue through literature and translation and highlight lesser-translated literatures to our attention.

Full details here

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Submissions for issue 9

There is about a month left now to submit your work.The deadline this time is the 30th September 2014.

Thanks to all of you who have submitted already - we appreciate it and apologise again if you are waiting for a confirmation.We don't do things like that. Can't. But we will try and get back to you in October promptly once the deadline has passed.

Hope to hear from the rest of you soon!

You can take a look at past issues and find out how to submit here

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The Flambard Prize 2014

Just a little bit of time to enter this competition which commemorates the achievements of the fabulous Flambard Press - publishers of Peter Bennet amongst others - and Peter is one of the judges too along with Gladys Mary Coles.

First prize £1000 - read the small print though:

The Flambard Prize will be awarded annually to the best group of five poems submitted by a poet who has not yet published a single-authored pamphlet or collection.

Deadline is 1st September 2014 so not joking about the need to get your skates on.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Launching NEU! REEKIE! PUBLISHING #1 Edinburgh, Scotland 21st August 2014

Don't miss! Short notice but an opportunity to see Douglas Dunn reading is worth taking.

Our inimitable friends at N!R! are launching their publishing arm and you can also see poet and novelist Jenni Fagan, and hosts and co-founders Michael Pedersen and Kevin Williamson. Expect words, music and if you are lucky a raffle of the absurd...

20:30–21:30 at the Edinburgh International Book Festival
Charlotte Square Gardens, EH2 4DR Edinburgh. Allow plenty of time because Edinburgh is busy! (Plus I am informed there is a chance of rain - the question is....when isn't there?) Tickets £10 and less.

Find out more here and tickets here


Sunday, 17 August 2014

World poetry open mic 22nd August 2014

This sounds a good idea. Simply call in to share your poetry or if you prefer listen to amazing poets. The show is hosted by poets J Todd Underhill and Michael Amadei and JT Gunter.

WPOM describes itself as:

a radio show dedicated to you, the poet. We realize that poetry is a form of expression, scratch that..actually, more of an obsession to many around the world. To this end, we have created this show to give poets a venue to have their work heard. Our mission is to build the international community of poets into a thriving group that both creates incredibly poetry but also helps each other rise to new heights. 

Details are ring on 720-240-9766 - US number so maybe there are ways for people outside US to join - Skype? podcast? sound file? The event is from 20:00–22:00 in MDT.

You can find out more about this event here and here

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

1814 year of Waverley - Walter Scott in context

A very nice book on Scott crossed our path today here at p&g. The kind of book Scott enthusiasts have been waiting for.
It is by Christopher Harvie and he describes some talks he is giving below: if you don't know Scots - Chris says he'll be speaking in English too.
Tales o' anither Grandfaither, Chris Harvie an his Chapbuiks: he’ll tell ye three tales aboot Sir Walter an oor Borderland, tho he’s a kynd chiel, an they’re no aa in the auld tung! An there’s rhyme an (un)reason forbye. 
  • At eleven i the forenoon, young Walter’s borderland, his faimly an freens
  •  Twae efter noon, the stations o’ WAVERLEY, when Charlie cam tae Selkirk
  •  Thrie, afore tea, hoo Sir Walter took on the warld, no tae speak o Boney!
You can catch Christopher Harvie's talks at Abbotsford - the home of Walter Scott (i the Gift-hoose …as Harvie puts it)- where he will be signing books on the 17th August 2014. They also have an archery competition. Nice stuff. Scott virtually invented Robin Hood as we know him today.

And btw if you haven't found us on Twitter yet - it is @poetandgeek

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Zaffar Kunial and John Glenday reading Edinburgh 23rd October 2014

A grand night out in the company of the two poets - topping my current want-to-hear list - courtesy of the Scottish Poetry Library and The Wordsworth Trust (at which Kunial is currently Poet-in-Residence). And as suggested by

Zaffar Kunial is also a Faber New Poet for 2014. John Glenday needs little introduction: his collections Undark and Grain were Poetry Book Society Recommendations. (btw when is someone going to republish his excellent The Apple Ghost?)

This event takes place at 6.30pm at the Scottish Poetry Library - found at 5 Crichton’s Close, Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DT. And you need to book a ticket. Price is £5/£4 (concessions) - this intriguing meeting of poets will be well worth it!

You can find more here and book

Friday, 8 August 2014

Searching for the sons of poet Leslie Reid

Thank you so much to everyone who has been helping us return Leslie Reid's poetry legacy to his sons over the past 24 hours. Help has come from around the globe including much appreciated backing from poets Judith Taylor and Jane Aldous and from Don Share the editor of Poetry magazine.

Leslie Reid in Columbus, Ohio with Bridget Khursheed and Srimati Basu 1990

Although we have had some leads, but we haven't yet found Lez's sons and are relying on your help to do so. Thanks to those of you who have put us in touch with the local Devon press. And as suggested, here is a picture of Leslie Reid the year before he died - probably at a similar age to his sons Joseph Reid and Duncan Reid. Perhaps this will help jog memories.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Poetic inheritance in a Marks and Spencer bag

Can you help restore poetry to its rightful owners?

A friend of ours has been in touch with a bag of poems written by Leslie Trevor Reid (April 11th 1964 - January 30th 1991). Leslie was a warm and gifted poet with a unique voice - compared to John Skelton by American poetry professor David Citino - who grew up in Oxford later working as a bricklayer but also spent time attending classes at Ohio State University, USA. Leslie died tragically young in a car accident. He had just started publishing but, in the days before social media has left little trace except for a poetic inheritance in an M&S bag.

At the time of his death, his two sons Joseph and Duncan were very small and went to live with their mother Kay in Brixham in Devon. All contact was lost and the poems were put into storage in the Scottish Borders. These young boys will now be in their late twenties. And probably have little knowledge of what their Dad wrote or created.

Can you help return the poems - some of which concern them directly - and Lez's picture as shown to its rightful owners? Get in touch in the usual way.

And thanks. It is about time.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Holiday writing

There is a lot to choose from. In fact a possibly overwhelming choice! But how do you make sure you return from your writing holiday satisfied and stimulated?

Don't learn the hard way: here are some things to consider...

  1. What do you want to achieve? This should be your first step before you even glimpse a brochure. Somewhere sunny or a stunningly interesting tutor won't work unless it fits your writing objective. Of course, I am tempted to put in one of p&g's famous charts or ranges here but it is not that simple. Your goal is the first decision to make and then work from there.
  2. Do you want to finish something? Inexperienced or old hand, if you have something you want to work on and finish then you need time and peace - a course on a particular topic is going to grate. Even if it appears to fit with what you are doing closely, it is likely to leave you feeling deflated and worse, hard done by. The tutor, and participants, will be telling you to edit (it is in their nature) before you have even had the chance to explore your ideas. In this case, look for some creative space and quiet; editing can wait!
  3. Close study - take a good look at the course on offer; for example at Arvon (in the UK) or the like wherever you are. Perhaps there is an aspect of your work you want to improve; or you have work you want to edit. Look for a course that helps you achieve that, Remember too that it is not all about you, you will have to consider and talk to other people. Rewards can be a huge step forward in a short space of time. It may also be worth considering whether you want to spend your downtime in rural quiet or whether all this creativity requires a bit of intense urban nightlife every evening. (The latter option may put paid to the long evening talks which can be half the fun of these courses.)
  4. Inspiration - well this is just fun, you can go to Morocco, Seoul, the Pyrenees, a ranch or on a canal boat; or sit at the feet of your particular poet guide - relax and inhale deeply and see what happens!
  5. You have a deadline? Take it from me, this isn't a holiday - it is work. So get your stuff done and then take a restorative break...see above.