Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Welcome @zoomorphic

Enjoy the first issue of Zoomorphic! Poetry, polemic, fiction, nature writing isn't the whole story... editors poet Susan Richardson and writer James Roberts publish writing in celebration and defence of animals and this is an online magazine of high ambition, fine work and gorgeous graphics.

“Until the lion has its praise singer, the tale of the hunt will only be told by the hunter”
Maasai Proverb

Zoomorphic describes itself:

...a new magazine dedicated to writing that deepens our connection with wildlife and the more-than-human world. A new issue every month online containing short and in-depth prose pieces and a selection of poetry plus a yearly printed anthology highlighting the best work published here on the site; ...we aim over time to become an established indie publisher of printed and e-book non-fiction, fiction and poetry titles celebrating animals.

You can find the very beautiful issue 1 here http://zoomorphic.net/

Monday, 18 May 2015

Keith Douglas hard to find poetry

Keith Douglas (1920 - 1944) was an English poet and soldier. He was killed in action during the Normandy invasion in World War Two. There is readily available criticism of Douglas online but not so much poetry. 

His splendid poem The Marvel below is referenced only in quotes so I have added it here. Its direct language and observation is counterpointed by Douglas' metaphysical, intelligent and slyly humorous reading of the scene.

The marvel

A baron of the sea, the great tropic
swordfish, spreadeagled on the thirsty deck
where sailors killed him, in the bright Pacific

yielded to the sharp enquiring blade
the eye which guided him and found his prey
in the dim place where he was lord.

Which is an instrument forged in semi-darkness;
yet taken from the corpse of this strong traveller
becomes a powerful enlarging glass

reflecting the unusual sun's heat.
With it a sailor writes on the hot wood
the name of the harlot in his last port.

For it is one most curious device
of many, kept by the interesting waves
for I suppose the querulous soft voice

of mariners who rotted into ghosts
digested by the gluttonous tides
could recount many. Let them be your hosts

and take you where their forgotten ships lie
with fishes going over tall masts -
all this emerges from the burning eye.

And to engrave that word the sun goes through
with the power of the sea
writing her name and a marvel too.

More on Keith Douglas can be found here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Douglas and four of his poems appear in Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney's well-known 1982 anthology The Rattle Bag.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Roads to Yair launch @khursheb 17th May 2015 Darnick, Scotland

Bridget Khursheed p&g editor is launching her book of Border poems Roads to Yair in Darnick, Scotland tomorrow.

The event is held in Smith Memorial Hall, it is free plus nice food and a reading from Bridget - there will be a chance to buy the book. 2.30pm - 4pm.

Bridget has an interesting reputation for her readings as shown by this tweet from her recent appearance at Edinburgh International Science Festival.

 More information about the event is available here https://www.facebook.com/events/625793937522652/625798447522201/ and more information about the book and how to buy it here http://twinlawpublishing.co.uk/

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Search for BBC Scotland's first poet in residence starts now

YouTube not doing it for you? Want some more on-screen/on-air time - take a look at this unique opportunity with BBC Scotland across the range of its programming.

Applications to poetinresidencescotland@bbc.co.uk by 5pm on Friday 12th of June.  This project is a collaboration with the Scottish Poetry Library and begins in October 2015 to coincide with National Poetry Day 2015. And it is paid.

More information here https://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/connect/blog/could-you-be-bbc-scotlands-first-poet-residence and here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4NL6MvzBVQZgYPYRcldT44s/bbc-scotlands-poet-in-residence-opportunity

Monday, 11 May 2015

Welcome to Issue 10 p&g

Yes we have reached double figures with this - the bijou issue - and yet our biggest concern remains our folder naming convention on reaching this milestone.

Fabulous poetry awaits...p&g is a many faceted jewel... Andrew McCallum finds his wealth in the hills and an apple orchard; Dorian Rolston considers alternative settings; Jonah Semple shines like a diamond for a stranger; Ian C Smith and Craig Spence search for treasure while there is a little bit of alchemy from Thomas Clark; and John Quinn wonders if all that glistens.

Ed Waverley of course looks outside the box...

Plus new poems and artwork from Stephen Daniels, Phil WoodNeila Mezynski and Bridget Khursheed. And talented translator Thomas Clark also does the technical bit...

X marks the spot...

Read p&g Issue 10 here http://www.poetandgeek.com/magindex.html

Sunday, 10 May 2015

poetandgeek Issue 10 due out soon

Enjoying the moment of putting it together right now. New work from Andrew McCallum, Ian C Smith and Thomas Clark. And so much more...

Here is a little taster translated by Thomas Clark. More very soon - watch this space http://www.poetandgeek.com.

The Frogmore Poetry Prize 2015

The closing date for this one is 31st May - and it is easy to overlook because of the prestigious (and large-prized) Bridport Prize that closes the same day. With a bit of good planning you still have time to enter both.

NB good planning is key as this is a postal only competition.

And the prize is not to be sniffed at:

£3 to enter for a possible 250 guinea first prize (you can feel like a race horse).

More details available here http://www.frogmorepress.co.uk/

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The big push

I don't know if it is the change of season or getting a new device that needs setting up or some other wind blowing - but have been sending my poems out all over the place. And it actually feels quite refreshing.

Possibly a little disturbing too - but don't think this is a bad thing.

I remember having a conversation with my hairdresser about the curious time of my appointment; my poor hairdressers over the years hear all my secrets although I enjoy a haircut about as much as going to the dentist. This appointment was at 5pm - a time that had been for about 3 or 4 years associated only in my mind with children's tea times and baths and - it was such a surprise to find myself in Chester, on my own and having a haircut. I felt dizzy. Genuinely dizzy and a bit sick to be honest.

So I discussed this and said I didn't like it.

Whereupon my hairdresser replied how strange: this was the very feeling of surprise, of spontaneity, of feeling a shift and the world turned a bit upside down - that he sought out about all others.

So I have been thinking of Craig, now safely emigrated to Australia I trust - where he told me confidently "there is a shortage of hairdressers".

And wondering if he was right.

PS read this and send something lingering in your editing box to someone you didn't expect to want to see your stuff. And see what happens. Whatever does. It is a good thing to - as another old friend used to say - "live with the vertigo".