Friday, 31 July 2015

Breathing Space July #TomasTranstromer

This poem by Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer - who died earlier this year - reminds p&g of perhaps our favourite Elizabeth Bishop poem.

Breathing Space July is a deceptively simple poem that plays with human boundaries in a delightful way. The subject is outside time, gravity and beyond scale - as large as huge trees and yet smaller than insects. Enjoy!

The full poem is as follows.

Breathing Space July

The man who lies on his back under huge trees
is also up in them. He branches out into thousands of tiny branches.
He sways back and forth,
he sits in a catapult chair that hurtles forward in slow motion.

The man who stands down at the dock screws up his eyes against the water.
Docks get older faster than men.
They have silver-gray posts and boulders in their gut.
The dazzling light drives straight in.

The man who spends the whole day in an open boat
moving over the luminous bays
will fall asleep at last inside the shade of his blue lamp
as the islands crawl like huge moths over the globe.

Thomas Transtromer translated by Robert Bly

You can read more on Tomas Transtromer here

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Breathing space July

p&g is off to the orienteering to take a good look and see if it is possible to see the wood from the trees. Usually this involves wandering (and indeed wondering) around the forest getting unlost - thank you Murray Strain.

Orienteering is a good sport for poets as it is a combination of brain, body and place - you need to learn to map the landscape or city you are running in and take the best line; it helps you make decisions and discard the unnecessary. Oh and there are those lovely pauses for breath when I get to a control.

Inverness and environs in Scotland are being taken over by the Scottish 6 days and World Orienteering Championships. And there is some live coverage on BBC Alba.

You can find more here, here and here

Monday, 27 July 2015

Get soapy in Krakow, Poland

A whole new way at looking at information and writing and god forbid money from writing at soap! 2015 | Oct. 7-9:
  • learn what technical communication really is and what it could be
  • network with Poland’s brightest rising stars
  • & cool special guests from all over the world

How writers can earn money writing technical stuff and as Orhan Parmuk pointed out if you don't have to live off your art, you never have to give it up...

More details here & here @SoapConf @PawelKowaluk 


And if that doesn't swing it, you will be in Krakow e.g. La dama con l'ermellino

World Poetry open mic

Opportunities to share your poetry with the world.

Event on 7th and again on 14th of August 2015 from 8pm to 9pm Mountain time (US) - "Either call in to our show during the broadcast OR you can send in poetry for us to read on the air for you. That's it!"

More details can be found here and here

Friday, 17 July 2015

Spoken word slam news

I have heard a whisper about a pre-slam for spoken word. Prizes...

  • Get a slot on the Roxxap Roar stage
  • & some money
  • & free entry to Stowed Out festival

More as soon as we have it from our correspondents out in the field...

Anywhere but the cities in Hawick 24th July

Yes the whole shebang is coming over to Hawick. See, hear, taste, touch and possibly smell the many talents of FOUND, Stanley Odd, Holly McNish, Michael Pedersen, Kevin Williamson, Will Anderson and Ainslie Henderson.

p&g has been promised "whisky, hugs & a raffle of the absurd." Tickets have been purchased.

Key info: 24th July at 8pm in the Heart of Hawick - tickets are £10.

A day out of Hawick is a day wasted...

More information available here and you can buy tickets here

Friday, 3 July 2015

Extract from Commute


23rd April

Unknown hawk. Almost crash into turning car.
Radio 4 becomes BBC Gael at top of Soutra.
Origin of word Soutra?

24th April

Female hen harrier? Top of Soutra thin wings
raised on ground-brown. Rain showers
thundery curious light – trees red/brown on
way back past Oxton.

25th April

Puncturing rain green leaves abandoned torn in
the car park. Beech trees out just past
Earlston; outgrown hedge; mast infinite
complicated. Cherry surrounded by spoil like
grit from the storm.

26th April

So much rain both sides of Soutra – scaffold
lorry beech tree mast tri-coloured brown pale
green black into puddles like a cloth/carpet
spread down the slope.

27th April

Queues of lorries over Soutra peeling off
conveniently. Buzzard uncomfortably perched
at the top of young sapling on Dalkeith by-pass
with thinnest twigs. Yesterday another
on telegraph wires next to 2 pigeons.

30th April

Thick fog en route back across Soutra from
Pathhead pretty much to Oxton – low visibility
– foglight. Sharp view of Salisbury Crags at the
top of Easter Road – waiting at junction in car
– 1st time I’ve noticed.

Uniformagazine 3 2 1 out now

I enjoyed this magazine so much that I bought the new one - as soon as funds allowed - and No.1 too.

A wonderful sensibility pervades - curious, arresting and enchanting...starting in #1 I am delighted by Rebecca Chesney's Language of Birds and Emmanuel Waeckerle's Reading (story of) O but glinting facets and seismic lines throughout and I can see myself studying the contents for some considerable time.

Yum yum

High recommended again - find out and buy more here