Monday, 29 February 2016

Beautiful Bare Hands Poetry out now

And we should also mention that Issue 20 of Bare Hands is now open.

Bare Hands is also accepting submissions for issue 21 until the 21st March 2016.

You can view Issue 20 here and find out how to submit here

Abridged 0 - 45: submission call

Why is it always December?

Take a look at the inspiration for this issue of Abridged and then send them some stuff. Deadline 17th March 2016. Easy as that.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

glass ice

water reflection river sea pane pain rockpool reflection narcissus sight

light rain pixel image outline horizon blur smurr water reflection

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Mauricewood Devils Dorothy Alexander @FreightBooks launch 27th February 2016 Galashiels Scotland

Poet Dorothy Alexander launches her first novel The Mauricewood Devils in the Scottish Borders.

'This is an engrossing story about a vital piece of social history. If that sounds dull, be assured that Alexander's finely wrought characters are anything but. Martha and Jess sparkle among the poverty and coal dust, their voices ringing out down the years that have seen too many people lost in industrial disasters. It is an important tale, beautifully told, and deserves to be better known.' The National

The event is from 2.30 to 4.30pm at MacArts. There will be readings and cake. Free.

You know we don't go in much for giving fiction a mention on p&g but very much prepared to make an exception for this subtle, warm, and challenging work.

More details and you can buy the book here More about Dorothy here

Monday, 22 February 2016

Avatars, @gravatar & me

It has been a funny few days.

I have been busy -  I am getting ready for StAnza starting next week preparing my readings. There has been a seedbed of poetry going on and obsessive reading about farming. And of course the day job and then something that seemed unrelated to all of the above, entering an orienteering competition.

Oentries the orienteering entry system allows you to personalise your entry using a Gravatar - the universal avatar creation utility available online. But something that makes avatar creation so simple still doesn't help with one thing. How do I want to present myself?

A lot of people don't bother at all. Does this say they don't care? Didn't bother? Are more interested in orienteering than self-presentation? Or are avatars the online equal of personal grooming? And coming out without one is like coming to work without clean hair and tidy clothes?

Of course this is a sports entry board. There is a part of me that feels an avatar is much more a gaming concept. A better self. An aspirational self. A self equipped to take on virtual challenges. And possibly as in books like William Gibson's Neuromancer leading virtual lives that can get a little out of control at times.

And all of the above complicated by the simple female feeling that I should look presentable and well, OK.

So what did I come up with? Me in a hoodie looking curious...

You can find Gravatar here and make your own investigations And of course if you just want to go orienteering after reading this

The Basil Bunting Poetry Award 2016

Time to have a rustle through your available poems before the 7th March closing date.

This competition is run by Newcastle University and named after the Northumbrian modernist poet Basil Bunting. First prize £1000 and judged this year by Don Share of Poetry.

More details available here

Friday, 12 February 2016


A programme funded by the Australia Council for the Arts: a Geek in Residence is installed to deliver dynamic digital initiatives across an organisation and its community.

The idea being that the techies provide the "skills, information and connections needed to succeed in the digital era". The project appears to be in abeyance currently but I wonder why. It is funny how everyone has become a geek these days so maybe that is it.

But I am still waiting to see some of the really useful filtering/predictive text - multi-thread poetry, Boolean verse, 3D structural holographic towers of words and I wonder who is actually working on this stuff now. Rather than just getting scored up on a really good tweet - of course that is fun too - but...

The old news story is here

And yes there is still just a really small part of me that would be happy if I could open my front door electronically at the press of a button...