Sunday, 29 April 2012

Interview on 'Necessary Fiction'

Fiction is Stranger Than Truth (Sometimes).

The other week Will Buckingham interviewed me for American webzine 'Necessary Fiction' about my poetry and my reasons for wanting to write poetry. He also asked questions on my first collection, Melanchrini. I've never been interviewed before, so if you would like to read my (first ever) interview, please click here.

Monday, 2 April 2012

The Hail Clanjamfrie

A poet spotted on t'internet
Surely a whole month hasn't whizzed by without a blog entry? Crikey me. It was a busy month with all sorts of happenings. At the beginning of March, CCC had its pamphlet launch at De Montfort Univeristy. A great success with a positive reception from poetry lovers and reviewers and lots of pamphlets sold. Then of course it was the book selling event of the year in the East Midlands, States of Independence on March 17th. Several publishers were represented including HappenStance, Five Leaves, Miel, Longbarrow, Shearsman, Templar, Candlestick, Nine Arches Press, CCC, Shoestring and many others. It was a buzzing, busy day. I came away with various books, mainly pamphlets. There were several reading and events. I attended the CCC event, the Nine Arches Press one, where I read with Deborah Tyler-Bennett and the HappenStance reading, which included Sally Festing, Peter Daniels and Robin Vaughn-Williams. I wish I could have attended more, but mine clashed with Chris Jones and Mark Goodwin reading for Longbarrow Press, a publisher based in Sheffield.  The 21st of March saw another Shindig, was not a well bunny so missed this event. Annoyed because I was looking forward to hearing Jonathan Davidson, whose recent collection 'Early Train' was published by Smith/Doorstop. Another time, dammit. The event itself has been well documented by bloggers such as Jayne Stanton and Gary Longden click and read!

So, by mid-March I was hitting the antibiotics hard, Sinusitis had floored me. However, I managed to read at the 'Word of Mouth' event, organised by Nottingham Writer's Studio, at Antenna in Nottingham, so I drugged myself up and went for it. I was very glad I did. The theme was film and there were some excellent films and readings from Richard Goodson, Andrew Graves, Michael Eaton and a brilliant short film called 'Disturbances' written and presented by Wayne Burrows. A chilling, unnerving film featuring image, sound (by Jon Brooks) and words by Wayne Burrows. Here's the prologue:

I inherited the trunk from my grandmother in 1987, and realised, when I began to unpack its contents, that my grandfather had developed an almost neurotic obsession with images.

He had first witnessed the atmospheric phenomenon he called ‘the disturbances’ in 1944, while stationed in Malaya, and had failed to document what he saw. This was, he told her, not going to happen again.

When the disturbances returned, he would be ready.

For full details and a taste of the film itself, see here.

Title Image from Wayne Burrow's Disturbances

Right, we're still not done! Not one to held back by the bugs, although I should have stayed in bed, I also attended a wonderful Writing Day held at Smith/Doorstop's head office in Sheffield. If you are able to go, go. If you enjoy poetry workshops, you will not be disappointed. The formula is simple but effective: A) you are handed a very good poem, b) you write a poem from scratch - having not painfully over analysed everything to (literally) death, C)  you share. You repeat 5-6 times. After lunch you bring in either a morning poem or one you've prepared earlier, where its receives a through critique. Read about Writing Days here. While we're on the subject of Smith/Doorstop, Alison McVety has only just gone and won The National Poetry Competition and I'd like to mention that Kim Moore was one of the winners in their annual pamphlet competition. Kim will also be appearing at our July Shindig with CCC and Nine Arches Press in Leicester.

This is the longest blog entry I've ever written, I may well expire. The title, for those of you who are wondering, is taken from a poem called 'The Bonnie Broukit Bairn' by Hugh McDiarmid. It was on a poster in a classroom at my high school, back in the day. Poetry had a habit of creeping in, even with a school obsessed with rizlas and New Jack Swing. What the hell, as this is such a long entry, let's finish with the poem:

The Bonnie Broukit Bairn

Mars is braw in crammasy,

Venus in a green silk goun,
The auld mune shak’s her gowden feathers,
Their starry talk’s a wheen o’ blethers,
Nane for thee a thochtie sparin’,
Earth, thou bonnie broukit bairn!
– But greet, an’ in your tears ye’ll droun
The hail clanjamfrie!

The last line refering to the 'whole mob.'