Monday, May 26, 2008

I love browsing Poetry Archive - an archive of recordings of major poets reading their own work.

It's fascinating listening and I really like listening to Kathleen Jamie read - she's got a lovely voice and it's nice to have the affirmation of hearing a Scottish voice. Here she reads a beautiful poem called 'The Wishing Tree', it's really worth listening to.
I also love hearing Edwin Morgan read, his voice is very distinctive and once I've heard him read a poem I hear his voice in my head everytime I read that poem.
Unfortunately they don't have Kenneth White whom I heard at StAnza and whose voice sometimes pops into my head at any random point during the day!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The on-line literary magazine Qarrtsiluni (no I don't know how to pronounce it!) have accepted my poem Looking Beyond! Also they requested a sound file of me reading it so I read it into the microphone on my MP3 player and transferred it onto the computer. An interesting experience, I tried reading it a dozen times before I finally decided which one to send in! So keep an eye out on the website for my poem.

Black Tulips

The waxy strap leaves supplicate

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I've just finished reading Janice Galloway's acclaimed novel The Trick is to Keep Breathing and I'm in two minds about it.

To give you an idea of what it's about here's a snippet from an Amazon review: "Galloway is writing in a long-established tradition of confessional fiction with mentally disturbed women at its centre". It's been compared with Plath's The Bell Jar which, surprisingly enough, I've yet to read.

'The Trick...' certainly was a good read, in fact I read it in a day. But the ending seemed a bit staid for me. Perhaps I was looking for a suicide or an otherwise dramatic turnabout. The lack of visual imagery didn't lend itself to me either, I think it was on Galloway's website that I read she just doesn't find the Scottish landscape inspiring.
The biggest problem for me was that I didn't warm to the protagonist which begs the question of whether it is necessary to like the main character in order to enjoy a novel.

I don't think it's necessary to like every part of the protagonist, I'm currently re-reading The Awakening and there's certainly a lot to point the finger at about the main character, Edna, but overall I have a fondness for her an a certain level empathy. With Galloway's protagonist, 'Joy', I had no sense of empathy and thus no sympathy for her either, I just didn't connect with her on any level.
As a side note, I'm also reading Virginia Woolf's
To The Lighthouse and pleasantly surprised to come across a character called 'Sorley' which is a novelty!

The Graveyard of the Sea

Through centuries of salt earth
the North Sea seeps

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Monday, May 05, 2008


Grateful thanks to Rachel for spotting my poem in the Glasgow Herald's poem of the day today. What a nice surprise - sending husband out for a paper right now!!!!!!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I've been walking around all day today feeling pretty pleased with myself as the latest Poetry Scotland, which had been overdue, finally came in today with my two poems in it - what a nice feeling! Then tonight I get an email to say I've had a poem (When I Became a Wave) accepted for the poetry webzine Snakeskin which you'll find here! I don't think I'll sleep tonight!