Sunday, December 27, 2009

1st draft

untitled

Snow flowers
decorate the riverbank.

(post removed)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

After reading Dominic's flash fiction post I have decided to give it a go!
So for a bit of fun, here's my very first (very short) effort!

flash fiction 1#

Bird Life

(post removed)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Has my fate changed so much,
or is the game really over?
Where are the winters when I went to bed
at six in the morning?

Once more, peaceful and severe,
I am living on the wild shore.
I am no longer able to utter
either an idle or a tender word.

I can't believe that Christmas will soon be here.
The steppe is touchingly green.
The sun is radiant. A wave that looks warm
laps the smooth shore.

When I became weary and langurous
from happiness, I used to dream
with inexspressible tremblings of such repose,
and this is how I imagined
the posthumous wanderings of the soul.

Anna Akhmatova, December 1916

Love came down at Christmas
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and angels gave the sign.

Christina Rossetti, 1885

Wishing you all a special Love-filled Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Well it's that time of the year again - time to stock up on poetry books.

With it being my birthday last week I bought the lovely big volume of the Collected Poems of George MacKay Brown which I've been keen to purchase since watching the GMB programme as part of The Poet's Guide to Britain series on the BBC a while back. I'm absolutely delighted with it.

I ordered Sarah Sloat's chapbook In the Voice of a Minor Saint which I'm really looking forward to coming in. If you haven't already, check out her blog - one of the funniest, original and constantly surreal writer I've come across.

I'm also waiting on Claire Crowther's The Clockwork Gift to come in. I bought this off the back of reading her poems in several magazines and thoroughly enjoying them.

And today I ordered several chapbooks from HappenStance. I cannot recommend enough Happenstance publishing. It's a fantastic, mainly pamphlet, publisher. Scottish poets such as Rob MacKenzie and Andrew Philips had their first publications with Happenstance. This year Alison Brackenbury joined the author list by publishing a chapbook with HappenStance.
A great range of high quality poetry at SUPER CHEAP prices, really!

For under £30 (including postage) I have just ordered -
A HappenStance Subscription (which includes a free chapbook of my choice and discount on all other chapbooks)
For my free chapbook I chose -
Slug Language by Anne Caldwell

Other chapbooks I ordered are -
The Body of the Green Girl by Paula Jennings
Embracing Water by Deborah Trayhurn
Shadow by Alison Brackenbury
a Three pamphlet lucky dip

and three issues of Sphinx magazine - 11, 8 and 7. Sphinx magazine has features about and interviews with independent poetry publishers, self-publishers and poets. Also it reviews pamphlet publications.

So all in all that's one subscription (which includes postal undates with sample extracts of new publications), seven chapbooks and three issues of Sphinx magazine all for less than thirty quid, how can you beat that? And they're all beautifully produced.

But it's not all poetry, I did buy a work of fiction - Jim Murdoch's first novel Living with the Truth. I've been following Jim's blog for quite a while now and he always surprises me with his very interesting and very well researched posts / essays. I've always enjoyed his writing so I thought it was about time I bought one of his books and this is what I'm currently reading.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

So it's not been a great year for poetry writing - pregnancy and babies and toddlers haven't helped at all!

However this month is pretty good for me - I've got the three poems coming up in the Edinburgh Review plus three poems in the next Poetry Scotland, due out very soon.

Also Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust are publishing a ‘Carry a Poem’ anthology to be distributed free throughout Edinburgh next February which I have contributed to. Here's a quote from the website of what the anthology is about:

"As part of our ‘Carry a Poem’ campaign, we’re collecting people’s tales about poems that matter to them. We’re encouraging everyone to think about their vital poems and the stories that lie behind them, and we’re keen to learn about the poem choices of people all over Scotland, from all walks of life."

A fun idea! I wrote about WCW's To A Poor Old Woman which I memorised during my pregnancy (as challenged by Rachel!).