Saturday, November 26, 2011

"McCready has the uncanny ability to imbue even the most mundane, common place things with mystical properties"

"This is nature turned mythical and extraordinary, there is an acute awareness of life-cycles, weather patterns and things coming to some kind of fruition or ending. And through it all there is a deep running smouldering sensuality, a delight in the beauty and unpredictability of nature and a sense of place and of rootedness"

"McCready brings a heightened awareness to her subjects that make her poems a joy to read"

Thanks to Julia Webb and Ink, Sweat & Tears for this wonderful review of Vintage Sea which you can read here. I'm over the moon with it!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The influence of Roethke on Plath's poetry is no secret, however in an essay by Roger Elkin, 'Hidden Influences in the Poetry of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath', Elkin explores the idea that Roethke's poetry and creative theories greatly influenced Hughes also.
It's a fascinating essay detailing not only the similar themes and techniques such as animism and minimism and use of Jungian symbolism in the poetry of all three but also the role/purpose of poetry to tap into and explore the primitive, pre-conscious thus universal self. He obviously analyses Plath's 'Poem for a Birthday' but also thoroughly analyses Hughes' 'Wodwo' in the light of Roethke. You can find the essay here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Another Brenhilda / Sula Sgeir poem

second draft

(poem removed)
Thanks to those who reminded me about this - The Baker Prize 2011 - a new annual writing competition organised by The Skye Literary Salon and The Isle of Skye Baking Company. There are categories for Gaelic poetry, Gaelic short story/script/prose, English short story/ script/ prose and English poetry. And it's free to enter!
The closing date is Nov 24th so get your entries in quick, I had better get my thinking cap on!

Calder Wood Press are having an end of year party combined with the launch of Ross Wilson's first collection, The Heavy Bag.Unfortunately I can't make it due to travel problems and childcare but it looks like it'll be a great night so if you're in the area it will be held at the Canon's Gait Cellar Bar, High Street, Edinburgh, Monday 5th December, 8pm. Free buffet included!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A few short poems I've been working on this morning

(poems removed)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I've just noticed that Kathleen Jamie is reading at StAnza 2012! I'm really excited about this, she's one of my favourite Scottish poets and she reads her poems wonderfully. You can hear her read some of her poems on the Poetry Archive website here.  The full list of participants is available here and looks like it'll be a great festival one again. Just from scanning the list I'm interested in hearing Niall Campbell and Richie McCaffery, a couple of young Scotland-based poets whose poems I've been impressed by when I've come across them in mags. I'd also like to get a chance to hear Michael Symmons Roberts, Robert Crawford and Simon Barraclough. I see Alistair Cook, an Edinburgh-based photographer who also creates wonderful short films to accompany poems, will be there. I can't wait!

The other day I was delighted to receive through the post a gorgeous new collection of poems by Morgan Downie interlaced with just as gorgeous photographs by the very talented Roxana Gita who also provides Romanian translations of Downie's poems. I'll be reviewing it on the blog sometime soon.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A short poem

First draft

The Fire-leaves of Autumn

(post removed)