Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hello blogger, my old friend. I've come to talk with you again...

It's been rather busy since I've updated. The most miraculous news is that after all these years of writing alone on my little peninsula I've finally come across some other local poets and we have formed a monthly poetry work-shopping group. Wonderful to get a chance to meet up and talk poetry with real live people - there are four of us and bizarrely we all live within two streets of each other!

Dunoon hosted it's first Mini Book Festival which I read at with Tariq Latif - it was a good opportunity to try out some of the new poems. Hoping it'll be the first of an annual local book festival which would be wonderful. Tariq and I also did a poetry reading in the summer in the local bookshop which seemed to go down well - it's so good having someone else locally to read with!

I put together a book list for the Scottish Book Trust of some of my favourite contemporary female poets which you can read here.

I was pleasantly surprised to come across a lovely five star review of Tree Language on Amazon. It feels wonderfully good to get the feedback and simply that my book has found a happy home in some complete stranger's life!

Very pleased to have some poems in Be The First To Like This, an anthology of new Scottish poetry with a foreword written by Liz Lochhead. Colin Waters from the Scottish poetry library (editor of the anthology) has put together a great webpage for it here. It's being launched next week in Glasgow and Edinburgh and tomorrow we're all getting our picture taken at the Scottish Poetry Library for the Saturday Herald and Sunday Herald Magazine, so that's quite exciting!

Next month I'll be reading and chatting at the Portobello Book Festival in Edinburgh as part of a Scottish Book Trust event along with two other recipients of the SBT New Writer's Award. Check out the dates of the book festival here and if you're around please come along - I've heard there will be wine!

Finally, good old Highland Mary's voting yes and so am I. Only four more days until the referendum and it's all up for grabs!!


Jim Murdoch said...

Glad to see you’re still with us and ever so busy. A part of me is jealous but the rest of me’s told him to shut up if he knows what’s good for him. Nice that you’ve found a few poetically-inclined neighbours. There’re about 30,000 people in the town where I live now and I don’t know of another single writer. You’d think there’d be more than one but maybe they’re all just as antisocial as me. That said in my hometown I knew of only one other published poet and that was out of 40,000. Four in totie wee Dunoon is really beating the odds.

I’ve had a look at your list of female poets. I know most of the names but they’re just names to me. I have been reading a lot more books (and by ‘books’ I mean prose) by women this year—I’m on my fiftieth (and fifty by men as it happens)—and I keep looking for this mysterious ‘female voice’ I keep hearing about but I’m not seeing it. Sure there are books that focus on women’s issues but then I’ve read a few by women where men are the focal point—Old Filth by Jane Gardam and Regeneration by Pat Barker—and you’d swear men were the authors (if you cared about such things which I really don’t).

Currently reading The Bell Jar. About halfway through and not especially impressed. It’s very dated which isn’t helping. I get the feeling if I say bad things in a review there’ll be a queue of women outside my door waiting to beat me about the head and neck.

I’ve kept my distance from all talk about the forthcoming vote but did think what Eric Idle tweeted earlier today was an interesting take on the subject: “Scottish vote. I find it odd that only one half of a Union gets to vote. Like voting on Divorce but only asking Husbands. Weird.” I wonder what the vote would be if they asked England: Well, DO you want them to leave?

Marion McCready said...

thanks Jim :) It is really odd being in touch with virtually neighboring poets! I never really liked The Bell Jar - as you say it's pretty dated but then I never liked The Catcher and the Rye either which it's often compared to.

I don't read much fiction these days but to be able to read a strong female voice in poetry is important to me and I find Sujata Bhatt's work particularly affirming in that it makes me feel that it's valid for me to write about my everyday experiences as a woman / wife / mother etc. Not that that's all women should write about of course!

Well the referendum's here at last, I found voting an incredibly emotional experience - all that build up over the last couple of years and esp over the last few months, either way it'll be a relief this time tomorrow to know where we'll stand!